Local authority connections

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Southend in Transition has a group member who works for the local authority and therefore personally knows relevant movers and shakers within the council to contact about their projects. This has helped to secure the group slots at speaker events, such as the council’s annual Low Carbon Conference, as well as meetings with people involved with environmental grants and local sustainability policy. For example, the Sustainability Officer at the council had connections with Pure Leapfrog, a business-led charity that provides social investment and professional support to community energy projects, who they told about the group's plans to develop a renewable energy co-operative. As a result, Pure Leapfrog got in touch with the group and met with them to discuss how Pure Leapfrog could support the project. This provided them with the information, support and momentum to apply for grant funding from DECC and to involve a wide range of people in the application. While their funding application was not successful, this process brought a group of people together in a following meeting which is now driving the setting up of the Southend Community Renewable Energy Co-op.