Climate emergency workshops for town and parish councils

Making local authority climate emergency declarations meaningful and effective

4 March 2020

All these events are being run online for the time being. 

CSE has designed a one-day workshop for groups of English town and parish councillors and non-elected council officers such as parish clerks to support their climate action planning.

[These workshops have been organised by CSE with particular county or district Associations of Local Councils with whom we're working. If your town or parish council falls within one of the areas in the list below, contact them directly to book your place. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate representatives of parish or town councils that fall outside the county or district that has organised it.]

Since November 2018, hundreds of local authorities including many town and parish councils have passed Climate Emergency declarations. You can see which councils have done so here. Our workshop is designed to make these declarations meaningful and effective.

Rachel Coxcoon who runs CSE's Climate Emergency Support Programme says: "The Climate Emergency has received unprecedented levels of media and public attention in the past year – particularly during recent flooding – and awareness and a desire for change remains high. But the pace and scale of change required is enormous and will impact on our buildings, transport and individual consumption, and all levels of government will need to be involved in supporting the rapid transition to a zero-carbon economy.

"Town and parish councils are in a unique position to stimulate grassroots action, set a leadership example and provide a local, accountable focal point for practical action. But parish councillors are volunteers, most parish clerks are part time, and there is a very limited level of technical understanding of climate issues and carbon action. Our workshops will provide targeted support that will help them make sense of the scale of the issue, and take action in the way that is most appropriate to their area and spheres of influence."

The workshop will assist local councils that have already declared a Climate Emergency to develop and take some practical next steps. It will also be useful for councils that have not yet made a declaration but are working towards one, as it will help them produce a more effective and appropriate declaration.

The workshops will run from 10.00 to 16.00 and consist of four core elements:

  1. An introduction to the climate science, the national and international policy background, and the scale and pace of changes needed.
  2. A positive visioning exercise helping attendees develop, understand and articulate a future in which appropriate changes have been made so that their community is zero carbon and resilient.
  3. A series of practical action presentations covering topics such as renewable energy projects, energy efficiency, community engagement and fundraising, including Q&A.
  4. An action planning session, supporting attendees to develop a high level climate action plan for their parish or town.

The workshop will provide a group of local councils with:

  • A good grounding on the context, drivers, facts and figures in this space from global to local levels.
  • An understanding of the role of local councils and what levers of influence they have.
  • The beginning of a practical action plan for their parish or town and be better equipped to address the climate emergency.
  • Follow-up support and guidance from CSE's Climate Emergency Support Programme.

Here’s the list of the Parish Action Days we have got confirmed over the next few months. In each case, if you wish to attend, please contact the relevant association of local councils to book a place via the link.

[You can only attend these events if you represent a parish or town council that falls within county or district that has organised it, so if your area is not on the list and you think an action day would be useful, get your Association of Local Councils or your county or district council to get in touch with us and we can provide a quote for your area.]

5 March | Derbyshire Parish Day (for rural parishes)
The Ballroom, The Whitworth Centre, Dale Road North, Darley Dale, Matlock DE4 2EQ 
Contact Derbyshire ALC:

6 March | Derbyshire Town Day (for the bigger town councils)
Gothic Warehouse, Cromford Mill, Mill Road, Cromford DE4 3RQ
Contact Derbyshire ALC:

13 March | Cumbria Parish Day
Newbiggin Village Hall, Newbiggin, Penrith CA11 0HT
Contact: Cumbria ALC:

26 March | Worcestershire Parish and Town Day 
Hawford Young Farmers Centre Shires Farm, Worcester WR3 7SG
Contact Worcestershire ALC:

30 March | Forest of Dean Parish and Town Action Day
Council Chamber, Lords Hill Walk, Coleford GL16 8BD

2 April | Wealden 
Uckfield Civic Centre, Sussex TN22 1AE
Contact Fiona Berry on 

18 April | Avon Town and Parish Day (1)
Almondsbury Creative Hall, 10 Gloucester Rd, Almondsbury, Bristol BS32 4AA
Contact Avon LCA:

20 April | Avon Town and Parish Day (2)
Pensford Memorial Hall, 10 Publow Lane, Pensford, Bristol BS39 4HW
Contact Avon LCA:

9 July | Surrey Parish Day
Cranleigh Parish Hall, Village Way, Cranleigh GU6 8AF
Contact Surrey ALC:

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