Linking up with Norway
From left to right: Garry Charnock, Roy Alexander, to come, Kate Harrison, Jonathan Hall, Janet Gullvåg, to come, Ronnie Meyer, Mayor Roar Jonstang
Between 26/28 October 2009, Norway's island community of Nøtterøy in Vestfold invited representatives from the Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project to their own project launch. Janet Gullvåg contacted our village around three years ago and since then they have been using our toolkit to help them setup a community action group, led by a cross-party Climate Advisory Council (headed byRonny Meyer, environmental adviser in the Nøtterøy Municipal Council) and Mayor Roar Jonstang. The Nøtterøy Business Forum is also enthusiastically supporting the project. This group is coordinated by Jonathan Hall and led by Mr Per Trygve Eitrem
Since then the municipality, which lies about 70 miles south of Oslo, has set up a cross party Climate Advisory Council led by Ronnie and supported by the Mayor, Roar Jonstang. Like Ashton Hayes, the community has enthusiastic support from local schools, business and other groups - including the radio, TV and local newspapers.
The cost of our visit was covered by the Council and we would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming generosity.
Here is some background provided by Jonathan Hall of the Nøtterøy Business Forum
Nøtterøy is an island of about 40 square miles in one of the most exciting growth areas in Norway today.
The Municipal district of Nøtterøy has 20,000 inhabitants and is adjacent to the County town of Tønsberg which has about 40,000 inhabitants.
The northern part of the island of Nøtterøy is most densely populated and is a continuation of the Tønsberg conurbation. There are 4/5 other centres of population on the island, and a certain amount of spread housing.
There are 1090 hectares of cultivated land and 2300 hectares of woodland. Farmers produce cereals and vegetables.
The community is just over one hour’s drive (70 miles) south of the capital city of Oslo at the mouth of the Oslo fjord.
We have a fantastic scenic archipelago, a comfortable climate, amenities of every kind and a well developed communications infrastructure. The motorway from Oslo has been extended and improved and the railway capacity increased. Our county of "Vestfold" is the most densely populated county in Norway outside Oslo.
Nøtterøy is on the outer fringe of Oslo’s commuter belt. The cost of living and wage levels are lower here than in the immediate proximity of Oslo. This area is considered an extremely desirable residential area and the population is highly skilled in fields such as ICT, telecommunication, electronic engineering and all kinds of service industries.
The region is also the holidaying area of choice for very many Norwegians living in the south eastern part of the country.
Our nearest airport is Sandefjord airport Torp (also called Oslo Torp). Torp has direct flights to destinations such as London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, and Frankfurt.
There are approximately 3000 registered firms on the island. About one third of these are limited companies whilst the rest are single traders.
There are a large number of small companies employing less than 10 people. The retail trade, commercial and consumer services as well as the building trade account for the largest number of companies.
The largest employers on the island are however Unitor Chemicals which produce cleaning products for merchant shipping and automobiles, Grenland Group which manufactures sub sea installations for operators in the North Sea and Vinghøg which develop and produce advanced technology for weapons systems.
The concern with the largest turn over is the Hesnes Group (over 2 billion Kroner).
The number of jobs on Nøtterøy corresponds to about 60 % of the active work force in the district.
A large number of people commute, first and foremost to Tønsberg, but also to Oslo and neighbouring towns.