Engaging our communities to improve their carbon footprint

Working with the community and other local authorities to collectively reduce our carbon footprint.

Town and parish council toolkit and hub

Our story

Cheshire East Council is on a mission to engage and empower its communities to improve the carbon footprint of their activities and understand the scale of the challenge we face.

Our story is best told through our individual initiatives:

Town and parish council hub
To encourage further collaboration between the councils and to facilitate the sharing of ideas and expertise we have also developed our climate hub. This is an online collaboration platform for use by members of our town and parish councils or their related sustainability groups. In addition to providing easy access to a toolkit of ideas for reducing carbon, the hub functions as a social platform to allow sharing of news articles, examples of best practice and requests for help and assistance.

School competitions
We recognise that bringing young people into the climate conversation has never been more important.
Our competition to ‘Name the hydrogen bin trucks’, run in partnership with Storengy UK and Ansa Environmental Services, received a huge amount of interest from primary school children across the borough. The winning names, selected by a judging panel including our members and project partners, were Ch2ewie and Ch2omper.
In another competition, launched with Storengy UK, we asked primary school children to submit creative ideas for tackling climate change – and received an amazing response. The winning school received a prize of a solar panel package for their school worth up to £10,000, with prizes of solar panel robot kits being delivered to the well-deserved runners-up.

Reaseheath conference
To provide the most comprehensive community engagement, the council recognises the need to make contact with many different sectors. Partnering with Sustainability Nantwich and Reaseheath College, with support from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, we hosted a virtual conference in October 2021.
The primary purpose of the conference was to engage different sectors with the climate conversation, particularly agriculture and retail.
Having secured a strong keynote speaker, the conference sought to inform but more importantly be informed by the sector representatives. As a council, we need to understand the constraints and difficulties, but also the potential of each sector within our borough – encouraging a collaborative approach to carbon reduction and sustainability.

Our advice

We found that early engagement with the town and parish councils was fundamental. Overall, this improved the uptake of the engagement and interest in the hub.

We also made sure we targeted the widest range of stakeholders through our community engagement activities, coupled with a clear plan for follow up with attendees.

Currently we have several initiatives underway to engage and empower the community to improve the carbon footprint of their activities and understand the scale of the challenge we face. As a result we have seen an increased engagement from the community, as well as increased collaboration. Through initiatives such as our Town and parish council toolkit and hub we have created open conversations around our climate emergency. We have also encouraged further collaboration between the councils, ourselves and the wider public to facilitate the sharing of ideas and expertise.

Our metrics

  • Number of initiatives, such as competitions.
  • Number of people engaged.
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