We held a joint meeting with Transition Haslemere and Transition Godalming, in the offices of Waverley Borough Council.
Steve Thwaites, Strategic Director for environmental matters, was also present, as well as Andrea Kourra, Sustainability Assistant.
Around 25 members of the three transition towns came.
Fotini explained that councils now have four national indicators:
- Reduction in CO2 emissions by the local authority itself
- Reduction in CO2 emissions by the community within the area covered by the local authority
- Reducing fuel poverty (the number of homes for which their energy bill is more than 10% of income)
- Adaptation to climate change
She told us that Waverley recently came second amongst all Surrey boroughs in terms of carbon emissions reductions. Waverley has also started working in a cross-Surrey “Surrey Climate Change Partnership” looking at a climate change strategy for Surrey (to be approved in the next few months), development plans for members, and a communications strategy for the whole of Surrey. (See notice of talk here.)
After a short introduction on the history and status of each Transition Town, we each wrote onto a post it note what we wanted to talk about. These were then merged into three groups, and people moved to whichever group they were interested in.
After 45 minutes the first group to report back was looking at working with Waverley. Steve Thwaites said that although the council could not provide money, it did have expertise, land, buildings, staff and networks of contacts which could be extremely useful for the right project. The next step would be to find areas of overlap between Waverley and Transition, and it was felt that a good way to assess and/or find those areas of overlap would be by holding a “market stall” meeting with people from the various departments.
Finally, Cian Duggan reported for the “Projects” group, which again had covered a large amount of ground in terms of communications, Green Fairs, the council’s upcoming Heat Seekers project, and various films.
John Sandy closed the meeting by saying he had enjoyed the meeting tremendously and (from the number of smiling faces) he thought we had too. We agreed to hold a follow-up meeting in about three months time.