Formal SlowWays support from cities, towns and villages
I just saw Dan's Tweet that the Ledbury Economic, Development & Planning Committee considered an item on July 9 recommending the Town Council formally support the SlowWays project and commit to promoting it within their town. On August 13 this Committee will again discuss SlowWays and the full council meets on October 1.
I agree with Dan that it would be very powerful if all the SlowWays city and town councils adopted statements of support throughout the entire network. It could lead to integrating SlowWays routes into local plans, expanding community involvement in refining the routes, creating partnerships with local businesses and funding for infrastructure improvements along the network.
This approach has worked very well for the San Francisco Bay Trail, a 500-mile trail I work for in California, where all 47 cities and 9 counties it passes through have adopted resolutions of support.
As a tool to promote the project, SlowWays volunteers could create and distribute model statements for cities/towns/villages to customize and adopt.
If the group thinks this is a good idea, I would be happy to help.
Hi Laura. That would be great! Yes please. It would be great to have something that we could use.
I wonder if we should start with a softer ask, a bit like in Ledbury, know that there would be potential for the deeper possibilities that you've outlined? Or do you think we should have a menu they can pick from?
As well as asking our growing Slow Ways community to follow up on this, councils that have declared climate emergency and are looking for ways to implement this could be a good way in too.
Thanks Dan, I agree a softer ask to begin with would be a good approach. I'll come up with some ideas to consider.0
Hi - I live in Ledbury & have been involved with the local Neighbourhood Development Plan so know quite a few councillors etc - anything I can do to help please let me know. Thanks Diane0
Would love to share this with my local authorities in South Wales once you’re happy with model statements etc.0
That sounds good. I would share with North Lincs council once model statements are available.-1
Thanks everyone, I'll be back in touch soon.0
Hi Diane, I'm curious if the Ledbury Economic Development & Planning Committee took action or adopted a recommendation on Slow Ways at their 13 August meeting. I don't think the minutes are posted yet, but do you know what approach they are taking? Thanks, Laura0
On the new website I think we can have something that specifically addresses this opportunity.
Maybe something a bit like https://www.climateemergency.uk/blog/list-of-councils/ but wiki based and with a map?0
For the London National Park City campaign we did this https://www.nationalparkcity.london/ward-support to visualise support.0
I think a map would be brilliant. As word gets out, it can become a kind of competition among cities/towns/villages to join the list and show up on the map. Dan, how would you like me to share my draft document for review/comment?0
Yup. Awesome stuff.
Whatever you think would be best... either:
- Share it here within a post
- Share it in a Google Doc yourself, or
- Share it with me, I can put it into a Google Doc and then we can link to that from here
I created a draft Slow Ways Municipal Toolkit for review/comment in Google Docs. The first couple of pages outline the proposed approach and the rest of the document has model statements for local agencies to use.
Please feel free to edit, comment and revise. Full disclosure: I am American so I may have used some incorrect phrasing, jargon, etc. so please correct them!
Look forward to collaborating...0
Laura - this looks great! I'd be more than happy to (when agreed) use any final version to contact some of my local councils in the South West, I have contacts with one and I know that also Totnes (as a transition town) would hopefully be keen!0
Looking really awesome Laura. Thank you for taking the time to pull it together! I've just requested editing rights.
I can think of a few small builds/edits and cultural adaptations... but it's looking great to me.
Maybe more of the the menu of options should come down into the resolutions?0
Makes sense, and a great idea, to integrate in ways noted and create/ensure council support and buy-in.
Would be handy to cross-ref a few existing examples, links and experiences.
Important to acknowledge existing infrastructure such as Core Paths networks.
E.g. John Muir Way, launched 2014, goes through 9 Scottish Local Authorities https://johnmuirway.org/about. Various ways in which council links are managed, mutual benefits identified and articulated, challenges addressed etc https://theedinburghreporter.co.uk/2018/11/council-signs-john-muir-way-declaration/
(Somewhat different to John Muir Trail, Laura!)0
Thanks Andrew and Rob.
Laura, your document has got me thinking about the nature of engagement with people on the new website.
I can imagine a core pitch on a web page and then a PDF that can be downloaded and shared with the councils/officers. On that web page we could list/map all of the supportive councils, but I'm wondering if there might be other forms of engagement too...
I've not fully formed my thinking.. but what if people could come together around a town, local authority or Slow Way to indicate their support and perhaps the beginnings of a group/forum/connection of people around it? I'm thinking maybe something very soft and manageable that local groups align (and not compete) with... something to bounce around.
I was also wondering if we should ask councils to assign someone as a Slow Ways contact?
I'm going to look at the copy properly tomorrow. Would you mind if I did a re-structure below that's based on a web page + a PDF?0
Thanks everyone. Dan, this sounds like an intriguing idea to generate localized public engagement. These groups of citizens could become the Slow Ways champions. With local connections and knowledge, the champions could promote the Slow Ways and advocate for infrastructure improvements, if needed, and help install signs/logos. A Slow Ways contact would be very helpful to get started and could be part of the declaration support request we make. Great ideas, please feel free to make any changes to the draft you'd like as this idea evolves.0
Great, thank you Laura.0
Hi Laura. Sorry for the delay. I've been thinking that maybe we need to get the website set up before we can bring this to life... just so that we can finalise the positioning and handle any interest we get from groups. Does that make sense... or do you think we should come up with a way to manage this process without the website up and running?0
Agree with Dan's thinking here. Better to have core info shaped up, and seek some Local Authority/Council insights too - 'champions advocating for infrastructure improvements' can be challenging for Council folk who are already doing their best on similar agendas.0
Yes, I also agree. Good point Rob to be mindful of council staff who are already very busy. Seems best if we can make our requests as easy on them as possible, and structuring this through the website would be more streamlined. Happy to help when the team is ready to pick this up again. Thanks!0
OK... so, let's think big.
I've just learned that there are 10,000+ local and parish councils in England alone. What if we were to write to them all (with actual physical letters!!)? We could ask them to walk their local Slow Ways, contribute to the website... and consider if new routes are needed? The letter could include Laura's toolkit and links to the website to get involved.
I wonder how much it would cost to mail 13,000 or so letters..!!??0
I like it! Sounds like an intriguing way to reach out to local Slow Ways partners.0
Snail mail ... :-)0
Still waiting for a formal response from Ledbury Council - they've told me a press release should be out this week - will share as soon as I hear. Their response may help with other councils....0
Just found this on website & have asked town clerk to let me know when press release out0
Thanks Diane. Yes, I saw that too. Do you know if the recommendation was passed? I guess it must have done if they are preparing a press release!
Rather than writing to all the councils, I've reached out to the membership bodies for local councils and clerks to see if they might be able to help or write articles.
Once the press release is out, shall I use the @SlowWaysUK Twitter to ask if there are any local councils that would like to pass a similar motion in support? If we had 2-3 examples, that would really bolster our toolkit... and it could take a few months for them to come through!0
Great idea to contact the clerks.
I was so delighted when I saw Ledbury was considering it & as you say it's unlikely that they are writing a press release to say they NOT supporting it!
I'm pretty sure they will let me know & if I don't hear anything I know who to contact - fingers crossed will get some good news this week.0
Hi Everyone. It's going to be a while still before the full website it ready, but Darren has pulled a holding site together for the project. I'm thinking that we could get a page up on the site for councils.
What do you think? Maybe just a list of councils and all the words beneath that? Or should we have a PDF download with everything in it?0
I'd def go light at the moment until the flurry has settled and infrastructure sorted - there's enough to nail just now?
Do more of a focused push on councils once website fully sorted, support info is in place - as part of the phase when volunteers are heading out to test.0
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