I've been looking at options for what we can do as a parish in response to our council's Climate and Environmental Emergency resolution - and I've spoken to quite a few people about this.
The options seem to fall into 3 groups:
1. Get to carbon neutral fast. This is Green Party policy, but harder to do in a small parish than in a town, city or county council. (We have no buildings we can manage differently, no control over transport, parking, new buildings, leased accommodation, etc.) So this means individual households committing to reducing their carbon emissions - really important, but hard to measure and monitor.
2. Adopt a single-issue policy, e.g. become an organic parish, give up chemical insecticides as a parish, work with Char Valley parishes to focus on the River Char. One of these could be popular and engage people (especially young people). It could be attention-getting and highly visible. But it only takes one household or farm to disagree and the idea won't happen.
3. Put together a broad approach based on community and co-operation to improve community resources (growing and selling fruit and veg locally, community composting, car-sharing, repairing and mending household and garden goods instead of throwing them away) as well as doing what we can to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce use of fertilisers and pesticides, encourage biodiversity, etc. This is a big and endless task that will be harder to explain and keep people committed to.
I've put more details on the website here and now I want to ask everyone to comment and see what the Char Valley Parish Council as a whole thinks. If you have any thoughts, please get in touch.
I'm Andrew Carey, the elected Parish Councillor for Stanton St Gabriel. I've lived in the parish since 1987. Thank you for visiting.