Promoting sustainablecommunities3


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Promoting sustainablecommunities3

  1. 1. ISSN: 2041-67412010 Promoting Sustainable Communities, Vol, 2(1) Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall: Education and Training Final Report By Gregory Borne
  2. 2. Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall: Education and Training Final Report By Gregory BorneContact: 2
  3. 3. CONTNTSAcknowledgements 6Introduction 7Executive Summary 8Expanding the Agenda 9Section 1: Background to the Research 13A Sustainable Development Perspective 13Sustainable Development Framework 14Setting the Context 16Section 2: Methodology 19Research Areas 19Principle Research Phases 19Reflexive Review of Practice 21The Survey 21Survey Delivery 21Survey Design 22Interview Process 23Organisation of Interviews 23Interview Schedule 24Section 3: Results 24Education and Training 32Community 43Conclusion 49Future Opportunities 50 3
  4. 4. LIST OF FIGURESFigure 1: Gender 25Figure 2: Age 26Figure 3: Occupation 27Figure 4: Qualifications 28Figure 5: Role in Parish 29Figure 6: Settlement Type 30Figure 7 Participate in Training 32Figure 8: Special Skills 34Figure 9: Types of Skills Cornwall 36Figure 10: Types of Skills Devon 37Figure 11: Receive Modular Training in Cornwall 38Figure 12: Method of Training and Education 39Figure 13: Prepared to fund own training 40Figure 14: Travel for Training 41Figure 15: Distance to Training 42Figure 16: Community Dynamic 43Figure 17: Awareness of sustainable development mechanisms 45Figure 18: Awareness of sustainable development related issues 46Figure 19: Global Warming 47 4
  5. 5. TABLESTable 1: Indicative Areas of Training 11Table 2: Sustainable Development Elements 14Table 3: Sustainable Development Perspective 18Table 4: Key Statistics Devon and Cornwall 19Table 5 Questions and Variables 20Table 6: Learning Outputs 53Table 7: Future Options 57APPENDIXAppendix 1: Table 6 – Learning OutputsAppendix 2: Table 7 – Future Options 5
  6. 6. AcknowledgementsI would like to acknowledge the contribution of the following people; myresearch team including Helen McFarlane, Ruth Watkins and Ian Sherriff.Thanks also to Martin Eddy and Steven Ford of Cornwall Council. Sue Swift,Chair of the Cornwall Association of Local Councils has also been verysupportive. Thanks to Geoff Tate. In Devon, thanks are due to LesleySmith, Chair of the Devon Association of Parish Councils. The councillorsand staff of the many town and parish councils who took the time toparticipate in the research; without their co-operation this work could nothave taken place. Thanks also to Janine O’Flaherty for proof reading thisdocument. Thanks to Belinda Payne and the South West Lifelong LearningNetwork for initial funding of this work. Thanks also to Colin Williams forsupport with this work. 6
  7. 7. Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall: Education and TrainingIntroductionThis report will outline the findings from the research project ‘PromotingSustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall’. The report focusesspecifically on the education and training components of this work withsupporting data relating to sustainable development and global warming.The conclusion of this report will detail future applications and researchavenues for this work. The report will represent a synthesis of findings fromboth Devon and Cornwall and integrate the qualitative and quantitative datacollected. It will provide an overview of the work and the context from withinwhich it was developed. It will also outline the methodological approachadopted as well as offering a reflective review of this process. Further, thisreport will present the primary areas of education and training that havebeen identified and match these with possible routes for supply of this work.The report will proceed in the following manner. Firstly, overall results fromthe work will be presented in the form of an executive summary. This willinclude highlighted findings from all aspects of the work, as well as specificissues relating to indicative training and education. This is followed, inSection 1 by a discussion that elaborates on the background to this research.Here, the overall sustainable development perspective is highlighted thatcreates a framework within which the work is located. This is followed bymore specifically outlining the areas of study as it relates to town and parish 7
  8. 8. councils. Section 2 highlights the methodology that was utilised in this work.This includes an outline of procedure as well as a reflexive review. This isfollowed by Section 3 which outlines results of the work emphasising theeducation and training components as well as issues pertaining tocommunity, sustainable development and climate change. The conclusion tothis work will illustrate potential learning outcomes based on the initialsustainable development framework. Finally, future avenues for this workare discussed. Initially however, an overview of research findings ispresented.Executive summaryThe following findings highlight broad issues across the spectrum of theproject. • The research revealed that additional training and education is needed. Interviews revealed that these issues are not generic, presenting complex and often conflicting opinion on what sort of training should be available. • Findings indicate that the nature of this education and training is diverse, but that members of town and parish councils feel that there are special skill sets needed to operate effectively within their town and parish councils. • Members of town and parish councils feel that their existing skills are not always recognised and utilised effectively for the successful operation of their parish as well as the broader community. • There is an overwhelming feeling that there is a need to encourage sustainable communities ‘but’ there is confusion over the action that should be taken to achieve these goals. 8
  9. 9. • Sustainable development was seen as an important concept but was not clearly understood. Greater understanding is needed of how these issues are integrated into the planning system with a particular reference to sustainable development mechanisms. • There is a general lack of awareness of the existing mechanisms that could be employed in the local governance process that would contribute towards the creation of sustainable communities. • Members of town and parish councils felt that the relationship between the town and parish councils and the county council was important and should be strengthened. • There is concern over the effect of global risks such as global warming, upon local communities, but there is need for further and effective communication of these issues.Expanding the AgendaWith the above in mind, this work has striven to move beyond simplisticpresentations of education and training needs, to challenge establishednorms and provide fresh insights into the promotion of sustainablecommunities. Whilst many interviewees pertained to understand thecommunity from a holistic perspective there was often a lack of connectionwith broader global issues. Where issues such as global warming werediscussed, there was often confusion over basic cause and effect scenarioswhich exacerbated anxiety of what action should be taken in the face ofthese risks. It is recognised that in order for individuals to change behaviour,to mitigate or adapt to a particular risk there needs to be an expression ofsalience with that risk, and a sense of urgency for change. Whilst there wasan eagerness to enhance communities amongst members of town andparish councils a salience with abstracted global risks was not present.Overall, interviewees revealed a complex structure of community identity. 9
  10. 10. With a focus on sustainable development, the following areas of educationand training are also suggested: • Basic principles of sustainable development • Expansion on issues of governance • Basic principles of climate change • Understanding of global environmental risk • Clearer understanding of interconnections between global policy and local implementationThe debates around sustainable development and community enhancementthrow into sharp relief the complex and conflicting nature of the prioritiestown and parish councillors feel are necessary to serve their communitieseffectively, both today and in the future. As a starting point there is a clearneed to increase communication on what may be described as the principlesustainable development mechanisms. These include the SustainableCommunity Strategy, Local Area Agreements and Comprehensive AreaAssessments. In line with the outlined remit of this work to move beyondsterile prescriptive comments on how sustainable communities should beachieved the following statement should be highlighted: There is not a direct correlation between increased education on an issue and effective behavioural change or positive response to that issue.This statement is magnified exponentially when the concept of sustainabledevelopment is introduced into the equation. Indeed, the relationshipbetween education and behaviour is interrupted by a number of interveningvariables. This was clearly evident in the corpus of interviews with town andparish councillors. A spectrum of issues exist in parallel with the need foradditional education that directly impinge on the effective development ofsustainable communities and need due consideration in the development ofstrategic planning and policy implementation. Briefly these include: 10
  11. 11. • Community identity • Global risk salience • Broader engagement • Discrepancy between global and local priorities • Local protectionism • Internal political tensionsThese issues are evident throughout the interview material for both Devonand Cornwall. As already stated, this report will focus predominantly on theeducation and training component of the research. It is beyond the remit ofthis report to expand in any more detail on these issues; it is sufficient at thisstage to recognise that these issues are present and display the realities ofthe study areas. Core skills are identified with regard to education andtraining that in varying degrees are seen to be essential for operatingsuccessfully as a member of a town and parish council. These are outlined inTable 1.Table 1: Indicative Areas of TrainingIdentified Area of Level Potential RelationshipTraining Training established or to Provider 1 be brokered 2Sustainable various See Mapping and SWLLN/UniversityDevelopment Scoping Plymouth CollegesCommunity various See Mapping and SWLLN/UniversityDevelopment Scoping Plymouth CollegesLocal Government various See Mapping and SWLLN/University Scoping Plymouth Colleges1 Private Training Provider/Publicly Funded Provider2 If an existing relationship does not exist SWLLN will broker appropriate introductions 11
  12. 12. Planning various See Mapping and SWLLN/University Scoping Plymouth CollegesEnvironmental various See Mapping and SWLLN/Universityplanning Scoping Plymouth CollegesProject planning various See Mapping and SWLLN/University Scoping Plymouth CollegesLegislation various See Mapping and SWLLN/University Scoping Plymouth CollegesLocalism Agenda various See Mapping and SWLLN/University Scoping Plymouth CollegesManaging various See Mapping and SWLLN/UniversityComplaints Scoping Plymouth CollegesHealth and Safety various See Mapping and SWLLN/University Scoping Plymouth CollegesCommunication various See Mapping and SWLLN/University Scoping Plymouth CollegesTable 1 highlights the principle areas of training that town and parishcouncillors feel are important to respond to community needs. Whilst therewas a significant difference of opinion expressed within the interviewmaterial, there is a general feeling that delivery of education and trainingthrough short bespoke courses within a group environment was the mostappropriate method for training delivery. The mapping and scopingdocument (available on request) outlines possible supply of theseprogrammes from three principle organisations, which are the OpenUniversity, Cornwall College and Truro College. The identified courseswithin these organisations should be compared with the capacity for “inhouse” training within Devon and Cornwall. The remainder of this report willoutline in more detail the research project as a whole. This will include a 12
  13. 13. background to the work which details the sustainable development approachtaken, a methodological review and an overview of results. The final sectionwill point to future avenues for this work.Section 1: Background to the ResearchThe general background and rationale for this work has already beenexplored in the interim reports for both Devon and Cornwall (see Borne 2008,2009). These reports emphasised the importance of the notions ofsustainable development and globalisation for local authorities, as global andlocal issues converge to alter the way that governance is understood. Thesereports further emphasised the role of the recent global economic downturn,as well as the broader debates that are now in full flow with regard to globalclimate change and humanity’s influence on the biosphere. The following willoutline a perspective that is capable of encompassing these diverse andcomplex issues in a structures and dynamic framework.A Sustainable Development PerspectiveThere is continued recognition that the changing context from within whichlocal government and broader community groups need to operate directlyaffect the types of skills, educational needs and general competencies thatare required to operate successfully and efficiently. It is increasingly beingrecognised that the types of skills and education that is needed in the 21stcentury are of a qualitatively different nature to those required in the 20thcentury. Stibbe and Luna (2009) succinctly make this point: “…Education policy, tends even now, to revolve around twentieth century skills- skills for commercial innovation, further industrialisation of society, economic growth, international competitiveness and financial prosperity. The further into the twenty first century that we proceed the more short term these goals seem a temporary bubble of financial prosperity, existing on paper only, and already partially burst by the credit crunch, and about to be burst on a much larger scale by the ecological crunch, the peak oil crunch and the climate change crunch” (2009:12). 13
  14. 14. Bearing the aforementioned comments in mind this work explores skills andeducation from a ‘horizon scanning’ perspective, responding to the challengeof incorporating the complexities and uncertainties of future issues. Many ofthe issues that challenge humanity for the Twenty First Century have beenencapsulated under the rubric of the increasingly visible term of sustainabledevelopment. The following section will outline what it means to adopt asustainable development perspective.Sustainable Development FrameworkA ‘sustainable development’ lens accommodates the complex issuesinvolved and creates an evaluative base for this research. Six primaryelements can be said to be included in a sustainable development approach:Table 2: Sustainable Development ElementsElement DescriptionHolistic Sustainable development adopts a holistic perspective onPerspective human and environmental interaction with the areas of environment, economy and society considered together. These concerns are often referred to as the three dimensions or pillars of sustainable development. It is a fundamental premise of adopting a sustainable development perspective that not considering these areas together has been the driver for the rise of negative human impact on the environment.Time scale of The Brundtland Report defines sustainable development asSustainable “Development that meets the needs of current generationsDevelopment without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs and aspirations”. This definition points to the challenge of integrating a short- and a long-term time horizons in decision-making. It is often referred to as the principle of inter-generational equity. This is a fundamental principle of sustainable development that offers a 14
  15. 15. perspective that takes a geological view of time that moves past the narrow political imperatives that have dominated over the past 30 years.Spatial scale The concept of sustainable development cuts not onlyof across the ministerial boundaries within governments. Itsustainable moreover transcends the different tiers of policy-making,development from the United Nations to the European Union level to local communities. Climate change, for example, needs to be addressed at all levels of policy-making. The work outlined in this report takes a global and local perspective of the work.System Sustainable development fundamentally explores systemsdynamics, that converge at the interface of human and environmentalComplexity interactions. The nature of this interaction that hasrisk produced risks on a global and local scale is acknowledgeduncertainties as being highly complex and as such, underpinned by high levels of uncertainty. Recognition of this uncertainty is an important component of the evaluative and research process.Values Sustainable development refers to the needs of present and future generations. Since needs are highly subjective, so is the entire concept. Consequently, its normative content is highly controversial. Controversies between different sets of values become visible in the judgement of economic growth, technology, equity issues between North and South. These values are equally applicable to local and individual scales as conflicting visions of different risks and general perceptions of life create barriers to effective implementation 15
  16. 16. Participation According to Agenda 21 “One of the fundamental prerequisites for the achievement of sustainable development is broad public participation in decision- making”. Participation is expected to help define the actual meaning of sustainable development, provide policy-makers with valuable information, and increase ownership among stakeholders.The six areas identified in table 2 sketch out the underlying perspectives ofthis work. This perspective can be applied as an explicit framework to manydifferent contemporary issues. These primary areas will be used in this workto present a framework of learning outcomes that is presented in table 6.This table can be seen as a starting point for the development of educationand training programmes based around sustainable development at thestrategic level for town and parish councils. The following discussion willprovide a background narrative for the research presented in this report.Setting the ContextThe World Commission on Environment and Developments (1987) definitionof sustainable development is: ‘Development that meets the needs of thepresent without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirown needs’ (WCED 1987:8). This definition has been the focus of a greatdeal of debate, not least as it is ambiguous in nature and offers little insightinto the development of effective policy. However, as was highlighted in theinterim reports, this definition, to varying degrees has filtered throughgovernance structures at the global and local levels. By highlighting the workof Dalal Clayton and Bass (2002) it was emphasised that there needs to be amove away from a centralised model of planning to one that creates anenabling environment linking cognate areas that facilitate a holistic approachto particular issues. 16
  17. 17. The British Government’s national sustainable development strategy‘Securing the Future: Delivering the UK SD Programme’ (HMGOV 2005)continues this rhetoric by emphasizing the importance of local communitiesin promoting a sustainable development. Examples of this may be found inthe integration of sustainable development in Regional Spatial Strategies,Development Plan Documents and the broad introduction of SustainabilityAppraisals. A notable expansion of this agenda has been the SustainableCommunities Act, which received Royal Ascent in 2007 and is a conspicuousdemonstration of the increasing importance that is being placed on the locallevel for achieving the principles of sustainable development throughcommunity enhancement. Reflecting the definition of national sustainabledevelopment strategies, the act ties together existing mechanisms such asLocal Area Agreements (LAA) with Comprehensive Area Assessments(CAA) with the need for broader participatory processes (see SDC 2009).The act creates a responsibility for Local Authorities to produce ‘SustainableCommunity Plans’ designed to set out a comprehensive vision for theregional and local sustainable development. All of these processesrepresent a significant attempt to coordinate existing mechanisms, as well asdeveloping new processes and connections in a bid to improve communitiesand the lives of those living in them.Aligning these debates to the study areas, Devon County Council andCornwall Council have attempted to integrate the principles of sustainabledevelopment into their governance frameworks with a view to enhancingtheir operational efficiency. Table 3 outlines how Devon and CornwallCounty Councils understand sustainable development. 17
  18. 18. Table 3: Sustainable Development PerspectiveDevon ‘Sustainable Development is about developing an integrated approach to economic, social and environmental issues to improve the quality of life for everyone, now and in the future’. (DCC 2009)Cornwall ‘A dynamic process which enables all people to realise their potential and improve their quality of life in ways which simultaneously protect and enhance the earths life support systems… Cornwall County Council promotes sustainable development for the benefit of one and all in the management and delivery of all its services through integrated social, economic and environmental objectives; seeking to achieve its vision of a strong and sustainable community for One and All.’ (CCC 2009).With regard to sustainable communities, a pivotal component of the localgovernment tapestry is the town and parish council layer of local governmentwhich represents the closest level of government to the community. Townand parish councils represent a significant tier of local government not only inDevon and Cornwall but also nationally. There are over 10000 parishes inEngland, of which 8700 have councils, with approximately 70000 parishcouncillors. Initially, and still predominantly a rural phenomenon, in the wakeof the Local Government Act of 1972 parishes are increasingly present inurban environments. This has been exemplified by recent moves to suggestthe establishment of parish councils throughout London, as a result of theLocal Government and Public Involvement in Health Act (2007). Attempts toenhance and encourage the role of parish councils can be seen in the‘Quality Parish Scheme’ and through the extended ‘Powers of Wellbeing’.With the above in mind, the following section moves to outline themethodological approach adopted for this work. 18
  19. 19. Section 2: MethodologyThe research was conducted using a sophisticated multi-methodologicalframework, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data collectiontechniques. Initially, the study areas of Devon and Cornwall will be outlined.Research AreasAs has already been discussed the counties of Devon and Cornwall. Table 4presents some basic characteristics of these counties.Table 4: Key Statistics Devon and CornwallStatistic Devon CornwallPopulation 1141,600 499,114Areas 670,675 hectares 354,628 hectaresGovernance Two Tier UnitaryStructureSub County 8 District Councils 19 Network AreasDeliveryParish 409 213CouncilsPrinciple Research PhasesOnce the area of research had been established a five phase approach wasadopted in order to elicit the necessary information on education andtraining. This included the initial consultation, the customising of theresearch design, initiation of the survey and interviews, as well as the overallanalysis.Phase One: Initial ConsultationInitial phase included the identification of the research area. Town andParish Councils are the closest level of government to the community and in 19
  20. 20. a unique leadership role with regard to community enhancement. Localauthorities and associated organisations were contacted in order to establishan initial need.Phase Two: AdaptionPhase two involved the adaptation of research design to emphasise Devonand Cornwall’s specific issues in combination with broader global concerns.This included initial consultations and focus groups with town and parishcouncils and interested parties. This also included an examination ofstrategic documents including: • Target Operating Manual • Draft Sustainable Communities Strategy • Local Area Agreement PrioritiesPhase Three: SurveyThe survey was distributed across Devon and Cornwall to all town and parishcouncils. Responses were collated and entered into an overall database.Table 5: Questions and VariablesCounty Questions VariablesDevon 76 215Cornwall 79 197Table 5 shows that there were 76 questions for Devon and 79 questions forCornwall these became 215 and 197 variables respectively in the data base.Phase Four: InterviewsBased on responses from the initial survey an interview schedule wasdeveloped addressing core and periphery issues. In order to achieve thebroadest geographical spread one interview per town and parish council wasconducted. In Devon 45 Interviews were conducted and in Cornwall 95interviews were conducted All interviews were recorded and transcribed.Phase Five: Analysis 20
  21. 21. Analysis has involved the scrutiny of the data including the survey and theinterviews. Overall the phases detailed above proved highly successful. Thefollowing provides a reflexive review of the research process.Reflexive Review of PracticeThe SurveyThe survey was despatched to over 6000 councillors across Devon andCornwall, this represents all Devon and Cornwall parish councils numberingapproximately 600. Response rates were high with between 50-70 per centof parishes responding to the survey. This is a high response rate,particularly in light of the length and complexity of the questionnaire. Initialintroductory letters were sent out to all parishes explaining the purpose of thesurvey, as well as outlining the key areas to be covered. In general, thequestionnaire was received well. However, the following points are relevant.Survey DeliveryThe survey was delivered by post. The Devon survey was mailed in twodistinct postings and the Cornwall survey was mailed in one posting.Respondents were asked to return the questionnaires collectively in a singleprepaid envelope that was held by the parish clerk. Each questionnaire wasnumbered individually and a record was kept of where each individualquestionnaire was sent. In the initial design stages of the project there wassome deliberation amongst the research group as to whether it wasbeneficial to label questionnaires individually or whether it was onlynecessary to code the ‘return envelope’. Experience showed that eventhough respondents were asked to return their questionnaires collectivelythrough their town or parish clerk, this did not always occur. A significantnumber of the respondents opted to return the questionnaires individually.Consequently, numbering individual questionnaires proved to be the mosteffective method of delivery. Another significant issue which arose was theaccuracy of delivery addresses for the questionnaire. Two points are worthhighlighting here: 21
  22. 22. • Firstly, postal information was not always available or correct. A small percentage of the questionnaires were returned as they had been sent to an incorrect address. On a number of occasions subsequent investigations had to be made to identify the correct addressee. • Secondly, on a number of occasions a single clerk was responsible for more than one parish. Records of these situations were not always accurate or up to date. On these occasions clerks contacted the research team and requested further questionnaires which were sent as a matter of urgency.Finally, due to the overall logistics of the initial Devon survey there was athree week gap between respondents receiving their initial introductory letterand the subsequent survey. As a result some respondents were confusedas to the purpose of the survey and needed additional information which wasnormally provided through email contact. This was a lesson learned for theCornwall survey where there was a shorter time delay between initial letterand survey.Survey DesignAs outlined in the introduction to this review, the overall aims of the researchare multifaceted. As such, the questionnaire required careful construction.The basic format of the questionnaire design was drawn from previousexperience on research that focused on the integration of sustainabledevelopment into governance frameworks at both the international and thelocal and individual levels (Borne 2010). This initial design proved highlyeffective in eliciting complex information from respondents in an accessibleformat. Modification of the survey to suit the remit of the South West LifelongLearning Network involved a careful and measured synergy between theelements of training/education, community and sustainable development. Tothis end, an extensive programme of employer engagement combined withconsultation with the relevant representative bodies surrounding Devon andCornwall parishes helped to identify the essential elements of the survey. 22
  23. 23. The following discussion will elaborate on challenges that existed in theinterview phase of the research.Interview ProcessOrganisation of InterviewsIt was originally anticipated that a very structured approach would be takento the selection and execution of interviews. These were based around aneven geographical spread of interviewees that would fully represent thesample areas, Devon and Cornwall. However, due to the following reasonsinterviews were conducted on a first come first serve basis: • The substantial number of interviews that needed to be conducted • The response time of interviewees • Logistics of synchronising interview times with the intervieweesThis proved successful within the confines of the Devon project. Whilstlessons are learned from the Devon experience, this first come first serveapproach was not an appropriate transferable methodology for the Cornwallinterview process. The Cornwall interview process was conducted on amore structured basis. This is primarily a result of the geographical dispersalof the interviewees throughout Cornwall and the limitation of resources bothhuman and financial. Interviews for Cornwall were conducted based around19 newly designated Community Network Areas. It was decided that eachnetwork area would be assigned a number and these areas would beapproached. Numbers were assigned beginning at the furthest point fromresearch headquarters in Plymouth and ascending as the network areasmoved easterly towards Plymouth. In so doing, the greatest expense wasused in the earlier stages of the project with regard to travelling, andavailable resources could be closely monitored. In order to achieve thebroadest geographical spread at the parish level one interview per parishwithin the assigned network area was conducted. The following discussionexamines the interviews themselves. 23
  24. 24. Interview ScheduleThe aim of the interviews was to elicit more in-depth and specific data thanwas possible in the questionnaire. This form of triangulation increases thevalidity and rigour of data collected. The questions posed in the interviewswere drawn from and expanded upon the questionnaires. As interviewswere conducted the process evolved and responded to the realities of theinterview process. Initially, the following protocols were observed: • Once interviewees were identified a copy of their questionnaire was sent to the interviewee to refresh their memories on the issues that were to be addressed in the project. • An interview schedule was developed from the questionnaire which was designed to respond specifically to the interviewee’s survey responses on an individual basis.However, as the interviews progressed, it was observed that an overlystructured approach stifled the interview process in a number of situations. Itwas decided therefore that a set of generic questions on the primary areas ofthe research were used. Respondent’s questionnaires were reviewed by theinterviewer beforehand to inform the whole process. Respondents wereasked if there was anything in particular within the questionnaire that theywould like to elaborate on. This format has proved highly successful withinterview data revealing expected and unexpected outcomes.The previous section has outlined the overall research methodology adoptedfor this work. It has also provided a reflexive review of practice. Thefollowing section will present the pertinent results from the surveys andinterviews of both Devon and Cornwall.Section 3: ResultsThe results presented here focus on the education and training component ofthe work, as well as detailing some of the areas that relate to the broaderareas of sustainable communities. The results for Devon and Cornwall arepresented in parallel, where similarities exist and where there is a significant 24
  25. 25. methodological overlap. The qualitative and quantitative material will also bepresented interchangeably. The evidence section will be presented asfollows, initially some basic background results on the research group arepresented. This is followed by elaborating on the education and trainingareas of the research. Following this the idea of community is addressed andthis is followed by briefly exploring the areas of sustainable development andglobal climate change.Figure 1: Gender Gender 70 63 60 60 50 37 Per Cent 40 35 Devon 30 Cornwall 20 10 0 Male FemaleMembers of town and parish councils were asked to indicate if they weremale or female. Figure 1 shows that in Devon 60 per cent of respondentswere male and 37 percent were female. Similarly, in Cornwall 63 per cent ofrespondents were male and 35 per cent of respondents were female. 25
  26. 26. Figure 2: Age Age 35 3131 30 25 1919 1919 Per Cent 20 15 1112 11 Devon 9 10 6 Cornwall 4 5 11 00 0 18-25 26-32 33-40 41-48 49-56 57-64 65-72 72+ YearsRespondents were asked to indicate their approximate age. For both Devonand Cornwall age distribution was very similar. As shown in figure 2, forDevon 0 per cent of respondents were between 18-25; 1 per cent ofrespondents were between 26-32; 6 per cent of respondents were between33-40; 11 per cent of respondents were between 41-48; 19 per cent ofrespondents were between 49-56; 31 per cent of respondents were between57-64; 19 per cent of respondents were between 65-72 and 9 per cent ofrespondents were 72+. In Cornwall, 0 per cent of respondents werebetween 18-25; 1 per cent of respondents were between 26-32; 4 per cent ofrespondents were between 33-40; 12 per cent of respondents were between41-48; 19 per cent of respondents were between 49-56; 31 per cent ofrespondents were between 57-64; 19 per cent of respondents were between65-72 and 11 per cent of respondents were 72+. 26
  27. 27. Figure 3: Occupation Occupation 45 41 38 40 35 31.5 31 30 Per Cent 25 20 15 10.5 9 88 10 44 33 5 00 00 Devon 0 CornwallMembers of town and parish councils were asked to identify their occupation.Figure 3 shows that the occupation of members of town and parish councilswere comparable across Devon and Cornwall. In Devon, 10.5 per cent saidthey were tradesmen; 31.5 per cent indicated that they were professionals; 4per cent said that they were manual workers; no respondents were students;38 per cent said that they were retired; 3 per cent indicated that they werehousewives or househusbands; 8 per cent said that they wereclerical/administrative. For Cornwall, 9 per cent said they were tradesmen;31 per cent indicated that they were professionals; 4 per cent said that theywere manual workers; no respondents were students; 41 per cent said thatthey were retired; 3 per cent indicated that they were housewives orhousehusbands; 8 per cent said that they were clerical/administrative andnone of the respondents were unemployed. Interviewees in both Devon andCornwall revealed diverse backgrounds either in previous careers or existingones. What was highly visible in the corpus of interview material was thatskills, training and experience gained in the working lives of councillors werebrought to bare in the function of parish councillor. These important life skillsprovided the councillors with often unrecognised skills. 27
  28. 28. Figure 4: Qualifications Qualifications 25 21 20.1 19 20 18 17.5 14.5 13 12 13 12 13 13 Per Cent 15 10 5 Devon 0 CornwallMembers of town and parish councils were asked to indicate their level ofeducation. Results for both Devon and Cornwall were comparable. ForDevon, 21 per cent said that they held ‘O’ levels or General Certificates ofSecondary Education; 14.5 per cent indicated that they held ‘A’ Levels orGeneral National Vocational Qualifications; 20 per cent indicated that theyhad a Degree; 12 per cent said that they had Post Graduate qualifications;12 per cent indicated that they had non-conventional qualifications and 13per cent said that their qualifications were other. For Cornwall, 18 per centsaid that they held ‘O’ levels or General Certificates of Secondary Education;13 per cent indicated that they held ‘A’ Levels or General National VocationalQualifications; 17.5 per cent indicated that they had a Degree; 13 per centsaid that they had Post Graduate qualifications; 13 per cent indicated thatthey had non-conventional qualifications and 19 per cent said that theirqualifications were other. 28
  29. 29. Figure 5: Role in Parish Role 80 73 74 70 60 50 Per Cent 40 Devon 30 Cornwall 20 14 11 11.5 9 10 0 Councillor Clerk ChairFigure 5 illustrates that for both Devon and Cornwall the majority ofrespondents were councillors. In Devon, 73 percent indicated that they werecouncillors; 14 per cent indicated their role as clerk; 11.5 per cent said thatthey were chairs of their parish council. In Cornwall, 74 per cent ofrespondents indicated that they were councillors within local town and parishcouncils; 11 per cent indicated that they were clerks; 3 per cent indicated thatthey were the employees of their town and parish council. The intervieweesalso represented this general spread with the majority of interviewee beingcouncillors. 29
  30. 30. Figure 6: Settlement Type Settlement Type 90 85 81 80 70 60 Per Cent 50 Devon 40 30 Cornwall 20 12 6 6 7 10 0 Rural Urban MixedRespondents were asked if they felt their council represented a communitythat was urban, rural or mixed. As illustrated in Figure 6, the vast majority oftown and parish council members felt their town and parish council area wasrural. In Devon, 85 per cent indicated that they lived in a rural area; 6 percent said that they lived in an urban area; 7 per cent said that their area wasboth rural and urban. For Cornwall, 81 per cent said they lived in a rural area;6 per cent said that they lived in an urban area and 12 per cent indicated thattheir settlement type was mixed. Within the interviews there was a strongidentity with rurality and often passionate proclamations about how theheritage and identity of rural Devon and Cornwall should be preserved. Thisis an important issue for understanding the nature of sustainablecommunities as an increasingly urban global population fundamentally altersthe rural landscape.Whilst interviewees described the physical attributes of what constitutes theirrural areas, it also became apparent that the idea of rurality is a subjectiveconstruct and varies depending upon the perspective of the interviewee.Often where a councillor was part of a larger village or small town therewould be ambiguity over the nature of the settlement type. The following 30
  31. 31. extract highlights this point as the interviewee is asked how the area beingdiscussed is described: “…well don’t call it a town. They get very upset about that. It’s a large large village and I personally would call it semi rural. The surrounding places I would say are probably more rural but actually if you look at how the development of (the parish) sort of spread a bit and I know there are boundaries that everything is now sort of, I mean I don’t think there’s much room for more development in (the parish). The infrastructure simply can’t take it but other places in the parish could take a bit more. My personal feeling would be sort of semi rural. Its not sort of you are not looking at the peaks and the lakes but I think other people probably describe it as rural”. (Parish Councillor)This extract exemplifies the ambiguous nature of settlement within Devonand Cornwall as the interviewee, whilst not using the term urban doesdescribe the area as semi-rural. The extract also indicates the strength ofmaintaining a ‘rural identity’ as the interviewee describes other councillorsbecoming ‘very upset’ about describing the area as a town. Indeed, evenwhen interviewees from the larger conurbations were interviewed theirperspective on the areas remained rural: “I would say it’s a rural parish. Its not a city parish by any stretch of the imagination any of them you know. The only difference, the only problem with this parish is it is so elongated so its very difficult you know”. (Parish councillor)This interviewee reinforces the perception that even the larger parish’s retaina rural identity. This is an identity which is intrinsic within the interviewmaterial and reflects the nature of community in Devon and Cornwall. Therewas also recognition of the changing nature of the landscape and thepotential future urbanisation, as increased population pressures force 31
  32. 32. authorities to consider housing priorities. For example, the followingcouncillor was asked if he considered his parish urban or rural: “Well we’ve always considered ourselves as rural but I think government now looks at us more as urban, if it goes the way they want it to go it will certainly be urban because there’s plans to build thousands of houses down there”. (Parish Councillor)The idea of community will be revisited later in this report. With thebackground to the research area established the following section will focusmore directly on the education and training areas of the research.Education and TrainingThis section will elaborate on those areas that relate specifically to educationand training needs within Devon and Cornwall. This will be a presentation ofsurvey data from both Devon and Cornwall, as well as selected extracts fromthe interview data.Figure 7: Participate in Training Participate in Training 80 68 66 70 60 50 Per Cent 40 Devon 30 Cornwall 19 20 10.5 10 5 6 0 Yes No Don’t Know 32
  33. 33. Members of town and parish councils were asked to say if they felt that theywould be willing to participate in training. Figure 7 shows that in Devon; 68per cent said that they would participate in training; 18.5 per cent said thatthey would not participate in training and 10.5 per cent said that they did notknow whether they would participate in training. In Cornwall, 66 per centindicated that they would participate in training; 5 per cent said that theywould not participate in training and 6 per cent said that they did not know ifthey would participate in training.The interview component of the work supported these findings withinterviewees indicating that they would, on the whole, participate in educationand training if it was offered to them. However, these proclamations wereoften tempered with a number of variables that affected whether they felt thatthey would be involved in further education and training. Such variablesreflect the very complex nature of motivation and personal choice. What isevident from the interviews is that actual participation in education or trainingprogrammes would need to be tempered with the salience of theseprogrammes to the individual, their council and their community at large.What is more, the desire to participate in training is constantly tempered withthe nature of the parish councillor position, which is on a voluntary basis.Commenting on whether the following interviewee was aware of existingtraining programmes, the following response was forthcoming: “Well there is really there’s training available for Parish Councillors and it is there but I think it’s, in some ways it would be wrong to perhaps put minimum qualifications on it where people have got to have a certain amount of education because on the one hand that gets rid of democracy, that’s not democratic, then on the other hand you’ve got to have people on who are prepared to contribute something and to have a view and to have sensible things to put forward, even daft things to put forward sometimes” (parish Councillor) 33
  34. 34. To varying degrees the above statement is visible in the corpus of interviewdata and highlights the contentious nature of education and training within avoluntary organisation. The issue of democracy within town and parishcouncils extends beyond Devon and Cornwall and goes to the viability oflocal government process. Whilst these extended issues are pertinent to theform that education and training will take in town and parish councils andcontribute to the understanding of promoting sustainable communities, suchextensions are beyond the remit of this report.Figure 8: Special Skills Special Skills 70 59 60 50 43 40 Per Cent 40 Devon 30 20 Cornwall 20 13 10 2 0 Yes No Don’t KnowRespondents were asked if they felt that special skills were needed tooperate as a parish councillor. Figure 8 shows that for Devon, 59 per centindicated that special skills were necessary; 20 per cent indicated thatspecial skills were not necessary and 2 per cent did not know whetherspecial skills were necessary. In Cornwall, 43 per cent indicated that specialtraining was necessary; 40 per cent indicated that it was not necessary and13 per cent said that they did not know if special training was necessary.The interview process revealed many different areas that could be accessedwith regard to education and training. A number of responses indicated thatthere was actually no need for additional skills and training. A number ofrespondents indicated that their skills which that had been developed over a 34
  35. 35. lifetime, was infact enough to operate effectively as a town and parishcouncillor. The response below represents this: “ I don’t think you need any, I really don’t think you need any, I think you need a lot of common sense, be able to negotiate, argue and compromise perhaps because you have 10 people on a PC, you can’t always just, there are certain things that you may feel very passionate about but you still have to get on with your fellow councillors, but I don’t think you need, I mean we did go to the original training for the way to behave and conflicts of interest and all this sort of thing, I think you have to be very careful about your conflicts of interest, but apart from that I really don’t think you need a great deal of training”.(Parish Councillor)Supporting this observation, another parish councillor indicated that tooperate as a parish councillor you need. “A general knowledge about lifeand hopefully not having too much bias” (Parish Councillor). There was alsoa body of evidence that pointed out that there were specific areas of trainingthat would be beneficial within the town and parish councils context. Thefollowing extract is typical of the corpus of interview material: “Yeah so training, yes general people management I think being able to communicate, but there are other skills you need on the PC and you need the people who will be paper bashers, they might not be that good in communicating with people but they will get on with things like the parish plan which we’re updating now, I’m on that committee but there’s the main chap who does it.” (Parish councillor)The above extract highlights a number if themes that emerge within the datamaterial. The interviewee sees a division of skills sets within the councildynamic. This division exists between what is described as those with theability to communicate and those who are ‘pencil pushers’. This isrepresentative of the diversity of skills necessary to successfully operatewithin a town and parish council. 35
  36. 36. Types of Training and EducationMembers of town and parish councils were presented with a number of areasof training and education that may be considered of importance in their rolewithin the town or parish.Figure 9: Types of Skills Cornwall Types of Skills 70 58 60 50 43 Per Cent 40 30 30 23 26 18 20 17.5 20 10 0Members of town and parish councils in Cornwall were asked to indicatewhat types of skills they felt were essential to operate as a member of a townor parish council. Figure 9 shows that on aggregate 18 per cent indicatedthat management was an essential skill to operate as a member of a townand parish council; 20 per cent said that interpersonal skills were essential tooperate as a member of a town/parish council. By the largest majority, 58 percent indicated that planning was an essential skill to operate as a member ofa town and parish council; 17.5 per cent indicated that leadership was anessential skill for a member of a town/parish council; 30 per cent said thatcommunication was an essential skill for being a member of a town/parishcouncil; 23 per cent said that project management was an essential skill formembers of town and parish councils; 26 per cent said that financial skillswere essential for being a member of a town and parish council; 43 per centindicated that legislation was an essential skill for a member of a town/parish. 36
  37. 37. For Devon skills presented to respondents were similar but not identical,these are therefore presented separately.Figure 10: Types of Skills Devon Types of Skills 90 83 80 70 63 60 50 45 40 38 40 29 30 20 10 0Figure 10 shows the types of skills that respondents in Devon felt wereimportant for being a member of a town and parish council. 40 per centindicated that management skills were important; 63 per cent indicated thatinterpersonal skills were important; 45 per cent indicated that leadershipskills were important; 83 per cent indicated that communication skills wereimportant; 29 per cent indicated that project management skills wereimportant; 38 per cent indicated that financial skills were important. Table 1of this report has already outlined the generic skills that were identified in thecouncil survey component of this research. These were echoed to varyingdegrees in the interviews. Interviewees identified a number of skills that theyfelt were important for the successful operation of a town and parish council. 37
  38. 38. Figure 11: Receive Particular Types of Training in Cornwall Recieve Modular Training/Education 40 37 36 35 30 24 24 Per Cent 25 19 19 20 15.5 16 15 11 10 5 0Respondents were presented with a number of areas of training andeducation that could be presented in a modular form. The members of thetown and parish councils were asked to indicate which of these they feltwould most benefit them and their communities. Figure 11 shows that 24 percent specified that they would like to receive a module in health and safety;37 per cent indicated that they would like to receive a module in legal issues;36 per cent indicated that they would like to receive training and education inthe area of local government; 19 per cent specified that they would like toreceive training and education in asset management; 11 per cent said thatthey would like to receive a module in equality and diversity; 24 per cent saidthat they would like to receive a module on issues concerning the localismagenda; 15.5 per cent stated that they would like to receive a module in theuse of computers; 16 per cent indicated that they would like a module inmanaging complaints and 19 per cent indicated that they would like toreceive a module in codes of conduct. 38
  39. 39. Figure 12: Method of Training and Education Method of Education and Training 60 56 55.5 50 39.5 40 Per Cent 30 25 Devon 21 23 20 Cornwall 10 6 6 0 Short Courses Internet One to One GroupMembers of town and parish councils were asked to indicate what they feltwould be the most appropriate method of training for them. For Devon, 56per cent indicated that they would like to receive training through shortcourses; 39.5 per cent indicated that they would like to receive their trainingin group sessions; 21 per cent said that they would like to receive trainingand education through the medium of the internet and 6 per cent indicatedthat they would like to receive their education and training in ‘one to one’sessions. In Cornwall, the majority at 55.5 per cent indicated that they wouldlike to receive training through short courses; 23 per cent indicated that theywould like to receive their training in group sessions; 25 per cent said thatthey would like to receive training and education through the medium of theinternet and 6.5 per cent indicated that they would like to receive theireducation and training in ‘one to one’ sessions. “I think in groups. I also think one to one when its necessary because not all of us have computers I don’t know that we could do it as distance learning. If one did do it as distance learning then it would be important that they met one week in the month or whatever it is. I mean I think distance learning would probably be more cost effective but you still need to meet.” (Parish Councillor) 39
  40. 40. The interviews revealed a mixed bag with regard to the form that educationand training should take. There was a consistent reference to limited timeand there were varying degrees of motivation to act on training if it wasactually available. Another issue that should be drawn from the aboveextract which presents itself in the corpus of interviews is the access to andmotivation to use information technology. This is a crucial point as a greatdeal of information that is available to parish councils on a multitude ofissues is accessible through the internet. If there is a presumption that thereis a universal access to this information source then this in itself can becounter productive. For example, of the 209 Cornish parish councils, only74 have websites.Figure 13: Prepared to Fund Own Training Fund Own Training 70 65 64 60 50 Per Cent 40 Devon 30 Cornwall 20 16 14 14 14.5 10 0 Yes No Don’t KnowRespondents were asked to indicate whether they felt they would beprepared to fund their own training and education. Figure 13 shows that forDevon, 16 per cent indicated that they would be prepared to fund their owntraining. However, the majority, at 65 per cent said that they would not beprepared to fund their own education or training; 14 per cent indicated thatthey did not know whether they would be prepared to fund their own trainingand education. For Cornwall, 14 per cent indicated that they would beprepared to fund their own training; 64 per cent said that they would not be 40
  41. 41. prepared to fund their own education or training; 14.5 per cent indicated thatthey did not know whether they would be prepared to fund their own trainingand education.Figure 14: Travel for Training Travel for Training 60 49 50 50 40 Per Cent 30 Devon 20 17 16 Cornwall 10 6 4.5 0 Yes No Don’t KnowMembers of town and parish councils were asked if they felt that they wouldbe prepared to travel for training. In Devon, 49 per cent indicated that theywould be prepared to travel for training; 17 per cent indicated that they wouldnot be prepared to travel for training. In Cornwall, 50 per cent indicated thatthey would be prepared to travel for training; 16 per cent indicated that theywould not travel for training and 4.5 per cent did not know if they would travelfor training. 41
  42. 42. Figure 15: Distance to Training Distance to Training 30 24 23 25 20 Per Cent 14 15 12 11 9 9 Devon 10 4 5 Cornwall 5 1 0 1 to 5 6 to 10 11 to 15 16 to 20 20+ MilesRespondents were asked how far they would be willing to travel in order toreceive training and education. Figure 15 shows that in Devon 1 per centindicated that they would be prepared to travel between one and five miles; 5per cent indicated that they would be willing to travel between six to tenmiles; 9 per cent said that they would be willing to travel between eleven andfifteen miles; 12 per cent said that they would be willing to travel betweensixteen and twenty miles and 24 per cent said that they would be willing totravel more than twenty miles to receive education and training. ForCornwall, 4 per cent indicated that they would be prepared to travel betweenone and five miles; 9 per cent indicated that they would be willing to travelbetween six to ten miles; 11 per cent said that they would be willing to travelbetween eleven and fifteen miles; 14 per cent said that they would be willingto travel between sixteen and twenty miles and 23 per cent said that theywould be willing to travel more than twenty miles to receive education andtraining.The above discussion has focused primarily on the education and trainingelements of the research. The following section will expand this discussionby exploring results that relate to community, sustainable development andclimate change. 42
  43. 43. CommunityThis section presents results from the part of the survey that examinessustainable communities. Community is an emotive issue. Policy aimed atachieving sustainable development and more specifically, sustainablecommunities, is becoming increasingly sophisticated at incorporating thecomplexities of the issues involved. With this said, however, there is still asignificant lack of understanding of the way that community is perceived andunderstood. In the 21st Century, the nature of community has changedsignificantly with advancements in technology, particularly transportation andthe increasing speed of global communications. A full exploration of theseissues is beyond the remit of this report. However, the issue of community isimportant in relation to the ways that education and training is developed anddelivered. Respondents were therefore asked a number of questions abouttheir community which were designed to elicit a sense of being, not just to asingle community but to multiple communities that exist in a singlegeographical area.Figure 16: Community Dynamic Community 120 9695 100 8589 80 65 6163 Per Cent 56 60 39 40 20 6 6 8 7 8 Devon 0 CornwallFigure 16 highlights responses to questions that were posed with regard tocommunity. For Devon, 96 percent said that they felt part of a community; 56per cent indicated that they were part of multiple communities; 6 per cent 43
  44. 44. indicated that their community was focused on work; 61 per cent indicatedthat their community was predominantly family and friend; 6 per cent saidthat their community was the internet; 7 per cent indicated that theircommunity was nationwide; 85 per cent said that their community was thelocal area. For Cornwall, 95 percent said that they felt part of a community;65 per cent indicated that they were part of multiple communities; 39 per centindicated that their community was focused on work; 63 per cent indicatedthat their community was predominantly family and friend; 8 per cent saidthat their community was the internet; 8 per cent indicated that theircommunity was nationwide; 89 per cent said that their community was thelocal area.Overall, interviews confirmed the findings in the survey. There was a strongsense of community among members of town and parish councils. Thisreflects the nature of the voluntary role of town or parish councillors and theconcern for community. However, whilst this strong identity was presentthere was also recognition amongst interviewees of the diverse nature ofcommunity and the multiple forces that interact in a single area. There issignificant scope to expand on these issues from within the existing data set.The following section will focus more directly on the sustainable developmentareas of the research. 44
  45. 45. Sustainable Development MechanismsRespondents were asked to indicate if they were aware of any of themechanisms that existed within the local government arena that can be saidto promote sustainable communities and sustainable development.Figure 17: Awareness of Sustainable Development Mechanisms Awareness 70 60 61 60 52 50 Per Cent 40 34 29 30 Devon 20 10 10 Cornwall 10 0 LAA CAA Sustainable Quality Parish Community StrategyAs shown in Figure 17, in Devon 29 per cent were aware of Local AreaAgreements; 10 per cent were aware of Comprehensive Area Assessment.Devon town and parish councillors were not asked if they had heard ofSustainable Community Strategies. 60 per cent indicated that they hadheard of the Quality Parish Scheme. In Cornwall, 34 per cent said that theyhad heard of Local Area Agreements; 10 per cent said that they had heard ofComprehensive Area Assessments; 52 per cent said that they were aware ofthe Sustainable Community Strategy; 61 per cent indicated that they wereaware of the Quality Parish scheme. On the whole, interviews confirmed thesurvey findings. There was an overall low level of understanding of themechanisms that could be utilised to promote sustainable development andsustainable communities more broadly. What was more important was thatwhilst there was some awareness of these mechanisms they are notidentified with sustainable communities. The following elaborates moredirectly on sustainable development related issues. 45
  46. 46. Figure 18: Aware of Sustainable Development Related Issues Aware of Sustainable Development Related Issues 120 98 98 98 98 96 95.5 100 85 87 85 84.5 80 Per Cent 60 40 35.5 40 20 Devon 0 CornwallMembers of town and parish councils were presented with a list of issuesthat related to sustainable development and asked to indicate if they wereaware of a particular issue. Figure 18 shows that for Devon on aggregate 98per cent said that they had heard of climate change; 85 per cent said thatthey had heard of the ozone layer; 40 per cent had heard of Agenda 21; 85per cent said that they had heard of biodiversity; 98 per cent said that theyhad heard of global warming; 90 per cent said that they had heard of carbonfootprint. For Cornwall, 98 per cent said that they had heard of climatechange; 87 per cent said that they had heard of the ozone layer; 35.5 percent had heard of Agenda 21; 84.5 per cent said that they had heard ofbiodiversity; 98 per cent said that they had heard of global warming; 95.5 percent said that they had heard of carbon footprint.Interviews revealed a significantly variable understanding of theaforementioned issues. Overall, the survey results were confirmed in theinterview data. Climate change was a topic that was highly visible even if thecauses and effects were not clearly understood. The following elaborates onthese issues. 46
  47. 47. Figure 19: Global Warming Global Warming 90 78 80 80 70 60 Per Cent 50 40 Devon 30 Cornwall 20 10 8 8 6 10 3 4 0 Not All Natural Made Worse All Humanitys Happening Causes by Humans FaultRespondents were presented with four statements concerning globalwarming and asked to indicate to what degree they agreed or disagreed withthese statements. In Devon, 3 per cent agreed that global warming was notreally happening; 8 per cent agreed that global warming was a naturaloccurrence; overwhelmingly, 78 per cent agreed that global warming wasmade worse by humans; 10 per cent agreed that global warming was all ofhumanity’s fault. For Cornwall, 4 per cent agreed that global warming wasnot really happening; 8 per cent agreed that global warming was a naturaloccurrence; overwhelmingly, 80 per cent agreed that global warming wasmade worse by humans; 6 per cent agreed that global warming was all ofhumanity’s fault.Results from the interviews were very varied as to the cause and effect ofglobal climate change. Many interviewees agreed it was an important issueand ‘something should be done’. The following extract typifies this sort ofresponse: “After the winter we’ve just had I wonder, but certainly as far as GW goes I think it should concern everybody and we should all be trying to save. I mean I look at council buildings, government buildings and 47
  48. 48. they’re flooded with lights, in broad daylight, why do they need all the lights on, if they tried to ensure that 50% of the lights were put on and 50% were switched off, in other words perhaps in a office it may need rewiring but the point is that if 50% were saved on every government building how much would you save?”(Parish Councillor)As illustrated in the statement above the interviewee purports to theimportance of climate change indicating that it should be a high priority.However, the opening of this statement ‘after the winter we’ve had’ pinpointsthe subtle undertones of uncertainty and scepticism. This is a finding echoedin broader research that looks at public identification with climate change(Borne 2010; Hulme 2009). With the previous assessment in mind, manyinterviewees were unclear as to the types of actions that could be taken toadapt to or mitigate what were often seen as ambiguous effects. There wasa large body of evidence that suggested that the issues that surround climatechange were not pertinent to the work of parish councils. When asked aboutthoughts on global warming the sentiment contained in the followingstatement was not uncommon: “I don’t, quite honestly, I don’t understand it. I watched a programme the other night I’m fascinated with polar bears or bears of any sort” (Parish councillor)The same councillor was asked to indicate whether the community at largewould be concerned about the global warming and responded as follows: “I shouldn’t think so no. Its not something I’ve ever asked them. Its not something you would ask somebody, what do you think about global warming? Yeah right. I don’t think they would even know what you were talking about. I don’t know but”. (parish councillor) 48
  49. 49. The interviews revealed an often recognised weakness in survey research.This is the situation where respondents provide the response that theyperceive as being the right answer as opposed to the answer that they mightactually want to provide. Overall, the interviews provided unique insights inthe many different areas of sustainable development, climate change and theway that sustainable development can be utilised to enhance organisationalstructure. Returning to the education and training dimensions of this workand drawing on table 1,table 6 (see appendix 1) identifies some broadlearning outputs as they relate to sustainable development .ConclusionThis report has outlined the details and findings of the research project‘Promoting Sustainable Communities in Devon and Cornwall. There hasbeen a specific and selective focus on the education and training componentof this work in fulfilment of the remit as outlined for the South West LifelongLearning Network. Initially, an executive summary outlined some of theheadline findings that were evident from the survey and the interviews. Areasof indicative training were outlined and these have been supported by amapping and scoping exercise.This was followed by a contextual discussion on the background to thisresearch emphasising the interaction between education and training,community and sustainable development. There was a particular emphasison the sustainable development approach taken in this research. This wasfollowed by detailing the methodological approach taken in this work. Thisincluded processes and procedures, as well as a reflexive review of theoverall approach in order to establish a transferable best practice baseline.The results section interactively presented results from both Devon andCornwall. This included qualitative and quantitative data. Areas oneducation and training were supplemented by exploring some of thepertinent data that related to sustainable communities and sustainabledevelopment more broadly. 49
  50. 50. The complex and multifaceted nature of this work has meant that manyareas exist for interrogation that could build capacity and strengthengovernance structures at the local level. Moreover, there is an ongoingopportunity to create policy synergies between the individual, national andinternational levels of analysis. This particularly relates to the areas ofsustainable development and climate change. The following will elaborateon possible avenues for future research as well as opportunities from theexisting work.Future OpportunitiesThe results and analysis presented in this report have remained necessarilyfocused on the specific areas of education and training with complementarymaterial from the sustainable development components of this work. Thereis significant scope in lieu of further funding to examine other dimensions ofthe existing data. These include • The opportunities and barriers to service provision • The opportunities and barriers posed by unitary status • Insights into the Community Network Areas in Cornwall • Insights into Governance transitionThere is also a wealth of data that relates to climate change and sustainabledevelopment. The executive report to this document highlighted initialfindings that related to these areas, further work is required to expand onthese issues. Table 7 (See appendix 2) elaborates on the various issuesthat can be developed within this work. For further clarifications on futurework please contact the author at 50
  51. 51. ReferencesBorne, G., (2008) Understanding Town and Parish Council Needs for aSustainable Devon, South West Lifelong Learning Network, G., (2009) Understanding Town and Parish Council Needs fro aSustainable Cornwall, South West Lifelong Learning Network G., (2010) Sustainable Development: The Reflexive Governance ofRisk, Lampeter, Edwin Mellen PressCornwall County Council (2009) Definition of Sustainable Development, B., and Bass, S., (2002) Sustainable Development Strategiesa Resource Book, International Institute of Environment and DevelopmentDevon County Council (2009) (2005) Securing the Future - UK Government sustainabledevelopment strategy, accessed 04/08/06Hulme, M., (2009) Why We Disagree About Climate Change, UnderstandingControversy, Inaction and OpportunityStibbe E., and Luna, H., (2009) Introduction in E. Stibbe ‘The Handbook ofSustainability Literacy: Skills for a Changing World, Totnes, Green Books 51
  52. 52. World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Our CommonFuture. Oxford, Oxford University Press 52
  53. 53. APPENDIX 1Table 6: Learning Outputs 53
  54. 54. Key Concept Values Skills KnowledgeHolistic A sensitivity to Reflect critically onPerspective individual impact ones lifestyle and The environment and the on the choices in the light human condition are environment of inextricably interrelated. interdependence. An appreciation Understanding of the of the interaction Evaluation environment and society between social though direct and environmental Discern patterns of mediated sources economic legal interrelationship and political between Understanding of issues environment and ecological cycles, development topics and How people continually Be open and between actions impact on the honest with and consequences. environment and others, regard to your as individuals and as part political of wider society, at the objectives local to global levels Understanding of technological change and the role of science in societyParticipation Willingness to act Engage in and Community action and as a responsible manage change at partnership is necessary citizen, learning individual and to promote sustainability. from and working social levels. with others to The connection between improve Be proactive and personal values and situations, with learn from past beliefs and behaviour. respect to mistakes sustainability How the school, Mediate with community and Commitment to sensitivity and household can managed engagement and diplomacy more sustainably. community participation Find information, The roles and weigh evidence, responsibilities of town A sense of and present and parish council. responsibility for reasoned personal and argument on Changing role in light of group actions, sustainable global pressures and an development awareness of issues. their likely impact 54
  55. 55. on natural and Identify barriers to human effective communities, participation both locally and globally. Express and communicate personal responses to social and environmental issues in a variety of waysTime scale of Commitment to Consider the future Conservation, efficiencysustainable future direction of society and restraint in use ofdevelopment generations and the resources is necessary to environment, and ensure quality of life in Appreciation of personal role and the future. short term contribution to the The role that humanity expediencies of future. has played in the past political goals Identify current and future trends How the current quality relevant to your of the environment is a area as well as wider areas result of human and natural history.Quality of Life Appreciate why Objectivity Quality of life is subject toand Equity equity and justice cultural and societal is necessary to a Identify and make variations sustainable clear personal bias society. and prejudices Material acquisition does not relate to quality of life Willingness to Distinguish encompass between wants alternative and needs. perspectives Professional identityValues Appreciation of the need to Identify and Understanding of develop lifestyles evaluate own numerous value systems which respect values and those resource and of others Knowledge of sustainable carrying capacity development limits. Accommodate perspectives conflicting values Awareness of without prejudice Strong and weak alternative value sustainable development systems debatesSpatial Scale of Identify the Sensitivity to the relevant legislative Knowledge of the 55
  56. 56. Sustainable interconnections imperatives both relationship between the at the spatial now and in the urban and ruralDevelopment level. future environments Connections between the global and local spatial scales Be prepared to Appreciate, Knowledge about the be flexible in the critically evaluate, environment and ourSystem face of and learn from a relation to it is growing,dynamics and uncertainty range of opinions changing and uncertain. on sustainableprocesses, Appreciation that development Knowledge of institutionalComplexity, risk there are a range issues and organisational of possible change necessary foruncertainties approaches to Explore the need sustainable development sustainable for sustainable transitions. For example development development in the Internal Auditing and issues local and global evidencing (AA1000) community. Appreciation that the limits of Develop the ability knowledge about to think reflexively the environment and sustainable Respond positively development to uncertainty. requires critical thinking. Appreciation of the need for life- long learning in relation to sustainable development and towards a change. 56
  57. 57. APPENDIX 2Table 7: Future Opportunities 57