Monday, 29 March 2010

Nursery Farm Residents Association

Attended a good meeting of the Nursery Farm Residents Association today .  A well-run, positive and engaging meeting focussing on the needs and aspirations of a social housing location in Ashby.  Definitely a strong sense of purpose and community and a desire to engage with the things that make anywhere a pleasant place to be.  One lady commented that her 15 year old son had turned half of her garden to vegetable patches and was growing a variety of produce: that is just fantastic.  Given our youth a project like that has got to be a step in the right direction.  Yes there might be some associated vandalism, but if we mitigate that  risk and prepare for the eventuality, we can deal with it and move on.
More please NFRA!

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Pace is Picking Up....

Well it's the end of another busy week. We've not even begun publicity in earnest and already have 90 fans on Facebook and 23 followers on Twitter, so the appetite and interest is clearly there.
The start of next week sees Gemma joining us to head up PR and awareness and to work with Socius on wider marketing.  This should see a surge in interest and we're going to have to develop some key messages to enable everyone to get their heads around the concept of this thing.
We also have our first proper meeting with Dr Andrew Reeves of De Montfort University to discuss how we should benchmark and monitor progress - he'll also be able to give a good steer on ways to make the whole initiative more successful.

Carl Benfield

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Meeting with Ashby Town Partnership

A good meeting this evening with Ashby Town Partnership - a joint committee of townspeople, businesses and council.
The body seemed very responsive to the 2020 concept and slightly surprised we were not asking for money yet!   I hope this forum will further enable the message to get out to the community, although there is much to do before launch on 15 April.
One of the things we were reminded of by Tim Phillips of Holy Trinity Church, was the need for vision as a community.  I believe Ashby 2020 will fit well into the wider vision for the town and indeed add much impetus to its realisation.

Carl Benfield

Monday, 8 March 2010

Meeting at the Leicestershire Rural Community Council

An informative meeting at the Leicestershire RCC last Thursday.  Met with Dr Andrew Reeves from De Montfort University engaged with teh Community Climate Change project.  Adnrew will be spending 15-20 days of consultancy time each year for two years helping with Ashby 2020.
A number of possible support and referenece organisations including the Leicestershire Rural Partnership and  Community Buildings. and the Ullesthorpe Transition project.
We would encourage everyone reading this to log onto BLIMP to help track broadband availability in communities.

Carl Benfield

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Presentation at the Ashby, Measham and Moira Community Forum

We were able to present Ashby 2020 to the Ashby Measham and Moira (AMM) Community Forum yesterday.    This is a joint council/residents event to allow local issues to be aired.  Very exciting to see £20k of funding getting spent on local worthy projects including Junction 11, The Hub, Oakthorpe Play Area and Hospice Hope.
The 2020 concept seemed to be well received with a couple of good questions being raised.

Meeting with Ashby Civic Society

A good meeting last night with the Ashby Civic Society (ASC).  Clearly their main "theme" of interest will  be the built environment, and their expertise will be most useful in addressing the question "what does sustainable development mean?"
Thanks to the ASC for the warm reception and lively debate.

Carl Benfield

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Meeting with Transition Town Network

An interesting and valuable meeting this morning with Graham Truscott to discuss how the Ashby 2020 vision links with that of the Transition Town Movement.  Graham is clearly passionate about moving from an economy reliant on hydrocarbons, and is extremely articulate in his presentation of the case.  We look forward to seeing more of him as Ashby 2020 develops and would particularly like to do a lecture/seminar series with him aimed at different elements of the community.  However with his impressive business background, I think small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) could benefit hugely from his experience.

Carl Benfield