Market Drayton Climate Action Soldiers On

October 2022, by Roy Aldcroft

The summer months have continued to be a busy time for the members of Market Drayton Climate Action (MDCA). They have conducted a survey into local requirements in relation to buses, made inroads into reducing the environmental impact of modern day consumerism, which results in high volumes of greenhouse gas emission, and staged displays at a number of public events including at Fordhall Farm about ways in which to reduce our carbon footprint.

The transport survey began in July with local residents being consulted on their support for the introduction of a direct service to Whitchurch, with its railway station, access to a wider network of buses, minor injuries unit, shops and other facilities. Alongside this MDCA asked for information on the extent to which people were using the town’s buses, and their experiences when doing so, and the bus routes they would like to see in operation.

The lack of any link to a hospital remains an ongoing concern. Although the feedback from the survey, which closes at the end of October, is still being evaluated there has been a good response, with many residents in favour of much needed improvements to the existing bussing arrangements including the establishment of the connection with Whitchurch. Increased usage of more reliable bus services in Market Drayton is a must if the present dependence on cars, with their harmful effects on the environment, is to be reduced.

A lot of work has also been carried out by MDCA on determining ways in which the quantities of household waste that are currently being consigned to landfill can be reduced. It is estimated that durable purchases made by people account for a quarter of our carbon footprint (with expenditure on food adding a further quarter.) Alternatives to simply treating unwanted items as waste are reusing them, repurposing them and ensuring they are recycled, wherever possible.

With sharing events, press articles and a local repairs cafe under consideration for the future the MDCA Responsible Consumption team are active on a range of fronts. These include the establishment of relationships with the Regenerative Farming community in North Shropshire and the organisers of Market Drayton’s 10k race where the aim is to find ways to purchase sustainable goods, leading to less waste, as well as increasing recycling opportunities. The team is also developing a map of the places residents can go to in order to review their thoughts in relation to purchasing and waste, or in other words ‘rethink, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle and share.’ It can be accessed through the MDCA website.

In proposing the motion to Market Drayton Town Council which led to the declaration of a climate emergency in the local area in July Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for Waste Management and a town councillor, stressed the need for the Council to work more closely with MDCA in the future. It is a welcome endorsement for the work being performed by MDCA but it also further demonstrates that a response to the climate crisis cannot be a matter for a single group or individual.

MDCA currently has further links with Zero Carbon Shropshire, the Shropshire Good Food Partnership and Climate Action Network (Friends of the Earth).