Woking Local Action 21 held their first community conference on sustainability on Saturday 14 March in the H G Wells centre. The conference, entitled, Our Woking, Our World, brought together over 80 delegates from community groups as diverse as scouts groups, village clubs and residents associations as well as representatives from schools and five local councillors. The event was opened by the mayor, and speakers from Sustainable Haringey, Embercombe and London 21 described actions that other communities were already taking to develop local responses to climate change. Ray Morgan spoke to endorse Local Action 21’s community engagement programme.
Discussion groups were held on a wide range of topics, including Making Sustainability Fun and Local Food Growing, as well as neighbourhood groups. Each group has undertaken to meet together in the future to develop plans further.
Eileen Martin, Secretary of Knaphill Residents’ Association commented: “Stimulating speakers, interesting news of projects in other parts of the country; great opportunity to share ideas. Good to meet individuals and organizations who are inspired to do more to protect our local environments, and by our small actions, the wider world we live in. For Woking there are many initiatives and plans to get more people involved in local communities; Knaphill Residents’ Association is keen to work within our village on these community projects.”
Louise Emberson from the Lightbox said “I thoroughly enjoyed the event. It was encouraging to see such a large number of enthusiastic people who are willing to give up their spare time to make changes that will benefit everyone. I hope many of the ideas suggested will be put into action. “
Bill and Liz O’Dell, who also attended, said “Very interesting day and encouraging to see what LA21 is doing. Lots more communication needed to get the message out to the wider public and to get them to take action. It is also good that WBC are so supportive of the project, and we all look forward to their wider initiatives in unison with our more local ones.”
Hilary Griffiths, of Local Action 21 said, “ We plan to follow up this conference with continuing discussions with local neighbourhood initiatives and are planning a fortnight of events in early December in conjunction with the Copenhagen global discussions on climate change, to emphasize that action needs to be taken at all levels. We are hoping that community groups around the borough will join us to make this fortnight a resounding success.”
Woking residents, businesses and community groups can help build on this initiative, to make our town a true beacon of sustainability. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to become involved.
See here for discussion notes from the conference.