It doesn’t stop here…

How our work for Bristol 2015 sustains and grows in 2016

4 January 2016

Bristol may have passed the mantle of European Green Capital to Ljubljana on New Year’s Eve, but the initiatives we started as part of CSE's contribution to Bristol 2015 are sustaining momentum right into 2016. From strategic approaches to tackling the health impacts of cold homes to mapping out a route towards Bristol becoming a Smart Energy City, there has been significant progress in 2015 and the prospect of more to come.

CSE’s Chief Executive, Simon Roberts OBE, is positive about what has been achieved in 2015; “We’ve really made the most of the rallying point created by Bristol 2015. It helped us to bring together organisations to address significant energy-related challenges for the city. A year on, we’ve seen genuine progress and meaningful changes in the way these challenges are being considered and addressed.”

One of our core projects for the year, supported by a strategic grant from Bristol 2015, was PITCH - standing for Preventing Illness by Tackling Cold Homes. Our goal has been to engage with the health sector, the council and other partners to develop a city-wide programme to address the ill-health and misery caused by cold homes.

Alongside strategic level engagement with the Clinical Commissioning Group, Public Health, the Health and Wellbeing Board, Bristol Community Health Partners, and Bristol Health Partnership, PITCH has already resulted in a number of new initiatives, from an app for health sector referrals to a scratch-card promotion through community pharmacists. More integrated working arrangements have been established with partners, West of England Care and Repair and Talking Money. Our conference linking national policy and guidance with local delivery was addressed by Bristol’s elected mayor, George Ferguson, and secured new commitments to work together locally to overcome the many obstacles to effective action.

For the Bristol Smart Energy City Collaboration, we convened a cross-disciplinary group of public, private, academic and voluntary sector organisations to develop our understanding of what it would mean for Bristol to become a genuinely Smart Energy City. Building on a series of meetings of Collaborators, three expert workshops and much exploration of the issues by the CSE team, the year culminated in a packed-out event to share findings and recommendations, including three road maps. The resulting set of 10 ‘next steps for 2016’ provide a task list for the city, with the Collaboration evolving to provide coordination and challenge to help ensure the tasks are initiated and results and learning shared widely.

We have also been working in partnership with Bristol Energy Network throughout 2015 to train and support a network of more than 75 Energy Champions to participate in local energy initiatives across the city. This significant expansion in volunteer capacity for community energy action in Bristol is being carried forward as part of Bristol Energy Network’s growth for 2016.

Simon Roberts sees this momentum as a sign of real success; “One of our own success criteria for our contribution to Bristol 2015 was that we created genuine momentum for change. There’s no doubt that’s happened, creating a very real sense that the work doesn’t stop here.”

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