It was in 2008 that the Vision Group formally took on ‘Transition Town’ status: Sept 2008 News
It was felt by VGS members at the time that environmental and sustainability issues should be addressed in the local neighbourhood – such as:
transport and cycling; aiming to make the Sid Valley self-sustaining in energy; and retaining the character of Sidmouth while developing it sensitively:
The Futures Forum report of 2015 gives information in depth.
The Transition Town movement
So, why does the VGS have to be part of a larger organisation to realise all of this?
From the Transition Town network website:
Transition is a movement that has been growing since 2005. It is about communities stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. By coming together, they are able to crowd-source solutions. They seek to nurture a caring culture, one focused on supporting each other, both as groups or as wider communities.
In practice, they are reclaiming the economy, sparking entrepreneurship, reimagining work, reskilling themselves and weaving webs of connection and support. It’s an approach that has spread now to over 50 countries, in thousands of groups: in towns, villages, cities, Universities, schools.
And from Horst Köhler, former German president and former president of the IMF:
“I see [Transition] as a wonderful combination of civic local engagement and a worldwide network. In many towns throughout the world people get together, finding community, enthusiastic about the idea of together envisioning a future model for their town that will make it worth living in.”
The Network has just updated what its about:
A local network
Sustainable Sidmouth is officially part of the Transition Town network along with other Devon and neighouring towns:
The Neighbourhood Plan is a part of how we will achieve sustainability in Sidmouth.
Food, the production and delivery of and the contamination of, is obviously a sustainability concern. How to keep soils fertile and avoid our food actually poisoning us instead of nourishing us has been a problem since man began farming. We now have the problem of ‘food miles’ to address too.
The VGS was instumental in forming and running the Farmers’ Market, and starting the Sidmouth Food Festival, it is now run by Kennaway House. ( although there has been little activity since 2018)
With a view to protecting the environment VGS is supporting Sidmouth Plastic Warriors in their campaign to reduce plastic use in Sidmouth.
Transition towns in the news
These groups are very active across a wide range of issues – as shown in these news pieces on the VGS website:
Transition Towns on the Futures Forum Blog
There are lots of stories and issues connected to the Transition Town movement featured on the FFVGS blog:
July 2017: Transition towns and buying local
Jan 2017: Transitioning to a new economy
May 2014: Michael Shuman and economic localisation: “Those counties with the highest density of local and small business were those that actually had the highest level of per capita income growth and were doing the best job of reducing poverty.”
July 2013: Participatory Budgeting in East Devon