What is your vision for sustainable Hexham?

Speak out for the Transition Towns movement at Hexham Town Council Visioning Day on 24th June 2pm at Queens Hall.

Like it or not the Town Council is our link to Northumberland County Council and they collect and spend our Council Taxes. It really matters who our local and county councilors are and what they believe matters to you.

Please come along and bring your vision for Hexham to the debate! There will be workshops where you can discuss your concerns and argue for Hexham to become an even better place for our children and grandchildren. This is all about how we can take positive action now to prepare for the challenges ahead.

If we can generate a critical mass of people in Hexham who understand the need for change our Transition Movement could go whooshing up the agenda.

What is your concern for the future sustainability of Hexham?

We also need to be there listening so that we can adapt our activities to be realistic and appealing to the general public.


8 thoughts on “What is your vision for sustainable Hexham?

  1. I think this is an incredibly positive move to engage the local population. Although it sounds like sustainability doesn’t seem to figure high on the agenda. Do you have any other concerns about the Town Plan and this process?

  2. Yes I agree yantantether its a good move to try to engage the Hexham people. I believe the session is going to be a series of workshops covering one subject each but I feel that sustainability and more importantly the subject of local resilience, peak oil will be lost as its a subject that covers all subject areas.

  3. It does sound like an opportunity not to be missed although I have found no mention of the event on the Town Council website??! I can’t go but am glad others will be there to raise the issues. Is there a way people can contribute in writing after the event I wonder??

  4. Hi Yantantether,

    Experience of trying to get the Transition message across:

    During the break out session of the 4 groups, at the Hexham visioning meeting on Sunday,( the purpose of which was to get one big idea from each group). I tried to express an opinion that in terms of priority of ideas, we should take into account the climate and peak oil. I was immediately jumped on as a Green invader trying to hijack a Hexham focussed visioning meeting and wasting their time. I can understand, it was the wrong approach. Each person that turned up was set on their own idea and wanted to voice and have this noted.

    I changed my tack and used words from within their own document and tried again on the need for “resilience” other people where talking about resilience but not using the word itself, for example: access to better allotments facilities

    I tried to get bicycles into the discussion pointing out increased petrol prices and that oil depletion will mean that we need to build into the plan a need for resources to be nearer at home. It was commented that petrol is not going to run out in the next 10 years and that was the scope of this meeting. Unfortunately I had no resources to bring to bear to argue otherwise and even if I had it would not serve the cause by antagonising the group on issues which they would see as insurmountable.

    I did manage to get in a experience I recently had on a train from Carlisle to Newcastle where I spoke to a young couple, who where dressed and acted as more on the edge of society. I asked them for their opinion on Transition and why youth was less engaged. They showed me their badge of honour ( Young lads shirt ) which was what they could make for themselves from goods bought in Charity shops with designs hand stitched. They were completely disengaged from society feeling let down by corruption, climate and a whole rafter of issues. The whole consumer thing was the antipathy of their values. So I managed to get engagement at least onto the groups big idea, though it did get a bit blurred in the communication.

    We need access to better resources and I have placed some on basic energy below
    We need to communicate to people before such meetings so people are more receptive when we raise them
    WE need to educate the people involved

    Finally a plea… how can we contact people like James Lovelock? We need to understand where he now stands on transition, reading his latest comments he still believes in the climate change and Gaia but the rate of change is not as fast as he first calculated. This is interesting because if it is buying time, then Transition surely has a part to play.

    Just a few resources on Energy matters:

    2..The transition handbook
    3..Also Wikipedia ( quote below)

    “”Optimistic estimations of peak production forecast the global decline will begin after 2020, and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis, without requiring major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used.[9] Pessimistic predictions of future oil production are that either the peak has already occurred,[10][11][12][dead link][13] that oil production is on the cusp of the peak, or that it will occur shortly.[14][15] The International Energy Agency (IEA) says production of conventional crude oil peaked in 2006.[16][17] Throughout the first two quarters of 2008, there were signs that a global recession was being made worse by a series of record oil prices.[18] “”

    The thinking is that the rate of decline is 3% per year, on current consumption. Of course with India and China consuming more, this may well rise. In 10 years that is a 30% reduction depending upon whose model you base your estimations on. The gradual slope shown in these models do not take into account any stockpiling for national security by powerful nations.

  5. Hi Phill
    Great comment
    I agree that engagement with people who are not aware is difficult as yes we can be seen as “green”, (i never use that word), The words I have started to use is “Community” and “Resilience”.
    Every one hopefully understands in some way community as its what i call a “warm word”. Resilence is good if understood as no one wants their community to suffer shocks but to have a “transition” to another type of society.
    The oil depletion time line is a uncertain factor as there are lots of variables some which Phill has pointed out. (I had not thought of stockpiling by the rich nations).

  6. Hi Phil and David,
    I really wish I was at this event. But I’m really glad there were lots of Transition people who could make it and make their voice heard. And it must be really annoying to be accused of hijacking a discussion for simply putting your opinion into the mix. Isn’t that the point of the whole thing?

    I agree with you both that the terms we use can drastically change the interpretation of what is said. The underlying facts and concerns are the same, but people do seem to turn off when you mention scary words like peak oil or climate change. Perhaps its because they are essentially negative. Whereas resilience and community are positive. And seeing as the transition movement is all about taking positive action, I reckon it’s a good fit.

    Regarding facts and figures; I agree, we could have more resources to hand. If you’d like to start collating this information together, then we could set up a page to help others digest the knowledge that’s out there.

    But I think there are other ways to convince people to change habits regardless of environmental motivations. I was talking to someone on the train the other day who frequently travels the length of the country, by train. I was surprised by this as most people I know who travel for work do so by car. His answer to this was that car travel is simply a huge waste of his time. Sure he may get there an hour quicker, but he’s still spent 3-5 hours in a metal box, doing nothing. Whereas on the train he can use that time to actually do something. I loved this as it completely turned round a well held notion of cars being a time saver. Great πŸ™‚

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