The ‘Art’ of embedding sustainability… Leslie Watson, Director
DEFRA mandate for SSW to: Support LAs to embed sustainability into Sustainable Community Strategies, Local Area Agreements and more widely through LSPs
Good practice tip No. 1 Adopt a clear, and credible definition of a ‘Sustainable Community’
A sustainable community is healthy, socially just, productive, resilient and living within environmental limits Typical ingredients of sustainable communities: A low carbon, resource efficient approach to service delivery A, low carbon economy which meets local job needs Sustainably constructed/regenerated affordable housing Locally-generated micro renewables/Combined Heat & Power Local sourcing of goods and services A preventative approach to health, well-being and social care Green space networks for well-being, biodiversity & food
Good practice tip No. 2 Do some ‘sustainability matchmaking’ between the local agenda and regional and national SD agendas
National Context The five national sustainable development principles & priorities Securing the Future: The UK Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy (March 2005) Ensuring a Strong, Healthy and Just Society • Sustainable consumption & production • Climate Change and Energy • Natural Resources Protection & • Environmental Enhancement • Sustainable Communities Living Within Environmental Limits Achieving a Sustainable Economy Promoting Good Governance Using Sound Science Responsibly
Updated Regional Sustainable Development Framework (RSDF): the Sustainability Shaper MISSION STATEMENT: People in the South West of England choose to live, work and prosper within environmental limits, pursuing justice and well-being and valuing diversity & distinctiveness
LGA Climate Change Commission • Climate change must be at the heart of every local area’s ambitions • Climate change needs to be an urgent priority for all council leaders and senior executives • Tackling climate change should be mainstreamed across council’s roles, operations and activities C
South West Sustainability challenges • Manage a growing and ageing population in the most sustainable way • Provide more affordable, sustainably sited and constructed housing • Reduce the need to travel/distances travelled (and associated CO2 ) to access goods and services by residents and visitors • Sustainably manage our natural and cultural resources whilst adapting to climate change Investment in sustainability leadership, learning, skills and innovation = Paramount for delivery C
Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS)‘Sustainability principles’: • Stabilise and reduce the region’s eco-footprint • Reduce greenhouse gases eg via carbon neutral developments • Protect & enhance natural resources eg via developments that • respect landscapes and ecological thresholds • Promote developments that support sustainable communities eg. by • Making affordable housing available for all residents • Providing networks of accessible quality green spaces
Regional Economic Strategy (RES) The RES’s statement of intent: “South West England will demonstrate that economic growth can be secured within environmental limits to bring prosperity to the region.”
Good practice tip No. 3 Comprehensively measure up against sustainability principles
Sustainability & Community Strategies Securing the Future says the Government’s aim is to: ‘Create sustainable communities that embody the principles of sustainable development at a local level’ The challenge is to turn Community Strategies into Sustainable Community Strategies which develop a stronger focus on integrating social, economic and environmental issues and in tackling the area’s longer-term and global impacts. A shared Agenda, a share of the action, DEFRA 2006
Sustainability & Local Area Agreements • The DEFRA ‘ask’: • Climate Change to feature in all LAAs • Assessed for sustainability The primary objective of an LAA is to deliver genuinely sustainable communities LAAs have great potential to help tackle some of the key long-term challenges which must be addressed if we are to realise genuinely sustainable communities DCLG/ODPM
Good practice tip No. 4 Integration, Integration, Integration...
REDUCE HIGH CARBON TRAVELUse, promote and plan for low carbon access/travel eg walking & cycling, home-working, mobile services, ICT/video-conferencing, online facilities, local multi-service centres, demand-responsive public transport and alternative fuels
Good practice tip No. 5 Nurture resilient localism
The Sustainable Communities Act Strengthening the role of communities to promote genuine sustainability?
HELP EVERYONE TO JOIN IN PUBLIC DECISION-MAKINGSupport wider, more informed participation in public and community decision-making to foster citizenship and involve people in the solutions to local and global challenges
Good practice tip No. 6 Lead by example!
Sustainability & Local Strategic Partnerships Securing the Future says: ‘Local authorities and their partners, through LSPs, are pivotal to delivering sustainable communities. Making the vision of sustainable communities a reality at the local level means … supporting strong local leadership and developing the right skills and knowledge’
Cornwall’s NHS Food Project • 5 NHS trusts procure food locally • Introduced local fish, milk, cheese, eggs etc. • Cornish Food Production Unit to provide an in-county facility • Benefits: • More resilient local economy and communities • Reduced food miles / C02 emissions • Improved health and well-being • Stronger sense of place
Good practice tip No. 7 Support people to learn and take some risks • remember, no one has the full sustainability answer book!
Good practice tip No. 8 Celebrate sustainability benefits with your community
ENHANCE LOCAL DISTINCTIVENESS & DIVERSITY INCLUDING BIODIVERSITY Protect and enhance our natural environment & biodiversity and culture & heritage and celebrate diversity and distinctiveness