A CAMPAIGN is under way to turn Salisbury into a Transition City.

The founder of the Transition Towns movement, Rob Hopkins, is coming to the Guildhall to speak at a public meeting on May 21 to start the ball rolling.

The movement is about coping with climate change, reducing society’s reliance on fossil fuels, supporting local producers and encouraging communities to be more self-reliant.

It began in Totnes, Devon, but has spread worldwide and there are already groups in the New Forest area, including one in Hale and Redlynch, which organises a local food market.

Among those garnering support in Salisbury are Green councillor Michael Pope and mayor-elect Jo Broom, although cllr Pope stressed that this is a community- based, rather than a council, initiative.

He said: “The aim is to lower our carbon footprint by using less energy and to encourage a more sustainable way of living by spending our money locally and supporting independent producers as opposed to chains, so we keep our money in the Salisbury economy.

“I’m interested in practical measures we can take, such as hiring out thermal imaging cameras so people can see where heat is being lost in their homes.

“I’m also keen to take projects into schools and public buildings, to make them more energy-efficient.

“That includes other ways of generating electricity – we’ve already agreed to have a solar panel on the Guildhall roof.

“It’s about the way we go about our daily lives, encouraging more people to cycle and walk more instead of using the car on short trips, setting up community gardens on bits of wasteland.

“We could even consider having a local pound to be spent in local businesses, like they do in Totnes.

“We’re a small steering group at the moment, but we want more people to join in.

It’s all about what individuals are prepared to do, at the end of the day.”

To find out more about how Transition works, go to transitiontowntotnes.org.