How do we invest in the sustainability of our communities in an age of austerity? How do we inspire and mobilise people to think as global citizens given such divisive political discourse? Where should we look for environmental leadership as government immerses itself in Brexit negotiations and councils struggle to meet the basic needs of their communities?Graham Duxbury, March 2017
The achievements of the 12 projects funded through the Big Lottery Fund’s Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) programme demonstrate that remarkable things can happen when local organisations are given the funds, the support and the freedom to drive change in their area. We know that, in a world buffeted by global economic forces and increasingly feeling the impacts of climate change those communities that can generate their own power, grow their own food and develop more circular economies will be more resilient to future shocks. However, we continue to find it difficult to make this innovation mainstream and to escape its reliance on sporadic, short-term funding.
This essay looks at what we can learn from CLS and how we can use that learning to influence the policy and practice of those in a position to promote and sustain local environmental action.