25 Sep 2009
A Detailed Analysis of Somerset County Council’s Transition Resolution
Somerset County Council was the first UK local authority to pass a resolution in support of Transition Initiatives across Somerset in July last year. The motion was pushed through by what was largely a LibDem council, since when, a few months ago, following a local election, the Council has gone largely Conservative. Transition Training also ran a training day with Councillors. So what has happened since? Has the resolution been sidelined by the new administration? How deeply does awareness of Transition run? What role has Transition Somerset, a coalition of local initiatives, played? Niamh McDonald, in her MSc dissertation at University College London has set out to answer those questions.
Her dissertation, “The Role of Transition Initiatives in local authority responsiveness to Peak Oil: a case study of Somerset County Council” is an excellent piece of research which sets out to answer those questions. She sets out to analyse actual and perceived barriers to successful implementation of the resolution and the role that Transition initiatives have played, both in bringing the resolution about, and subsequently. She concludes that Transition initiatives themselves played no significant role in the passing of the resolution, but have played a major role in the implementation and progression of the resolution. Although there is little to show from it so far, she concludes, it lays excellent foundations for deep systematic change within the Authority. Niamh has very kindly given me permission to post her dissertation here for your perusal. It is a very valuable addition to the Transition literature. You can download the pdf. here.