Case Study: Mark Kidd, Chair of Parish Council, talks about Sustainability & Staveley

Case Study: Sustainability & Staveley

In May 2021 SENS interviewed Mark Kidd, Chair of Staveley with Ings Parish Council about sustainability and Staveley. His responses are below:

The Parish Council is working on a 10 year Community Plan for Staveley with Ings – how will this help to ‘future proof’ Staveley against climate change?

The Community plan is now nearly ready to present to the community. Thank you if you have contributed to one of the surveys or attended a ‘Conversation’ event. What is encouraging, is that as the plan has come together, a major strategic area within it is Nature and the Environment. This includes Climate Change and its potential effects on our local area. I think this is a reflection of just how many environmentally aware people we have living and working within the Parish. The plan has a 10-15 year time frame so the actions in it have to take the longer-term (future aware) into account. The world and the climate could be very different in 15 years.

The Parish Council has recently run a ‘Greening Initiative’ to encourage Staveley residents to take action to lower our community’s carbon footprint. What do you think are the greatest local priorities for Staveley, and any thoughts on how we deliver on them?

I think the greening campaign we have run in Staveley and Ings has been a success. We have engaged dozens of households both in person and through our meetings and leaflets to take part in committing to reducing their carbon footprint. It goes to show that small actions can add up when applied across the community.

I think the biggest priority environment wise for Staveley with Ings Parish is making homes and business more energy efficient. Improved insulation, better heating systems, double glazing etc. can significantly save carbon emissions. The technology is established and often there are grants available for installation. If everyone in the area upgraded their buildings the carbon saved would be huge. It would also save people money. I think initiatives that advise people on what measures would work for them are worthwhile along with links and signposting people to sources of grants or funding.

What are the main challenges for Staveley residents & businesses and the Parish Council to try and lower our community’s carbon footprint?

The main challenge is probably attitudes. Some people are still sceptical of climate change and the need to address carbon emissions. Some people don’t care either way. There is also the despair some feel that they are powerless to do anything when so many around them make no effort. However, schemes like the greening campaign can show that just little actions (like switching off the TV at the mains instead of leaving on standby for example,) can really add up across a community.

Are there any particular ‘green initiatives’ in Staveley that the Parish Council are particularly proud of?

The allotments. Staveley now has a successful set of allotments. It allows local people to enjoy growing their own food with all the carbon saving and health-related benefits that it brings. I particularly like the way the allotment holders have worked with nature and blended their growing plots with wilder areas for wildlife. An excellent example of humans and nature in harmony.

Are there any particular ‘green’ initiatives that the Parish Council is keen to see delivered?

We have many ideas coming through in the Community plan. How we transport ourselves around the area (by bike, train, bus etc) is going to be a significant area to look at. This may mean new walking routes, cycleways, better road crossings and possibly, improvements in the railway infrastructure.

Any other thoughts, views, opinions about Staveley and a ‘sustainable’ future?

I think we have strong green credentials in Staveley with Ings. We have a lot of active people who are concerned about the environment willing to lead and get involved with the issues. SENS is the perfect example of this. We also communicate well between the different groups, businesses and organisations in our Parish and this gives me great hope for actually achieving some of the ambitions we have for our Community.