Blog authored by Steve Hoey, NCLTN trustee and co-director of Leeds Community Homes
Apparently Stoke-on-Trent is the "Paris of the Potteries"; when I went to the CTRLshift Emergency Summit for Change on Friday 10th May the 100 of so attendees were certainly cosmopolitan and the weather was more or less French!
It was encouraging to see so many people from diverse backgrounds there with concerns about climate, politics, the environment and inequality. People were there for work but also talking about personal interests around community growing, affordable housing, woodland management and much more.
One of the messages was : "Individuals, organisations and networks across the UK are already creating a future that’s more inclusive, collaborative, and aims to benefit everyone. We share many core values but what we lack is voice and coordination. We are too often fragmented within our own silos." So it was good to go as a trustee of NCLTN, one of the partners of the event, and as a representative of the Community led Housing sector, to help glue that fragmentation and strengthen bridges between movements.
Another message of the summit, "We are an ecosystem of many parts working to reform the system and build practical alternatives. Our aim is to shift political, economic and cultural power away from the status quo. Our purpose is for UK communities to be able to create our futures together." is also in harmony with the core vision of NCLTN, to see a community land trust in every community, and the core value of challenging the status quo in housing where we see that the system is not working.
My session on CLTs went down well, with questions about how to achieve community led housing outcomes and lots of personal reflections from participants. I touched on environmental sustainability in design and building, wildlife on sites, energy, flood risk and other topics. There seems to be a dearth of CLH in Staffordshire, so maybe some of the attendees will even go away inspired to explore starting CLTs themselves.
I enjoyed the event and hope that the links and relationships between people in networks will continue to strengthen, and that we will all be able to work together to avert catastrophe and aim towards a more cooperative, equitable future.