Photo: advert in Exmouth for the talk, the photo in the Exmouth Mouth and lastly I manage to find time for a walk on the beach! It was great to meet enthusiastic folk and talk about some of their challenges.
FROM HIS Green political credentials down to his leaf-green shoes and vibrant green shoelaces, Philip Booth is clearly someone who has fully embraced the Transition Town ethos and is determined to turn it into reality. As such, Philip – a Green councillor on Stroud District Council, an active environmentalist and a member of Transition Town Stroud – proved an inspired choice of speaker ahead of Transition Town Exmouth's annual general meeting, held at the Telfer Suite, Exmouth Community College, on Monday 28 June.
Philip Booth – an inspired speaker on Green issues and the Transition Town ethos
Delivering his speech at a rattling pace, Philip spoke of the many ups and some of the downs that TTS has experienced since it was established in 2006. There’s the Stroud Pound, the local currency, launched to benefit consumers, traders, businesses and local charities. The notes – which Philip passed round – aren’t just pretty; they are accepted by 40 Stroud businesses, including a butchers, a bakers and a community stores.
Then there’s the various TTS food projects, such as the successful Farmers’ Market (40 stalls, plus live music, every Saturday), StroudCo (a food hub linking local farmers and consumers), the Stroud Communal Allotment and the Garden Share scheme. Less successful has been Stroud Community Agriculture, a veg-box scheme which collapsed due to crop failure.
There’s also TripSwitch, where the public is encouraged to use forms of transport other than the car, a Green Travel Month and Changing Gear (a scheme encouraging secondary-school pupils to cycle to school). And there’s the Open Homes scheme, where the public can see renewable energy in action, by visiting the houses of people who have taken significant steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
All in all, it was an inspirational 45-minute journey through everything that TTS has achieved since it was established nearly four years ago.
Philip was then asked what he thought Transition Town Exmouth had achieved in its two years of existence. “A great deal,” he said. “Some Transition Town groups don’t even last a year. You’ve done two years and are still going strong. From our experience, that’s a great achievement in itself, and one that you should be proud of.”
Food for thought, indeed.
For more about TTE, go to Transition Town Exmouth