Facing up to the current recession and all its pitfalls may be one challenge, but surviving the future is far more important – for Marlborough and the world.
That is the graphic message being sent out to all Marlborough residents — together with an invitation to attend a major public meeting at the town hall on Monday.
It’s aim is to set up the structure for the market town to follow in the footsteps of Totnes, Ludlow, Scarborough, Perth and communities round the world by turning Marlborough into a transition town.
Councillor Richard Pitts (pictured) has been charged by the Mayor, Alexander Kirk Wilson, to work with the local Climate Pledge Group and other organisations for Marlborough to make the leap forward in finding positive ways to deal with life on the planet.
That means grappling with problems such as rapidly rising fuel and food prices, inadequate transport systems that may be restricting job and education opportunities for young people in one of the most urbanised countries on earth.
The dangers stem from the fact that by 2030 it is estimated that 92 per cent of us will be living an urban life in congested cities, which is why the future of market towns like Marlborough is so vital.
“We are extremely concerned about the rising cost of petrol and diesel, as well as electricity, oil and gas, which is used to heat our homes,” Councillor Pitts told Marlborough News Online. “We note that the government is planning to reduce carbon emissions by a colossal 50 per cent by 2025, which will mean further price rises.
“We are pleased that Wiltshire council has now come up with a community plan, which is aiming to tackle climate change over the next 15 years by creating green jobs, promoting energy efficiency, shifting to sustainable transport and improving food security at local level.”
This is why Marlborough wants to mobilise the town at all levels to hear what can be done positively by turning it into a transition town – Totnes has become the pioneering example – to survive the future.
Monday’s meeting starts at 7.30pm with the showing of extracts from the film End of Suburbia, which explores the issues to be addressed.
This will be followed by a short talk by Wiltshire’s senior climate change officer on Calculating Marlborough’s carbon footprint before discussion groups will be set up to consider subjects ranging from food sovereignty and sustainable transport to renewable energy and the three Rs – repair, re-use and recycle.
And it is hoped that current community groups such as ARK and the Marlborough Gardening Association will align themselves with the Transition Town objectives.
Then the transition hub committee, led by Dr Sam Page, will explain the opportunities that already exist to help people reduce their energy bills and ensuring that food is grown locally instead of being flown in from across the globe.
“All over Britain and around the world transition towns are forming in local communities, to help plan ahead for the end of cheap oil and to combat climate change,” said Councillor Pitts. “We want Marlborough to be there with them.”
He can be contacted on 01672 512087. There is a website were you can register your interest in contributing to the process in the plans www.transitionmarlborough.org and also a blog of the Transition Town Hub interim co-ordination team: transitiontownmarlborough.blogspot.com