Otley 2030 - Review of 2021
At the start of 2021, Otley 2030 set out an ambitious “engagement and development programme that will lay a solid foundation of community capacity building and leadership for the acceleration of a just transition to a net-zero, inclusive and sustainable town in 2030.”
To say 2021 was an unusual and uniquely challenging year to carry out such a programme would be an understatement, but I believe the Interim Committee have gone above and beyond to deliver more than was set out in the original plan.
Our work on the East of Otley campaign raised over £8000 for specialist consultations and ultimately helped lead to approximately 1000 objections to a plan that, if implemented, would be devastating to Otley’s plans to become a sustainable, net-zero town.
The Festival of Kindness was an undoubted success, bringing in well over 500 attendees, speakers of international note, and leaving a legacy for the town through the formation of a Doughnut Economics Group. The Woolpack Studios also picked up the baton to start a bi-monthly youth concert at the Otley Social Club. An Access Group, compromising a number of disabled Otley residents, an Otley councillor and a member of Otley 2030 was also inaugurated.
Our continued involvement with the Holiday Fruit and Veg box scheme is a source of pride for all involved with Otley 2030, but also sadness and frustration, as this should not be necessary in a prosperous country like the UK. We look forward to working on solutions so that we can live in a town where nobody struggles to access fresh food during school holidays.
Beyond the town’s borders we continue to forge ever stronger links with key organisations, such as Climate Action Leeds and the University of Leeds. The former have allocated us £20k per year over the next three years to help us pay Otley 2030 staffing costs. The latter provides us with access to talented Masters students to work with us on an alternative exemplar development vision for the East of Otley, as well as helping us draw the Otley Doughnut Economics portrait.
In the background, we have been working hard to establish a sustainable, resilient structure for Otley 2030, by putting in place key policies and by creating an accessible website, as well as employing a Community Development Lead and Communications and Engagement Lead on a freelance basis. Two local companies have provisionally offered us space for a permanent Climate Action Hub.
As you will see from the attached document, this barely scratches the surface of our activity this year. We look forward to continuing this work in 2022 and involving the whole community on this exciting journey.
Andrew Howarth – Community Development Lead