Sustainable development can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability is a very broad concept that encompasses environmental, social and economic issues.
The Government has produced a comprehensive sustainable development strategy 'Securing the Future' setting out its agenda for the future. The Strategy provides a framework of five principles that can be used to assess the sustainability of policy:
- Living Within Environmental Limits
- Ensuring a strong Healthy and Just Society
- Achieving a Sustainable Economy
- Promoting Good Governance
- Using Sound Science Responsibly
Further details on these principles are available within the Strategy which can be downloaded from the Sustainable Development Unit's website.
Cotswold District Council recognises its responsibilities to improve the sustainability of its operations and service decisions. The Council is currently reviewing its approach to sustainability to integrate these principles across the Authority.
Energy use and Recycling
There are several Farmers’ Markets in the Cotswolds, where you can buy food direct from the grower/producer, so the food is really fresh and without preservatives. Prices are often less than in the supermarket and there is a wider choice of varieties. Buying from Farmers’ Markets supports small, local producers and reduces the number of miles that food travels around the world before it is consumed.
This means that less packaging is needed, so there is less rubbish to be disposed of. Less fuel is needed for transport, so use of fossil fuels, which produce pollution, is reduced. By eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, we stand a better chance of avoiding heart disease and some cancers, according to government reports.
Local Farmers’ Markets:
Cirencester: second and fourth Saturdays every month in the Market Place, 9:00am to 1:00pm.
- Contact: Simon Smith
- Telephone: 01453 834 777
Tetbury: First Friday every month in Tetbury Town House, 9:00am to 1:00pm.
- Contact: Evelyn Parsons
- Telephone: 01666 825 267
Stow-on-the-Wold: Second Thursday every month in the Market Square, 9:00am to 2:00pm.
- Contact: Clare Gerbrands
- Telephone: 01453 758 060
Bourton-on-the-Water: Fourth Sunday every month at Country Wide Stores, 9:30am to 1:00pm.
- Contact: Jeremy Benson
- Telephone: 01451 844 134.
Many farmers in poorer countries have to contend with fluctuating prices that may not even cover what it takes to produce their crops of tea, coffee, chocolate, bananas etc. By buying products carrying the Fairtrade logo, you are paying a fair price and so helping these farmers. Fairtrade producers are guaranteed the security of long-term contracts, minimum health and safety conditions and support towards education and training opportunities.
For more information see:
Many people buy organic produce because they prefer the taste or don't like the idea of artificial chemical pesticides and fertilisers being used in large quantities. Other people consider that organic farming ensures higher standards of animal welfare and want to avoid eating animals that have been routinely treated with drugs and antibiotics. The Soil Association is the main body for organic standards and their trademark can be found on a number of organic products.
A large amount of organic produce is now imported. Consumers concerned about the environmental impact of what they eat need to weigh up if it's better to eat organic produce that has travelled thousands of miles by air, or non-organic produce that is grown closer to home. Unfortunately there is no easy solution to this problem and consumers will need to consider each purchase on its merits.
Have you ever noticed how many cars on our roads have only one person in them? With Gloucestershire’s car share scheme, we now all have the chance of sharing a lift, saving time and money, enjoying a chat on the way to work and making a real contribution to reducing congestion and pollution.
Car sharing in Gloucestershire
'Carsharegloucestershire' is a free service linking drivers and passengers to share regular or occasional car journeys. You can car share to work, to the shops, to medical or other appointments or for leisure trips and you don’t have to own a computer or a car to take part. All you have to do is log onto the Car Share Gloucestershire website or phone the call centre on 0870 111 199 (national call rate). You will then be given more details and instructions on how to register.
Cotswold District Council has produced six cycle route maps, which are available free of charge from libraries, tourist information centres, village halls and council offices. They are also available on this website. They give detailed information and directions, including refreshment stops and approximate timings. For more information, see related articles below.
For more information on cycling and sustainable transport in the UK see:
Bus timetables can be obtained from the Cotswolds AONB Bus Timetable page.
Train timetables are available from the Network Rail website.
For information on the Dial-a-Ride scheme and ambulance car service contact:
- Cotswold Council for Voluntary Services
- Telephone: 01285 658 802
The Council works closely with Vision 21, which is Gloucestershire’s Agenda 21 initiative. It is an organised network of individuals and organisations working in partnership to promote a sustainable Gloucestershire aiming to give everyone in the county the chance to take an active role in building a better future. By tackling issues here in Gloucestershire we can start to have an effect on the even larger global problems.
Vision 21 aims to involve all organisations working with sustainability in Gloucestershire so enabling a cohesive, co-operative effort, which furthers shared goals.
For more details visit:
Gloucestershire Sustainability Officers Group
Cotswold District Council is a member of the county group, which meets regularly and works with Vision 21 to promote sustainable development. The group also sits on the Gloucestershire Round Table for Sustainability, which reports to regional and national government.
For more information visit:
Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1PX
Telephone: 01285 623 428