Help shape Steyning’s future in environment group’s new green initiative

A survey is being launched this week in Steyning which organisers hope will shape the future for years to come.

A climate strike was held in Steyning last autumn SUS-201006-160704001
A climate strike was held in Steyning last autumn SUS-201006-160704001

The survey has been designed by environment group, Greening Steyning, and it asks people how their priorities have changed during lockdown, and to think creatively about what they want their local community to look like a decade from now.

It is designed to rekindle the passion and momentum created during a successful ‘climate strike’ in the town last autumn which attracted more than 500 people of all ages and was the largest demonstration in Steyning for 40 years.

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Geoff Barnard, co-chair of Greening Steyning, said: “Amidst all the disruption and uncertainty created by the coronavirus, many of us have had time to reflect on what really matters to us, and appreciate even more our local environment and the community we’re in.

“As we begin to emerge from lockdown, we want to seize this opportunity to create the future we want, rather than going back to business as usual.”

The survey is aimed at everyone in Steyning, Bramber and Upper Beeding. It is the first step in an ambitious new initiative which organisers are calling ‘The 2030 Project’.

Paul Hannam, co-chair of Greening Steyning, said: “The challenge we’re setting is ambitious.

“How can we make ours one of the greenest, healthiest and most sustainable communities in the UK?”

Greening Steyning realised they could not tackle this alone. The original plan was to invite representatives from all sectors of the community to a joint meeting in March to map out a vision for 2030.

Local schools, Parish Councils, churches, businesses, and other clubs and societies all agreed to take part. When the Covid-19 crisis struck, this had to be postponed.

Three months on, with the likelihood of public meetings still months away, Greening Steyning is relaunching the process with an online survey.

It covers a broad range of issues: transport, energy, housing, shopping, the local economy, and our natural environment. People will be asked to rank different suggestions on how the future might look like by 2030, and also add ideas of their own.

Geoff said: “The survey results will give Steyning some positive, shared goals to aim for in future.These will set the agenda for subsequent discussion on how we can work together to achieve them.

“It’s a massive challenge, but with the climate and ecological emergencies staring us in the face, we feel there’s no time to lose in taking decisive action to get things moving.”

To accompany the survey, Greening Steyning is encouraging families to share their personal ‘lockdown stories’ and hopes for the future. They can do this by submitting photos, videos, poems and other contributions via the Greening Steyning website, or with Instagram using the hashtags #steyning2030, #bramber2030 or #upperbeeding2030.

More details on the survey and the 2030 Project can be found on the Greening Steyning website: www.greeningsteying.org

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