The Alton Society’s Committee has established the Sustainability, Greening and Environmental Group – known for brevity as the ‘Sustainability Group’ – to take a direct interest in these policy areas.  Its terms of reference have intentionally 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 Alton 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 – they are current or past Committee members, longstanding Alton Society members and a new member. All care passionately about our Town and the surrounding areas.

In 2016, under the leadership of Rod Eckles, it conducted the wide ranging survey which 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, accordingly, will focus on town/High Street ‘vitality’.  Rather than act in isolation, it will actively collaborate with other individuals and organisations working in the same area.

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’ under the leadership of the current Mayor, Cllr. Dean-Paul Phillips and Julie McLatch, Business Development Manager. This includes Alton Society representation amongst the membership.

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’ which looked in detail at areas requiring improvement and ‘tlc’ such as consistency of signage throughout the town and the area in front of the Railway Station which acts as an important gateway to the town.

We agree with ATC’s analysis that tourism will become ever more important and it is vital that we take every opportunity to smarten up all aspects of 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. Our friends at Energy Alton recently organised an evening talk given by South East Water which is currently developing a long term strategy for matching supply of and demand for water as needs change and the town’s population grows.

Unsurprisingly, 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.