Last week, Somerset County Council voted unanimously to endorse a motion that they become the UK’s first ‘Transition Local Authority’ reported the Transition Culture blog yesterday
What this means is that SCC will take a more integrated approach to its planning processes, putting peak oil, sustainable communities and climate change at the heart of its forward planning, which would/should/will include its construction and maintenance procurement and management.
Is this the start of local authorities adopting a wider and longer term view of sustainability? It will be very interesting now to see the PQQ (preliminary qualification questionnaire) issues the county ask of its bidders, the selection criteria used in procurement and the performance indicators. One big impact should be the real focus on local labour, local materials and construction miles.
Just as the built environment sector is (slowly) getting to grips with answering basic environmental questions with in bidding documents, this may not only move the goal posts but put them on a different playing field. Try addressing a PQQ question along the lines “What steps have you taken to address peak oil”
At last we may have some real effort in addressing the impact we in the built environment have on the environment and climate change.
As the Transition Culture blog states: Something Wonderful Just Happened in Somerset
That this Council
- Acknowledges the work done by communities in Somerset on Transition Towns and that the independence of the Transition Movement is key to its grass roots appeal.
- As demonstrated in its Climate Change Strategy, fully endorses the Transition Town Movement and subscribes to the principles and ethos of the organisation’s goals to reduce dependence on fuel oil and create more sustainable communities.
- Commits to providing support and assistance to all towns in Somerset that wish to join this initiative to help them achieve the goals they set for themselves as local communities, as demonstrated under the ‘Community Initiatives’ section of the Climate Change Strategy.
- Therefore, requests the Scrutiny and Executive Committees to consider through the council’s strategic planning process; allocating funds to assist in achieving the outcomes of the Transition Towns Movement in Somerset and requiring all directorates to engage with and provide support for Transition Initiatives in Somerset
Through the work outlined above, seeks to become the first Transition Authority in the UK. Agrees to undertake a review of its budgets and services to achieve a reduction in dependence on fuel oil and produce an energy descent action plan in line with the principles of the Transition Initiative.