Perth & Kinross Council
Perth & Kinross Council first became aware of Cittaslow in 2005 when a report commissioned to consider proposals to brand Perth as a Food Town included a case study on Ludlow that had recently become the first Cittaslow town in the UK.
Interest in Cittaslow was sparked at that time as it was felt that it more fully met with how Perth and also the whole of the local authority area – Perth & Kinross – was developing, than any of the other models examined. This led to the whole local authority area of Perth & Kinross being recognised as the first Cittaslow supporter in the UK in 2006, followed by Perth becoming Scotland’s first Cittaslow town in 2007.
The Cittaslow criteria document was considered in detail and execution of a great number of these criteria was already being carried out by Perth & Kinross Council services either as statutory obligations or as part of projects aimed at enhancing the quality of life for the residents of the area.
Some examples of projects carried out by Perth & Kinross Council which fulfil Cittaslow criteria are:
Cittaslow Goal A3 – Plans for the implementation of new composting technology and the promotion of composting in people’s houses.
Perth and Kinross has one of the highest recycling and composting rates in Scotland, and has won national awards for its recycling initiatives. Most householders have access to a full Kerbside Recycling Service that allows them to recycle cans, plastics, paper and cardboard in one bin, and food and garden waste in another helping to achieve a 47% recycling and composting rate for 2010/2011. There are currently 89 public Recycling Points and 8 Recycling Centres throughout Perth and Kinross allowing residents to recycle items ranging from car & household batteries, glass bottles & jars and unwanted electrical items to cardboard, carpets, scrap metal and plasterboard.
The national “Spring Clean” campaigns are managed by the Council’s Community Greenspace team and Cittaslow Perth has linked with this team to carry out a spring clean of Moncrieffe Island, which is on the River Tay in the centre of Perth.
Cittaslow Goal B1 – Existence of well kept green space.
Perth & Kinross Council maintains two major park/Greenspace areas on the North Inch and South Inch parks and woodland parks at Kinnoull Hill and Quarrymill.
Cittaslow Goal C5 – Plans to plant sweet smelling or environment-enhancing plants in public and private gardens
Perth and several of the towns and villages around Perth & Kinross have been successful in national Bloom competitions. Perth has been a Scotland and Britain in Bloom Champion on a number of occasions. Beautiful Perth, an initiative led by the Council’s Community Greenspace team in partnership with a number of “Bloom” Committees throughout the Council area are responsible for this work.
Perth & Kinross Council has its own nurseries in Perth growing plants for public displays and supports Community Gardens where groups of people with alternative ability or learning difficulties can work alongside gardeners.
Cittaslow Goal D1 – Up to date Cittaslow register of locally produced goods and producers within the natural hinterland of the town.
Perth & Kinross Council operates a Business Directory of some 4,500 businesses in the Perth and Kinross area. This Directory is online and searchable. More specifically, on the food and drink side, the Council has produced a leaflet called “A Taste of Perthshire”, listing some 100 places to source, purchase and eat local produce. This leaflet indicates which businesses are Cittaslow Business Supporters. This is linked to web pages:
www.perthshire-produce.co.uk which also has a search feature and includes a downloadable copy of the leaflet.
Perth Farmers’ Market, the first modern day Farmers’ Market in Scotland, was initiated by Perth & Kinross Council in 1999 and operates year round. There are now four markets in Perthshire, providing a market somewhere in Perthshire every weekend from April to October.
Cittaslow Goal E2 – Multilingual signposting, directions and instructions.
Perth & Kinross Council has a policy of making all its documents and information materials available in different languages, for instance – car parks give instructions in four languages and tourist signs use internationally recognised symbols for facilities and attractions.
Cittaslow Goal F4 – Website showing how Cittaslow themes are applied
Cittaslow Perth has web pages hosted within Perth & Kinross Council’s website. Although Cittaslow Perth’s web presence has its own url – www.perthcittaslow.org.uk – visitors to the pages will be taken to the relevant section of www.pkc.gov.uk.
Perth & Kinross Council recognises the advantages of being Cittaslow members through:
- · An established, respected and credible network
- · Opportunities to learn from and link with others
- · Independent external endorsement giving a quality mark
- · Opens new markets for local businesses through networks
- · Links food & drink to wider environmental and community priorities
- · Involvement of local communities and businesses
- · An effective promotional tool
- · Enquiries about Cittaslow are dealt with by the Council’s Customer Service Centre
Perth & Kinross Council’s website contains information on these and other activities and projects, too numerous to mention here. While these may not mention Cittaslow, it is clear that the work carried out by Perth & Kinross Council staff has a significant bearing and impact on Perth’s Cittaslow status.