South Hams District Council took an active role in the creation of the Totnes & District Local Economic Blueprint, so I sat down with Richard Sheard, Chief Executive Officer at SHDC and began by asking him why he thought the Blueprint matters.
You can download the Blueprint here, and see the first review of it here. Have a good Easter.
Today sees the publication of what may well turn out to be one of the most important documents yet produced by a Transition initiative. Over the next few weeks we will be returning to it, to hear a range of perspectives on it, and hope it will generate debate and discussion. The document is the ‘Totnes & District Local Economic Blueprint‘, and you can download it for free here. The Blueprint is the first attempt that I am aware of to map in detail a local economy and to put a value on the potential benefits of an increased degree of localisation. If you like, it identifies “the size of the prize” of Transition.
Here Fiona Ward of the REconomy Project introduces the Blueprint:
Today’s post is really a warm-up for tomorrow’s. Tomorrow morning, Transition Network’s REconomy Project will be publishing the first of 3 ‘Local Economic Blueprints’, for Totnes and District (those of Hereford and Brixton are in the pipeline). I think it is one of the most important pieces of work that has yet to emerge from a Transition initiative, a real leap forward in terms of arguing the case for more local and more resilient economies. For now, to give you a taste, here is the foreword I wrote that didn’t get used in the end, but which captures why I think it matters:
“Something remarkable is happening in Totnes. Something that is starting to be noticed elsewhere, something that’s a vitally needed story in communities up and down the country. Greg Barker MP, former Minister for Communities and Local Government, noticed it recently when he told Parliament “what Totnes does today, the rest of the country will do tomorrow”. The Western Morning News noticed it when they ran a lead editorial called “Hippy town comes of age”. Chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall noticed it recently when he spoke of Totnes “blazing a trail for those who are interested in finding new heart in their community”.
A couple of weeks ago I spoke at TedxExeter, a fantastic occasion with many great speakers (have a look at their website as more and more of the films from the day go online). I spoke for the first time in detail about Totnes as a case study, and what, after 6 years, we can draw from the experience of Transition Town Totnes. I hope you enjoy it.