A little bit about how it started
In February 2019 Wiltshire Council acknowledged that there was a climate emergency and set themselves a target to make Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030. In order to ensure that Wiltshire council was taking this commitment seriously a meeting of over 20 interest groups from across Wiltshire came together in January to make plans for an event to mark the first anniversary. The WCA was formed!
On 25th February 2020 we held our first demonstration outside County Hall in Trowbridge and this has led to an understanding that we are so much stronger when working together.
A bit about WCA's steering group
Soon after the first demonstration The Covid 19 lockdown started but this did not put us off. We spent the time putting together a draft constitution and recruited a steering group. The constitution and steering groups will be voted upon when we are able to have a proper meeting but for now, the steering groups is as follows:
Bill Jarvis - Convenor
Bill is a Civil Engineer and has a broad appreciation of developing new and innovative ideas that can deliver benefits to the community and the environment.
Over the last 8 years he has been involved in environmental actions, starting with the anti fracking movement, particularly Keep Wiltshire Frack Free and Preston New Road on the Fylde. He joined XR in October 2018 and was an outreach co-ordinator for XR Frome before, as a Wiltshire resident, being instrumental in organising the push by residents to get Wiltshire to acknowledge a Climate Emergency. Since then, with a small group of activists, he has been pressing the Council to action, attending many Council meeting, asking questions and meeting with their Climate Change team, pushing them to deliver their 2030 goals. At the end of 2019 he sparked the January meeting that set up WCA and the February anniversary protests.
Jessica Thimbleby - General Secretary
Jessica has volunteered and worked in the environment sector for over ten years, engaging diverse communities on a range of issues and facilitating community-based projects. She has an interest in projects which bring co-benefits, particularly social justice, and develop community resilience; adapting to the impacts of climate change while lessening them through emissions reduction. Since 2015 Jessica has worked at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, previously on the Waste Education Team and from 2019 as Sustainability Officer. An active member of Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon she has worked with community groups countywide and is keen to help Wiltshire become carbon neutral.
Eva McHugh - Membership Secretary
Eva has been actively involved with Extinction Rebellion Salisbury for the last year, taking part in various protests including the October Rebellion and local Student Strikes. After finding a strong sense of community and getting to meet other local, like-minded individuals Eva has decided to broaden her attention to include a solution-based movement and has recently joined Salisbury Transition City. Eva was heavily involved with the planning and preparation of the action in Trowbridge on 25th February putting to good use her previous work experience in project planning.
Christian Lange - Treasurer
Christian retired from Wiltshire Police in 2016 having completed 25 years service. His last posting was as Area Inspector in charge of policing in the Amesbury Community Area. Christian now runs a sound, lighting and events company which he set up several years ago. He provided much of the infrastructure for the demonstration on 25th February on the anniversary of Wiltshire Council climate emergency declaration. Christian has always been interested in environmental issues but has only recently started to become an activist due to the increasing reality that authorities are ignoring the real and catastrophic dangers of climate change.
Andrew Nicholson - Committee Member
Moving to Wiltshire 20 years ago from Bath where I co-founded CycleBath and first proposed the Two Tunnels Greenway, I’ve worked with CPRE, CyclingUK and Campaign for Better Transport. I headed a 1990s anti-road campaign that pioneered fundraising, public support and legal challenge tactics. I’ve given expert Public Inquiry evidence including computer modelling. I’m now an experienced full-time transport, environment and climate activist.
I’m a Bradford-on-Avon XR supporter, specialising in using Freedom of Information (FOI) to get Wiltshire Council etc. to disclose intentions on climate, new roads and greenfield housing and commercial development; I’m leading a young peoples' public art project too. I’d like WCA to develop as umbrella for members to tackle Wiltshire and town councils, and central government, head-on where it matters for Climate Change: juggernaut policies that need determined, detailed challenges to reverse. I offer FOI and legal expertise, creativity and unwavering commitment."
Dr Nick Murry FIEMA - Committee Member
Nick works as a sustainability and climate change consultant and part-time university lecturer in environmental management. His professional experience includes advising organisations on sustainability strategy, helping them embed sustainability in their business and supply chains, and recently authoring a sustainability guide for local businesses. He has worked both in the UK and internationally, including as a consultant to the UN, EU, World Bank, various international institutions and NGOs.
Nick is a long-standing campaigner and advocate for the environment, and responsible for events such as Chippenham’s Sustainability Day and Sustainable Business Conference and for bringing the motion for Chippenham Town Council’s Climate Emergency declaration. He is also a Wiltshire Councillor and serves on its Environment Select Committee and Climate Emergency Task Group. He is a Trustee of Avon Needs Trees, Chair of the Chippenham Cycle Network Development Group and Chair of Zero Chippenham, a non-for-profit organisation helping to deliver climate change solutions locally.
Brig Oubridge - Committee Member
Brig has been an active campaigner on environmental and climate issues for over 40 years. He is a member of Salisbury Extinction Rebellion, Salisbury Transition City, and Salisbury Green Party. Brig was one of the group who helped establish the Wiltshire Climate Alliance, and organised and compered the outdoor part of the action on February 25th on the anniversary of Wiltshire Council's climate emergency declaration, for which he also produced the leaflets.