TTK understands that to really make a difference and ensure our projects are mainstreamed, we need a positive and productive relationship with our local council. Luckily, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (RBK) currently has a dedicated and very supportive Climate Change and Sustainable Travel department. Working with them, and with an increasingly wide range of officers and Councillors across the organisation, will be crucial as we seek to create and implement an Energy Descent Action Plan for Kingston.
TTK is well represented in Kingston Environment Group, a sub-group of Kingston Strategic Partnership, where a range of local environmental groups meet with Council officers to discuss issues of mutual interest and to encourage and support Kingston Council in its commitment to sustainability.
The Council Group of TTK first met in late 2008 to discuss how TTK's work overlapped with the Council's. Since then we have made solid contacts and gained a much better understanding about how the Council works on planning and environmental issues.
An early action was to launch a petition urging the Council to opt in to the Sustainable Communities Act, which has enabled local communities to make suggestions, ultimately to be considered by Parliament, on ways in which local councils and communities could see more power and funding streams shifted towards their control. The Council was pleased to opt in and has since called for suggestions, which have been submitted to a selection panel to start the next stage of the process.
Much of our activity has centred on ensuring that we are well informed on issues that the Council is consulting on, and coordinating a TTK response where relevant. Our meeting on the Core Strategy, the most important planning policy document for the next ten years, attracted over 20 members, a Councillor and the lead officer for the area, who explained how vital our comments had been. Previous policies to which TTK has contributed include the Energy Strategy and the South London Waste Plan. In each case we were able to see the impact that our comments had made for ourselves when later drafts were published.
We are taking the lead in following up controversial issues in depth and giving Kingston people the opportunity to make their own minds up. To this end we have organised a trip to an Energy from Waste plant, as this technology is being considered for Kingston in the South London Waste Plan. This will tie into a debate organised by a TTK member on the issue of waste to energy, featuring government energy advisor and local resident Brian Mark. See the events page for more details!
Can you help ensure that TTK is a well-informed and influential organisation? The Council Group meets infrequently (usually around consultation responses) and you don't need any prior knowledge, just an interest in having your say. For any more information, contact Council Group coordinator Julie Middleditch
Regular transition events
Kingston Orchard Working Party
Kingston Orchard Project runs working parties every Sunday 2-4pm at Knollmead Allotments Tolworth, KT5 9QP
Permaculture at Knollmead
Some Sunday afternoons. Contact Simone at email@example.com or on 07737 277 470 for info and dates
From the Ground Up
Weekly food scheme bringing local, affordable, organic fresh food to the RBK. Venues in both Kingston and Surbiton.
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