Your Visions

In this section you can choose to start by reading the material posted by other people, or move straight to adding your own contribution. If you've already written something, or know what you want to write, click 'Contribute!' and fill in the details.

If you'd like some ideas to get you started, click on 'Prompts and Ideas' Feel free to adapt any of the suggestions as much as you like. The 'Your Visions' section is the core of the site. I hope you'll browse through it as it expands, feeling inspired, moved, amused, stimulated - perhaps even irritated! As with a menu or a cookbook you won't like everything, but it might give you ideas about what 'ingredients' are available and what might be done with them.

 

I have a dream 2

Linked to this section of the site is also the I have a dream 2" page - a celebration of the 50th anniversary (on 28th August 2013) of Martin Luther King's powerful and moving speech. What better way to celebrate it than to add our voices and our dreams of a better world, one that we would be proud and happy for our descendants to live in?

To add your 'I have a dream..' to DreamTheFuture.org.uk - click here

 

Contributions

An index can be found at the bottom of this page - click here to view the index

Click Here to view Marion's favourite contributions to this section.

Posts are sorted in chronological order, with the newest at the top.



Change:How? A Shorter Working Week

Posted on December 7th, 2016 by Sarah Lyall

I met Marion at the Change:How? Compass Conference last month. She stole our hearts asking for dreams and so it’s great to see the wide range of dreams already on the site.

As we met at Change:How? I thought I would share the dream that I described at the Conference. Here it is, re-blogged below.

Hi, I’m Sarah – I work at the new economics foundation as a researcher.
I’m going to spend the little time that I have talking about time itself – and how we could use it differently. We need to get time on our side, for society, environment and economy.

When I was leaving university, I was sold a dream:
You’re going to get a job, work 9am to 5pm, and do that for the rest of your life.
If you’re successful you’ll work longer hours than that.
If you’re really successful, you’ll work so hard that sometimes instead of going home to bed, you’ll sleep under your desk.

Actually the first job I got was working two and a half days a week for a local charity. And I realised the dream I had been sold was complete rubbish. I found that work could be challenging and fulfilling without taking all my time. On days off – I had four and a half days each week – cycled around on my bike, exploring the city. I visited museums and went to public debates.
I learned that unpaid time is not wasted time.
And time is not money. Time is what we make of it.

These days, I work for nef – three days a week. And one of our areas of research is Time. We seek to make the case for a shorter working week for everyone, men and women, working 20 to 30 hours a week instead of 40.

In addition to the potential of more fulfilling lives for each of us personally, a shorter working week can help create a more equal society, a fairer economy, and a happier planet.

At the moment, things are out of balance, and partly because of the way that time is distributed between people. Today I want to look particularly at jobs, gender equality, the environment and the economy. Let’s take paid time first – time spent in employment.

We hear all the time from this guy that there are too many people who live without working. But what about the people who work without living? Both are problematic. There are around 2.5 million people in the UK who are unemployed. There are just over 5.7 million people working more than 45 hours a week.

A shorter working week is a way of rebalancing paid time between people who are overworked and those who haven’t got any work. I know it’s not as simple as exchanging one for another, and if we want to tackle long hours we must also tackle low pay – but in an economy that’s slowing down, we need to start sharing paid work more fairly.

We also need to think about unpaid work, done informally – mostly by women. Women are doing more of the childcare, and are also caring for frail and elderly relatives. Men must take a fairer share of this work – for their own sakes, as well as for women who want to be working. Shortening working hours could change gendered expectations about work, care and who does it.

What about the environment?
Well, we continue to push consumption well beyond environmental limits. We are burning carbon that we can’t afford to burn and destroying natural ecosystems that we depend on.

The reason we live carbon intensive lives is related to our lack of free time. We are constantly in a rush, and that shapes our consumption.
There is a whole convenience market in food and fast travel and electric appliances that do things quickly. Most of these products involve a lot of energy, carbon and waste. Shorter working hours would give us the freedom to slow down and use less carbon.

And the economy?
Consumption-fuelled growth is destroying the planet, and actually it no longer makes our lives better. The link between growth and living standards has been broken for over a decade with real incomes stagnating even during boom years. There’s a need to think differently.

Germany introduced reduced working hours as a response to the recession. In the absence of growth, staff worked a four day week and thereby managed to protect thousands of jobs. In this case working time was used as a lever to make the economy less reliant on constant economic growth.

We can see the potential for building a new economy that respects the environment, and promotes human wellbeing and fairness.
How could a change like this happen?

The Netherlands has the shortest average working hours in Europe. Dutch workers have the right to reduce their hours and there’s a legal requirement that reduced-hours workers be treated equally to full-time workers. In the UK we could introduce legislation to make it easier and more culturally acceptable for women and men, to reduce their hours.

My colleague at nef, Julia, has just begun a four month sabbatical. She’s living there, in Columbia. Such forms of flexibility should be encouraged as part of reducing working time – there’s also job sharing, school term shifts, extended care leaves, and education breaks.

And what if we began to encourage reduced hours at both ends of the age scale?
People starting out could be offered a four-day week. Older worked could have a more gradual adjustment towards retirement by, for example, reducing their hours incrementally by one hour a year.

Together we can extend the possibilities of time outside paid employment. That is a ‘goat race’ at Shoreditch city farm. If we all worked less, we could extend community gardens and farms and make more use of public spaces.

Changing the way we use time has the potential to change so much else:
How we think about the natural environment, and our relationship to it.
The extent to which we value the unpaid work that’s done in society.
Our economy and the kind of outcomes it achieves.
How we conceive of a good life and a good society.

Time is a force in all our lives, and so we should recognise it’s great potential for change.


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Releasing fear

Posted on August 19th, 2013 by Lindajoy

I recently went travelling abroad alone, for the first time, and realised that there was only one way to cope with all the possibilities, the risks, the things that might go wrong. I had to let go of fear. We all know this, we know that coming from a space of love, not fear, creates a more harmonious world. But how to do it?

I’ve studied NVC (nonviolent communication). I’ve overcome difficulties and realised that the struggle has made me stronger and richer. I told myself that fear was not an option. That if something bad happened, I would deal with it. That if I approached others with an open, loving heart, I was less likely to to be cheated attacked or whatever.

Living for a while in that state of acceptance, amazing things happened. I found myself meeting interesting people and accessing places most tourists don’t go near. Perhaps the high spot was when a very poor Moroccan woman, living on a quiet back street, invited me into her home. http://www.wildgreenhealth.com/2013/02/14/poverty-and-puke/

How would the world be if none of us was afraid of being ignored, slighted, used, hurt, cheated, misunderstood and all the other things we fear daily in our interactions with others? If we could accept ourselves, and others, just as they are and let go of needing things to be a certain way? Having had a glimpse of it, I think it would be a very beautiful world.:)


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GIVE & TAKE centres Skills & resource share centre) alternative currency credit systems for community support

Posted on August 19th, 2013 by Jackie Luckman

Your driving to the dump and a notice you see,
A give & Take Centre, Is that the place you should be?
Apparently my scrap can be put to good use?
to send it to landfill is environmental abuse?

Now ive broken wardrobes, but still good for shelves,
more things that are broken, but they could mend it themselves?
These items are old but could still have a life,
facilitating mobility, or reducing some strife?

So I took all my scrap, they said what they could use,
They offered a percentage of value, I had nothing to lose?
I could spend these tokens, on variety of things,
a collection of service, to community this brings.

I went inside and there were smiling faces,
there were mixtures of people of colour and races,
of partial impairment, and single parents too,
a drop in centre of difference, I asked what they do?

We take all these bits and we therapeutically restore,
but its not just as simple as fixing a door!
There are those of us here who cannot get employment,
or gainful occupation, for enterprising enjoyment.

We lacked the facility, cant commit to set times,
some lacked the mobility, and I thought of mine?
Would this be the place I might find something to replace,
the things in my life I could call a disgrace.

The drawers that wont open, the shelves hurt my back,
im falling over the floors for the storage I lack!
I asked they said yes, there’s help in this place,
We’ve a recyling team, that can help you with space!

If you’ll offer your service we’ll train you to fix,
scrap, health and function, in classes quite mixed!
“But its holistic vision, is a therapy centre,
on alternative, skills share, would you like to enter?”

He took me around, there was fixing and mending,
turning scrap into functional items, for auction sending,
Here I could spend the rewards that Id earnt,
value the skills that otherwise wouldnt be learnt!?

There was a social environment, lots of thought going on,
We have storage solutions, and teams going strong,
intersupportive, creative, lets now go make a change,
in the lives of some people, who lives are disarranged?

The centre developed, it did training courses for strength,
ascociation of empathy, to supportivly help you ‘go the length’
because those that teach, and those that would learn,
could self tailor themselves and help each other in turn!.

Legislation and health laws are zealously unproductive,
if they prevent such a centre for being productive.
If welfare is crumbling, and the funds are not there,
alternative community economy will give dividends to share!!?


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Who we are is a story we tell ourselves

Posted on August 19th, 2013 by Ranjit

“Who we are is a story we tell ourselves, so let’s make sure it’s a good one.”

Not long from now Earth is helped to regenerate and rebalance itself. Nature is given our full focus and food literally grows everywhere. Cities still exist, but villages dominate our social systems. Community always takes precedence over profit motives. Life feels more like a festival of astonishing creativity. We become as one and smiles are everywhere.


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Unity Is …

Posted on June 27th, 2012 by Sophie-Marie Wareham

Unity is a bird soaring over an unreachable mountain peak.
Unity feels like the stillness in a dense woodland clearing.
It’s walking into a room of strangers and seeing only friends.
It’s every country of the world in tune, humming to the same melody; the song of tranquility.
Unity is closing your eyes and falling, knowing that you’ll be caught.
Unity is many hearts beating as one.
One love, one heart, one mind, one spirit, one world, one whole united.
Unity is yoU aNd I working Together universallY.


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Dear Diary 16/06/2032

Posted on June 27th, 2012 by Sophie-Marie Wareham

16th June 2032
Dear Diary,
I woke this morning to the sound of the rain tapping on my bedroom window. I was so excited that I jumped straight out of bed; summer rain means a warm morning shower. Solar panels are alright, but it’s not the same as fresh beads of water cascading down my body, straight from the heavens.
I met up with the girls for lunch, although I wasn’t that hungry after snacking on freshly picked peas on my way to work. Those vegetable patches that line the pavements are just too irresistible.
The weather has been beautiful today, which made the afternoon even better. At work, we put down our papers as usual at 3pm and made our way to the rooftop garden for the silent minute. I still find it amazing after all these years that the whole country falls silent in contemplation and reflection at the same time, unified in a moment in time.
I visited our road’s allotment, before heading home, to pick up something tasty for tea. I’m always spoilt for choice; shall it be mixed leaf summer salad or omelet courtesy of our free range hens? I went for both!
As I lay here in bed now, I thank the Lord for this beautiful day. Memories of the world in which I spent my childhood and adolescent years still haunt me. I’m so glad that we have been given this new chance at life, a chance to start a fresh and undo the harm that we had done to our beautiful mother earth. We have repented for our sins and now live in perfect love and perfect trust with one another, unified in the name of peace and humanity.
I drift off into slumber now, as the wind turbines outside my window gently hum me to sleep. Goodnight world and thank you.


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A Letter from the Future by Layne Gibson

Posted on June 16th, 2012 by Marion

Dear Layne,

We thank you for your courage and bravery in working for the protection of our sacred home at a time when so much of humanity had lost its way.  I wish to tell you that I live in a green and fertile place, with healthy soil and clean water, and all is well.

Take time to enjoy the beauty of this precious blue-green planet as you go about your life.  Do not fear, the Earth lives on like the most precious of jewels.  Be at peace, and look for the signs all around you, the first shoots of the emerging society, based on love, respect, responsibility and consciousness.

Make time to be with your children, and enjoy your part in their unfolding.  Know that many Beings of integrity and decency are already alive and will be coming, so that the lineage of stewardship of the Earth may continue into aeons of future time.  Seek to be always in love, where there is an absence of fear; by allowing your light to shine, you light the way for others to follow, and in so doing you will be visible and able to connect with your brethren, those other souls who are here to guide humanity into awareness and harmony with all other life on this planet.

Though you may be experiencing times of darkness, and know that this shadow may grow even darker before it lifts, know that Truth and Love are your constant companions, and that you have access to them at any time.  Know also that there is a Higher Power that is with you, and within you, always, and that this Power is bigger than any difficulty you may face.  Be gentle on yourself.  Allow yourself to be encouraged by Love’s Presence.  You are not alone, though it may feel that way at times.  Know that friends and allies are never far away, and by maintaining a raised vibration, you reveal yourself to them and so you are able to find each other.  Protect the trees and the forests, as the lioness protects her young.  Always speak your truth, so that others may be inspired to know theirs.
With love,
A future one

© Layne Gibson: facilitator and communication trainer

 


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2033 News from Crich in Derbyshire by Marion McCartney

Posted on June 15th, 2012 by Marion

The warm heart of our community – An article from the November 2033 edition of Derbyshire New Life

For as long as anyone can remember, the bakery has been the warm heart of our community. The story really started, though, when Andrew and Rog came north from London to take over the old Allsops bakery just off the village square in Crich.

They turned it into ‘the loaf’, selling a wide range of delicious breads, and including a deli and café with everything possible locally sourced. They added a space for training, workshops and meetings, gradually becoming the focal point for community activities and support, particularly during the various crises in the ‘terrible teens’ (2013-2020).

Over the years the building complex continued to expand as the need for shared resources grew. It made sense to generate power for heating on the spot, which supported first what we called ‘Hot Water’, a place where clothes can be efficiently washed while people meet or soak and relax in our new version of the spa/Turkish baths. The café expanded into ‘Eat’ which provides hot main meals to eat in or take home, and a 24-hour café, meeting and performance area. The health and well-being centre was next to link in, and of course community gardens and orchards were fully integrated into the designs from the start.

Shuttle transports run regularly to The Heart, as we now call it, and many of us spend most of our time there. It has enabled our community to make elegant and efficient use of energy, as we pool our resources (and did we mention our pools?) and enjoy the delights of community warmth.

We never forget, though, that it all started with a bakery, and how could we, as the smell of freshly baked bread tempts us to enjoy ‘the loaf ‘as much as they did in the old days.

Marion McCartney


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A message from the future… by Festival-goer

Posted on June 13th, 2012 by Marion

Some young people from the year 2061 (or choose a year) manage to contact you for an all too brief period via a communication device (computer, phone, mobile, radio etc: whichever you prefer). They start by saying:

“We don’t know how long we can keep this channel of communication open, but we want to give you a glimpse of the way we live now…”

We somehow found ways to recognise that we are all one. Even though we varied so much in our appearance we realised over time that the heart that beat in each single one of us was linked to the heart that beat in every other one of us…… Over time the hearts of those that had fully accepted this connection could be identified by a deep red glow through the clothing over their chest. This inspired others to enquire and learn of our one heart connection.

And here’s what we want you to remember if you feel like giving up…

Even though you sometimes feel alone, overwhelmed, pointless, frustrated and all those other hard feelings that weigh you down like a stone, remember that in every single other life form is an open connection to you.


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A message from the future… by Festival-goer

Posted on June 13th, 2012 by Marion

Some young people from the year 2061 (or choose a year) manage to contact you for an all too brief period via a communication device (computer, phone, mobile, radio etc)

We don’t know how long we can keep this channel of communication open, but we want to give you a glimpse of the way we live now…

“Creativity is in abundance. We value the skills people can offer more than money as currency. We come together as a community; no one feels lonely or scared.
We nurture land; produce is grown and made within short distances.”

And here’s what we want you to remember if you feel like giving up…

“It’s worth going through difficult times, and hard work; the result is awesome!
Raise your voice and network; there are more people that feel like you then you think.
Don’t give up! Feel the fear and do it anyway!”


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A message from the future… by Festival-goer

Posted on June 13th, 2012 by Marion

Some young people from the year 2061 (or choose a year) manage to contact you for an all too brief period via a communication device (computer, phone, mobile, radio etc)

We don’t know how long we can keep this channel of communication open, but we want to give you a glimpse of the way we live now…

“Community is very important: we share things and knowledge, and work together to improve our area.

People and places are valued as much as money and as a result we can enjoy a beautiful environment.”

And here’s what we want you to remember if you feel like giving up…

“Each small act does make a difference.”

“PS We’d like to ask you how do people see the bigger picture so that they decide to make the changes which are necessary?”


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Vision Of Tomorrow by Pat Bushell

Posted on June 13th, 2012 by Marion

Imagine that we are all unbroken people, living in an unbroken world of sunshine, rain and rainbows. Our bodies, minds and feelings work as they were designed to work, in harmony as parts of a whole. To work is to function, rather than to labour, as unique creative inter-related parts of our society and of the world. We are thoughtful, self-motivated individuals, taking pleasure and satisfaction from being both individuals and useful parts of the greater whole, the living Earth.

This enjoyment of life is contagious. We pick up and transmit feelings like radio waves that ripple out in all directions, forming an ever-changing pattern, a kaleidoscope of shared experience. Every so often a cluster of good feelings is generated, which seems to draw itself up together and then burst, healing and energising as it radiates through the whole community.

When, much more rarely than today, something does go wrong, for an individual or for a society, we feel that as well. We instinctively do all that we can to help, because it’s our pain too. We’re not afraid of experiencing the whole spectrum of feelings because in this way we savour our connection with all of life, and know its unity. Like fragments of a shattered diamond each one of us reflects the whole rainbow.

This doesn’t make us any less rational than we are today. Far from it! Since our feelings function in a positive way and we’re well aware of them, they don’t have the same negative power to disrupt or subvert our thinking. This gives us greater clarity of thought, an objectivity uncomplicated by vested interests or emotional deficiencies. Like two eyes the two halves of our brain have learnt to work together to give another dimension to our understanding.

Being in tune with our bodies means that we listen to all their messages and warnings. Our appetites tell us what we need, what to avoid and when we’ve had enough. Greed has disappeared as we satisfy our real needs directly. Greed, you understand, is simply the over-consumption of a substitute that occurs when people’s real need are unrecognised or unacknowledged.

Humour is rampant. We laugh easily and heartily, at ourselves and each other, as we are tickled by the absurdities and paradoxes of Life. But still it retains its magical mysterious quality, surprising us when we least expect it. Humour and seriousness are not longer incompatible.

Life is a voyage of self-discovery, and as a result individual self-knowledge replaces the need for a pseudo-identity based on either our ancestors or our status and the symbols of status. We are no longer segregated observers, peering out at the world from the intellect. We know and feel ourselves to be integral harmonious parts of nature, as well as unique individuals.

Our spirituality is an experience-based knowing, the meaning behind everything we think and do, and our appreciation and enjoyment of living. Spiritual practice means practising the art of living and getting better at it all the time. Our lives are abundantly rich, deeply satisfying and infinitely interesting.

Pat Bushell, July 1990


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Meeting A Future Person – Jenny Smith

Posted on June 13th, 2012 by Marion

In your imagination, journey forward through the generations to come until you ‘meet’ and identify with a human being living one or two hundred years from now who strongly wishes to communicate with you. You don’t need to know anything about this person’s circumstances; just know that s/he is looking back through time at you  here in the present. Now imagine/sense what this human being would want to say to you. Open your mind and listen. Then start putting it on paper, as if this future person were writing a letter just to you. Allow yourself plenty of time, because messages can come from deep within, and tap into the collective wisdom of our planet’s people.

We don’t talk, first we just look. As our eyes make contact there is a feeling of a well of space between us that is holding us. Slowly in her eyes I see a gentle flashing, almost as if she is moving through something – time? pictures? I don’t know, but I do know that I want to pass through it with her. Simultaneously we bring our hands together and the level of heat is immense and with contact my body electrifies and energy whizzes and whooshes through me. She tells me, without words, that she has always been with me, always known me and she knows that there were moments when I was aware of that but that there was also a lot of time when I wasn’t aware and felt very alone. As this message is passed to me I feel such a deep experience of love that feels both physical and ethereal at the same time and has a melting quality. She then tells me that I am always with her and in that moment my mind starts to try to understand what she is saying. Tenderly she brushes my cheek and somehow I know that she is reminding me that I am no more my thoughts than I am my clothes and a deep relaxation arrives in my entire being.

©Jenny Smith


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In the future…………… by Jenny Smith

Posted on June 13th, 2012 by Marion

In the future children don’t learn, they teach.
In the future people are simply joyful and genuinely grateful to be alive.
In the future people are puzzled over the concept of blame that apparently used to exist on earth.
In the future human beings are also known as creators and co-creators.
In the future every house has a plethora of home grown vegetables or fruits left out for passers-by to help themselves to.
In the future, when people walk past each other in the street, sometimes they make eye contact and smile, other times they raise their hands and exchange warm loving energy from their beings.
In the future peace reigns – everywhere because everyone knows that peace has no boundaries.
In the future people sit around fires and look up to the stars and see their ancestors.

©Jenny Smith


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2017 News – from Lewes in Sussex

Posted on February 16th, 2012 by Marion

Last Saturday Lewes celebrated winning the 2017 Synergen Town of the Year award with a festival at the North Street Centre that included a Southern Solar disco and a local produce feast. Lewes was among 965 entrants for the award, for the ‘most creative energy descent programme  and improvement of living standards’. The judges were particularly impressed with the depth and effectiveness of the town’s ’2020 Vision’, which was adopted unanimously by the council in 2008, along with the Climate Change Strategy, written by the Sustainability Team in 2006 and Zero Waste Target reached in 2012.

‘We’re really proud of our achievements,’ said Cllr Billie Turner of the transition committee. ‘It’s been a lot of work, but exhilarating. Of course, the floods of 2000 and 2008, and the hurricane of 2010 really helped focus our minds. That and oil prices hitting $350 a barrel a while back.’

Jewel in the crown of the town is the North Street Centre, five hectares of land at the heart of Lewes’s 2020 Vision. Youth worker Toma Stevenson pointed out the riverside ecovillage. ‘They’re on stilts to be flood-flexible. All 200 houses sold really fast. It was the first development in the UK to be a fossil-fuel neutral build, and because half were affordable housing, many of the people living there work in the North Street Centre too.’ There’s now a 10 year waiting list for the car-free ecovillage: a recent survey put residents at the top of the UN Happiness Index.

‘The biomass plant over there was put in around 2015 to turn fast-growing willow from the floodplains into electricity,’ Toma continued. ‘That willow soaks up the flash floods we were starting to get a few years ago. The launch of the community wind farm (Lesco – Lewes Energy Supply Company) made us one of the first towns to export electricity to the national grid.’

‘Over there by Furniture Now , Plumpton has an urban agriculture training centre. Those raised beds have been producing 40 tons of food per hectare for 8 years now. Most of it goes to the big weekly riverside market and the dozens of local produce shops around town, and any surplus goes to Lewes Preserves. This, along with the twenty-odd CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms in the area, Lewes Allotments 2020, and the council’s Home Grown intitiative means that 75% of Lewes’s fruit and veg is grown within 5 miles of the town, just as it was this time last century. The jury’s still out as to whether Tesco will win their legal action against smallholders preferentially supplying the local markets.’

The North Street Centre has become the transport hub for Lewes, linking the biodiesel bus station, cycle station, working horse stables and car club depot. Car ownership in Lewes is now well below the national average ratio of 1:4.

‘Ten years ago, we had had a developer  pitching to build intensive high-rise housing, car parks and a chain store centre in North Street. Our progressive council ran a weekend Appreciative Enquiry  summit for that site, and found that people were very concerned about the environment. That form of effective consultation resulted in our 2020 North Street vision for a transition future with low-impact development that allowed the possibility of flooding.

‘Fortunately, our district council unanimously adopted that 2020 Transition Strategy for North Street at the end of 2007. Things could have looked very different!’


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