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 – November 2017

Since the previous update earlier in 2017, the Sustainability Group has continued to meet regularly developing a programme of important issues.

We are pleased that Alton Town Council (ATC) has established a ‘Town Team’ now under the leadership of Tanya Applegath and includes Julie McLatch, Business Development Manager. We are represented on the team.

This has an important role in supporting the sustainability and ‘health’ of the town in the light of the Town’s Neighbourhood Plan. Its members including Bob Booker went on a ‘Team Walk’ (August) which looked in detail at areas requiring improvement and ‘tlc’ such as signage throughout the town and the area in front of the Railway Station.

We agree that tourism has become more important and it is vital that we take every opportunity to smarten up the town and apply tourism expertise and resources.

The Sustainability Group continues to have a strong interest in the ‘greening and environmental’ aspects of its role. The includes the supply and use of water.

There is a significant risk of demand outstripping supply and it is vital that we – whether corporately or individually – take great care over our use of this precious resource. SE Water has produced a useful leaflet which is included here .

In shaping its future programme, the Group will continue to combine a strategic approach with one that values small, practical and incremental improvements.

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