In order that the sustainability of our community can be measured we propose the establishment of an annual report that will show progress on key indicators of the town’s resilience to external shocks. These shocks may be caused by climate, economic or political events.
The aim of this report is to allow an informed opinion on the things we take for granted with a view to encouraging action and that enables the community of Market Harborough to plan its own destiny by plotting a course to self reliance and sustainability.
We want to measure hard figures and establish trends on:
- Water consumption and the embedded CO2 in its delivery
- Sewage movement and treatment and the embedded CO2
- Electricity consumption
- Gas consumption
- Petrol and Diesel sales in litres from local forecourts
- Heating fuel sales, wood fuel, anthracite or coal etc.,
- Waste and recycling tonnage
- Bio-diversity indicators
We would also like to show trends on softer measures such as:
- Depravation indices
- NEF happiness indicators
- NEF clone town indicators
- Employment levels, benefit claimants
- Actual demand for family and retirement homes
An attempt will also be made to measure the health of our business community with a survey of local businesses to establish where they feel the risks to their businesses are and to establish which costs are the biggest burdens upon their operations. Once identified actions that can be taken locally to ease trading conditions, see the following examples:
Energy is identified
Traders could be offered consultation and advice on energy mitigation.
Insurance is identified
Steps to create a ‘Groupon’ style collective purchase of insurance could be made to reduce costs.
We would try and measure the earning power of those who choose to work within the community and try to establish the average earnings within the town to give some guide to what “affordable homes” really means here.
We would also recruit a sample of households to fill in an annual questionnaire on their living standards and domestic financial pressures.
Analysis of proposed developments and possible impacts upon the community as well as identified risks such as large employers in financial trouble.
There is one thing that was highlighted by our initial partners meeting, and that was that there is a huge amount of information gathered by various agencies and operators in the community and that it is not necessarily disseminated to all who might need it nor interpreted in away that it might be used by those without the time or resource to analyse the raw data.