"The people perish where there is no vision"
Visioning is the underpinning of action
We need the vision of the forest before we prepare the ground for the first tree.
Context - Think globally act locally
A recent UN report on climate change and poverty identifies that we face a range of
interconnected social, environmental and economic crises, globally and in the UK.
Social: isolation and loneliness, mental
health crisis, homelessness, addiction, poverty, hostility to immigrant communities, local authority budget cuts affecting the poorest.
Environmental: huge biodiversity declines, climate change impacts, extreme weather, pollution, especially glyphosate (everyday new info appears on the universal and dire effects of glyphosate).
Economic: underemployment, poverty rates, inequality, use of food banks, unknown impact of Brexit.
The UN says there is a 12 year window to change direction. We need carbon reductions of 14% per annum for the next decade. A huge cultural and societal change is needed, centred around local action. The next four years will be critical for Northam
The UK has recently declared a climate emergency and 58 local authorities already
The Chinese translation of the word crisis reads - "danger-plus-opportunity"
Let’s seize this opportunity in these precarious times.
In light of the above I propose that a committee be set up with a view of drafting together an action plan around eight key areas, these being:
1- Participatory decision making
2- Goal articulation
3- Information and communication systems
4- Mapping of networks, organizations
5- Mapping of solutions
6- Resources for action,
These eight key areas/mechanisms will do four things:
- Clearly articulate these goals. Where are the changes needed in this place?
- Encourage and support the things we
need to do to get there, eg, landscape regeneration, new forms of economics.
- Discourage the things that are
stopping us from getting there, growth economy, fossil fuel powered etc.
- Measure progress so we can adjust
Vision and mission
‘Shaping the future of Council and community together’ - creating spaces for re-aligning around new priorities, sharing the latest social, environmental and economic tools and processes and enabling the wider community of Torridge to access and use them. Supporting and enabling the community of Torridge to develop democratic, ecologically, economically and socially regenerative practices.
Goals and objectives:
Over the next four years a central goal will be to create the conditions to facilitate a transformative shift towards the above.
With this in mind the we should aim
to support and enable a greater number of people, groups and organizations to
align and self-organize around 3 areas:
1- Deeper democratic and decentralized politics, adoption of innovative participatory
approaches such as participatory budgeting, people’s assemblies and open space events that increase community agency for change.
2- Economic re-localisation and development, increase adoption of community wealth building, cooperative development, social enterprise, local circular economies and community energy schemes.
3- Building place-making, supporting place-based hubs of innovation in Northam and building on and supporting the wealth of current initiatives.
Given the scale and urgency of the environmental and climate crisis it will be vital to address how the council can begin to form cross-sector alliances and networks with groups/organizations already working along the above lines and also to help them form new ones.
At its heart we need to ask – how can we learn to be brilliant at governance?
How can it deliver earth care, people care and fair shares now and for future generations?
How can our councils reclaim relationship as the foundation and ground of all of all it’s
"Give me 10 minutes to plant a tree and I will spend the first eight minutes preparing the ground"