The Alton Society’s Committee has established the Sustainability, Greening and Environmental Group – known as the ‘Sustainability Group’ – to take a direct interest in these policy areas. Its terms of reference have been set widely and the Group will choose specific areas on which to focus at any one time.
It acts as a formal sub-committee to the Society’s main Committee which receive reports on a regular basis. The Group also considers suggestions from the wider membership.
The Group currently comprises Bob Booker, Rod Eckles, David Simpkins, Simon Stoodley, James Willis, Charlotte Wigzel, Ginny Boxall and Martyn Dell. All care passionately about our Town and the surrounding areas.
In 2016, under the leadership of Rod Eckles a wide ranging survey was completed by over 180 individuals in the Alton area.
The Group has recently determined that its major priority is to follow up on aspects of particular concern and will focus on town/High Street ‘vitality’. Rather than act in isolation, it will collaborate with other individuals and organisations working in the same area.
Tomorrow (Demain) The Film 22.3.19
On 22nd March 2019, the inspirational film Tomorrow (Demain) was shown in Alton. The film is about living in harmony with the planet and reducing global warming. It is all about your children and grandchildren’s future. It shows practical proven solutions to ecological social and economic problems in 10 countries including the UK. It will give you hope whilst recognising the huge problems about climate change. The event was a collaboration between Energy Alton, Alton Local Food Initiative and ourselves. Thanks for the 100+ people of all ages who came and supported us. There are plans to show it to an even wider audience.
Jointly sponsored by the Alton Society, Energy Alton and Alton Local Food Initiative.
Sustainability Group update by Martyn Dell – August 2019
The last 12 months have seen two new members join the Sustainability Group which now numbers ten. All are very enthusiastic and keen to see us ‘make a difference’ across the wide range of issues which we consider. Three are highlighted below.
A recent priority has been examining future arrangements within the county for dealing with waste. John Pritchard takes a particular interest and attends the county wide Project Integra Strategic Board whose brief includes developing a robust strategy for dealing effectively with the vast amount of waste which we as a society generate. Although the resource implications of developing new facilities are considerable, we don’t have the option to ‘do nothing’. Several of our members had the opportunity of visiting the Veolia Material Recovery Facility just outside Alton which was impressive but is not capable of processing much of the waste we produce.
Another of our members, Charlotte Wigzell, also a member of Energy Alton, has conducted some very useful hands-on research into Alton’s town car parking issues, trying to understand the problem areas, how we can encourage people to use their cars less and how the sustainability of the town centre can be enhanced.
The group – together with the wider Alton Society – is taking a keen interest in the work on the Revised Local Plan, trying to ensure that sustainability and environmental issues feature prominently and tangibly in the Plan. Finally, the group has warmly welcomed the launch of the Alton Climate Awareness Network with individual members closely involved in its developing role.
South East Water has produced an excellent leaflet on water use – check it out here .
Sustainability Group Update by Martyn Dell – November 2018
The Group has met regularly during 2018 and comprises an enthusiastic set of members. We are currently welcoming several potential new recruits. Our work has combined analytical and ‘hands on’ approaches depending on the issue in question.
Specific priorities have included promoting ‘the health of the High Street’, the need for careful water management, reducing the use of plastics (including a very useful survey of local businesses), encouraging recycling and use of ‘green’ energy. We have strengthened our links with Energy Alton, with whom we have several ‘shared’ members, and helped on a number of occasions with their events such as Plastic Awareness Day.
We are planning a joint event for 22 March 2019 to show the excellent film called “Tomorrow”. It is inspirational and educational with lots of examples of how local communities are tackling the threat of climate change, soil degradation and careful use of diminishing resources.
Martyn Dell, Convenor, Sustainability Group