The New Mills Transition Reading Group meets monthly in someone’s home to discuss a book or, occasionally, to watch a film/video or host a speaker. Last month we discussed Derbyshire County Council’s Carbon Reduction Manifesto which was published in May 2019.

There was a lively discussion critiquing the Manifesto –

Overall it was seen as aspirational but vague, lacking in ambition and not something that the public could use to hold the Council to account on. Most points in the manifesto triggered many questions, needed further elaboration, measurement, targets, auditing, policies, deadlines, discussion of investment etc. It does state that targets would follow in 6 months, this  is nearly up, so we would welcome sight of these. Issues not covered in the manifesto include any plans to create a circular economy, plans to mitigate against the consequences of climate change (already with us and going to get worse), and a notable absence of discussion of agriculture and forestry which seemed strange given the large rural areas in the county. The County Council is in a prime position to provide leadership and act as a facilitator and we hope that this first draft of the manifesto will be followed by further commitments for carbon reduction.

The discussion looked at the resources in the County and some of the challenges and possibilities – around renewable energy, newbuild and retrofitting homes, heating and transport. A member of the group is to write a summary to submit as a response.

There is no meeting in December, instead members are invited to the solstice celebration at The Torrs on 19th December from 5-9pm. Meetings have been set for 2020 – Mondays January 20 and February 17.