Update on Leicestershire County Council’s support for Transition

On the 28th July 2009, the Leicestershire County Council cabinet will be meeting to discuss the recommendations for how the council supports local Transition groups, and other community-based climate change initiatives in the county – it looks like they’re going to be pledging to provide increased support and more funding for carbon reduction projects.

This follows on from the council’s motion of support for the Transition movement and the county’s Transition groups in December 2008, which you can read about here: https://transitionleicester.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/leicestershire-county-council-declares-support-for-transition/

There are two documents on the council’s website referring to the meeting, this one which summarises the action the cabinet will take:

http://politics.leics.gov.uk/Published/C00000135/M00002315/AI00022891/$BTransitionTownsAppendix.doc.pdf

and more interestingly, this one, which details how they’re going to implement the motion from last December:

http://politics.leics.gov.uk/Published/C00000135/M00002315/AI00022891/$BTransitionTownsJuly2009.doc.pdf

The most important part of their second document seemed to be the announcement of significant amounts of funding that will be available for the year ahead for local grassroots climate groups.

ahead consists of a mix which includes the following:
i) A new SHIRE Climate Change Grant available for community
groups for projects that can demonstrate a real carbon saving.
This scheme will be open to all communities based on the merits
of the scheme not the organisation. The total grant available in
2009/10 is £30,000;
ii) A Climate Friendly Communities Scheme (based on the pilot run
in Tilton, Billesdon and Ibstock in 2008-09) that provides a pot of
funding available for community groups to tackle climate change
issues based on the priorities of each group. The total pot
available in 2009/10 is £30,000; and
iii) Funding available from the Regional Improvement and Efficiency
Partnership for spending across Leicestershire, Leicester and
Rutland on climate change over 2009-11 of £165,000
(comprising of £40,000 on practical projects, £30,000 on the Big
Switch Off and £95,000 on Community Engagement). The
Community Engagement funds will be spent on a mix of officer
support and on the ground projects.

The funding available to support community engagement in the year ahead consists of a mix which includes the following:

i) A new SHIRE Climate Change Grant available for community

groups for projects that can demonstrate a real carbon saving.

This scheme will be open to all communities based on the merits

of the scheme not the organisation. The total grant available in

2009/10 is £30,000;

ii) A Climate Friendly Communities Scheme (based on the pilot run in Tilton, Billesdon and Ibstock in 2008-09) that provides a pot of funding available for community groups to tackle climate change issues based on the priorities of each group. The total pot available in 2009/10 is £30,000; and

iii) Funding available from the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership for spending across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland on climate change over 2009-11 of £165,000 (comprising of £40,000 on practical projects, £30,000 on the Big Switch Off and £95,000 on Community Engagement). The Community Engagement funds will be spent on a mix of officer support and on the ground projects.

In response to a day of presentations given by local climate change groups in early 2009, the council also pledged the following:

 

i) An on-line signposting document, similar to that prepared

for the Eco-schools, indicating who in the County Council,

and elsewhere, can provide what advice, sources of funds,

etc;

ii) Signposting to websites and other sources of information

on different sources of practical help such as grants and

offers available under different headings;

iii) Access to an expert (or group of experts) in community

approaches to sustainability initiatives (including climate

change, transition towns, etc.) who has had hands on

experience of working with communities;

iv) Improved linkages to the Parish Plan process (and

equivalent processes in non-parished and urban areas) for

those interested in establishing Community

Environment/Transition groups, in terms of how to set-up a

constitution, different approaches to community

engagement, recruiting volunteers, etc. Also some

suggested questions could possibly be added to the

generic Parish Plan list of questions to provide useful

background information; and

v) Clear and consistent leadership and support on the issue

from Leicestershire Together, ENABLE and the Rural

Community Council.

The council decided to take no steps of its own to develop an Energy Descent Action Plan (one of the goals that Transition Initiatives seek to achieve), but did finish by reiterating its support for the local Transition groups, and for the idea of working towards becoming a Transition county.

 

We therefore consider support should be given, within the

resources available, for communities which wish to become

Transition Communities. We also consider that such an approach for Leicestershire, as a whole, would have a number of advantages. However, there is already a substantial agenda of actions for community based work on climate change across the County and we consider that fulfilling these are of real importance and will in themselves be necessary and helpful steps towards fulfilling the concept of being a Transition County.

So, on the surface it seems like great news – if the council deliver on this, there should be money and increased support for new and existing Transition groups (and other local climate groups) in the county. Now it’s just a question of developing the groups we have going already and getting more groups up and running! Who’s up for the challenge?

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