Local council action planning days

21 August 2020

Hundreds of local authorities and councils have passed declarations of a Climate Emergency. But where do they go from here? How do they go from warm words and good intentions to actually and effectively supporting the rapid transition to a zero-carbon economy?

This is a particular issue for smaller units like parish and town councils, according to CSE's Rachel Coxcoon.

"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 on the climate emergency" she said.

"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. There is therefore a need for 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."

To help them, we've designed a one day conference, which we will run with groups of local councils to go into the details of climate action planning. The day will be delivered via the online events platform Hopin.

The day will consist of the following core elements:

  1. Introduction to the climate emergency, and the radical action now needed.
  2. Facilitated workshops on understanding local impacts, communicating with your residents, and building an action plan.
  3. Online conference ‘Exhibition Hall’, with stalls from local advice providers, projects and schemes that can help you.
  4. Networking opportunities, allowing with 1:1 informal meetings with other parish councillors and clerks from your area.

The aim of the workshop is to 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.
  • Access to CSE resources and continued support.

The concept of local council action planning days was trialled earlier in the year with parish and town councils in and around Worcestershire. One participant was particularly positive about the experience:

"The day was excellent" said Gill Lungley from Worcestershire County Association of Local Councils. "I was sceptical about the whole thing, but the message has moved on from when I last attended any seminar on this issue – now there is no talk about the need to calculate our ‘carbon footprint’. Instead we have a much more rounded approach with tangible outcomes. The message has become easier to understand; it’s personal and effective and relevant to parish councils, as we can, and should, act as ambassadors and role models. I thought the conference day itself was very well planned and engaging. There was opportunity to meet up with other attendees and plenty of comfort breaks. The only thing that was missing was the Danish pastries!"


Workshops can be run for whole counties, district-wide or for individual councils. The online workshop is suitable for between 25-50 delegates. The total price for design, preparation, delivery and reporting for each workshop will be £2,565 + VAT.

As host you can either incur all, half or none of the workshop cost by offering the workshop to delegates free of charge, by charging a reduced delegate fee and paying the balance, or by passing all of the costs to delegates.

For more information about the day and costs, please get in touch: climateemergency@cse.org.uk or 0117 934 1400

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