17 Feb 2021
Holywood Transition Town (HTT), Derry City & Strabane District Council (DCSDC), Holywood Shared Town (HST), and the Acorn Fund have joined forces to create a close relationship with local communities, Councils and Community Planning Partners.
Through the support of the Foundations Civic Innovation programme which supports initiatives putting people at the centre of decision-making in Northern Ireland. This collaboration will focus on the local food chain and generate a local response to climate change and biodiversity loss.
The Growing Food, Growing Communitiy project involves a three-stage process. 20 individuals will be randomly selected and given the task to craft the questions about our food that need to be addressed. Using these questions a ‘community meeting’ of up to 200 people will be held in both Holywood and Derry. A balance of age, gender and socio-economic backgrounds will ensure a range of opinions and views are included. From this discussion a Food Plan will be created, containing the objectives, actions and deadlines for the change the community has identified in relation to food and biodiversity loss.
The third and final stage is to develop a response group who are best placed to implement this plan e.g. local government, community planning departments, community organisations. The response group will have made a commitment to fulfill the Food Plan acting as the connecting link and reporting back to the community every 6 months with an update resulting in a meaningful relationship between local councils and planning bodies.
This project has a dual purpose of deepening democracy and creating a more resilient community to the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss within their food system.
But most importantly Growing Food, Growing Community Project will enable communities to make a policy change, establishing a new local democracy process placing local communities in the lead determining their own future.
John Woods of Holywood Transition Town said “We in Holywood are delighted to be partnering with Derry City and Strabane District Council on this project. Our organisations and areas are very different but in developing this new approach together, we can learn from each other and develop a robust process that genuinely empowers our communities.”