Above the Clouds

Interesting Stuff - What is Wiltshire Council Doing?

The WCA and its members are keen to work with Wiltshire Council in order to have a positive influence on its policies. We know that WCA members have a great deal of knowledge and expertise and we hope that a positive relationship will lead to Wiltshire Council adopting an environmentally friendly approach to the way it carries out its business. When members find that Wiltshire Council could be more environmentally conscious The WCA will not hesitate to put forward suggestions and remind the Council that they have committed to make Wiltshire a carbon neutral council by 2030. We welcome any items to be added to this section (even from Wiltshire Council itself!). Please use the button below to send us suggestions for the section of the website.

Wiltshire Council Draft Climate Strategy and Green&Blue Infrastructure -

Share Your Comments with WCA and join our Meeting on 8-Sep

 

After seeking feedback on discussion documents earlier in the year, Wiltshire Council has created a draft Climate Strategy document. It is quite short and readable, and says that detailed delivery plans, presumably cotaining more data, will be developed afterwards.

They will be seeking more feedback from 1-Sep to 17-Oct, and WCA will be hosting a meeting on 8-Sep to share thoughts and gather our responses.

Please have a look at the document which can be downloaded from https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/green-economy-climate-change and join our members meeting to discuss. You can also send your thoughts to the WCA steering group via contact@wiltshireclimatealliance.org.uk.

There is also the very important Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy consultation running concurrently that needs comments.

You might also want to register for Wiltshire Council webinars or attend one of their drop-in events at the main libraries in Wiltshire, details on the same Wiltshire Council page linked above.

More details here

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Wiltshire Council Climate Strategy Discussion Document 

This document is a precursor to a new Wiltshire Climate Strategy. It is not a strategy in itself but provides an overview of the scale of the challenge and the opportunities ahead, as a basis for discussion.

The council has declared a climate emergency, committed to becoming carbon neutral as an organisation by 2030, and to seeking to make the whole of Wiltshire carbon neutral too. This will enable the county to seize the opportunities of a green economic recovery, generating thousands of new jobs (Figure 7.14) and bringing significant health and financial co-benefits to residents.

To read the rest of the Report CLICK HERE

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Area Boards

Eighteen sub-regions of the Wiltshire Council area​ have been defined with the councillors covering that area holding quarterly open Area Board meetings which residents are welcome to join. They have been mostly held online during the pandemic.

Most Area Boards have now established Environmental Working Groups which WCA members are particularly encouraged to get involved with and discuss climate change issues.

People who want to attend Area Board meetings are welcome at our WCA Area Board Reps meetings.

 

For more details see our Area Boards topic group page.

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Voting history of WC Councillors on environmental issues

Here we have started to produce a spreadsheet which shows how our councillors are voting when it comes to environmental issues. You can download the spreadsheet and re-order according areas and political parties. 

We have started off by looking at how they voted on the initial resolutions to acknowledge a climate emergency. Here is a LINK to the original meeting agenda pack and their final agreed versions in the minutes.

When you download the spreadsheet, do have a look at the tabs at the bottom which will give you more details about each of the motions that were voted on.

Thinking of standing for election in May 2021 - Here is some guidance

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Rural attitudes to climate change – equipping UK rural councillors to engage with their communities

Policies for a low carbon future present rural communities with unique challenges and opportunities, in particular in terms of transport, work and the way that land is used.

We wanted to understand how to engage with UK rural citizens in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them, so we dived into our Britain Talks Climate research to draw out relevant insights and recommendations for this group.

Click HERE to view this very helpful report

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Wiltshire Council Climate Task Group - Part 2 of the report now been published.

The WCA have received the following E mail from Wiltshire Council:

 

Wiltshire Council’s Global Warming & Climate Emergency task group has published on the Wiltshire Council website its second report – covering the theme of planning. As you were one of the many people who supported the task group by providing expert advice and evidence I am sending you a link to the document. Also published is the response of the council’s Executive to the task groups first report which looked at transport, air quality and energy.

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the council is currently operating streamlined Overview and Scrutiny arrangements, allowing officers to focus on supporting Wiltshire communities during the ongoing restrictions. The Environment Select Committee is therefore next scheduled to meet on 13 January 2021 and will consider the two published reports. The council welcomes public participation at meetings of its committee and arrangements for engaging in this meeting will be set out in the meeting agenda, to be published on 5 January 2021.

Read the REPORT HERE

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Young People's workshop with Wiltshire Council - 12th November - Recommendations for a greener future? - Here is the report

On the 12th November, we held our first ever youth event, with the aim of providing young people with an opportunity to influence what Wiltshire Council is doing to plan for a greener recovery. Young participants had the chance to have their voices heard and put ideas straight to the council.

 

We were delighted that 25 young people joined the meeting and around 40 people in all  attended including Wiltshire councillors and officers. We had an excellent spread of age groups, with several university students and also people as young as 9 attending.

The report and recommendation (in the form of PowerPoint Slides) can be seen on this LINK

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Wiltshire Council Climate Task Group -Report to Cabinet 29th September 2020

A report from the Climate Emergency Task Group was presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 29th September 2020.

It addresses 2 of the 6 areas set for review on 3rd September 2019, "Renewable Energy generation, Energy Use and Efficiency" and "Transport and Air Quality".

There were a significant number of recommendations made to the portfolio holder in Cabinet (25 on Energy and 38 on Transport)

These recommendations are far reaching and, if implemented, will make a significant impact on both the carbon emissions of the county and the quality of the environment we live in.

It is likely to be an item at the Full Council meeting on 20th October and we encourage all members to contact your local Councillor, to ask questions of them and also at the Council meeting.

<<<<<A PDF of the document is provided here

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Wiltshire Council C19 Recovery Plan - Consultation with WCA Members 14th August 2020 - Report

The workshop took place on 14th August as planned and 49 participants took part. It was very encouraging to see ten Wiltshire Council Officers attend along with five Wiltshire Councillors including the Deputy Leader Cllr. Richard Clewer. The feedback that we have received from those who attended has been very positive indeed.

The suggestions and ideas that came out of the workshop can be seen on the PowerPoint slides that can be downloaded on the link. The report was presented to a meeting of Wiltshire Council's Climate Emergency Task Group on Tuesday 19th August and we are delighted to confirm that some of the suggestions have already been adopted and will result in action being taken. We will monitor progress closely and report back.

A big thank you to all who took part, particularly those who helped to facilitate the workshop

Please feel free to comment in the forum section

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Wiltshire Council's Recovery Plan

Here is Wiltshire Council's Covid 19 recovery plan which is meant to be a living document so can be changed and adapted as circumstances change.

The WCA will be holding a workshop on 14th August to explore how the recovery plan can be greener. 

You will see two documents - The first is the full document/plan and the other is a summary for WC's cabinet. Simply click on the relevant report to view the file.

Eco-anxiety, Covid & Climate Psychology

Caroline Hickman discusses the psychological barriers to taking action on climate change and in the response to Covid-19.

This was a talk that was arranged by Wiltshire Council and was particularly interesting. It is well worth a watch to understand the anxiety faced by many people about climate change and other issues.

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How to ask the Council a Question

Asking Wiltshire Council a question is a good way of ensuring that they know you care about the environment and climate change. The questions are normally sent to either the full member's meeting or their cabinet meeting. for more information on asking questions please follow this LINK

The next meeting dates are as follows

Cabinet meeting:  8th September, 13th October & 3rd November

 

Full Council meetings: 20th October &  24th November (Extraordinary)

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2011 report on potential for renewable energy in Wiltshire Including sites for Wind Turbines

This document dates back to 2011 but is still interesting (but rather long) reading which covers some of the potential for Renewable energy in Wiltshire which includes a map regarding potential wind turbines (see Page 59) . Click on the image to view the PDF file

Documents that Wiltshire Council and others would benefit from reading

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We hope that Wiltshire Council staff and members might turn to this page and have a look! So here we have added a couple of national guidance documents which they may find interesting as they contain useful measures that they could adopt to make their plans and policies greener. 

The first comes from Friends of the Earth with suggestions for councils to incorporate in their recovery plans. Do read and compare with the WC's recovery plan shown above.

The second document is published by the LGA (Local Govt Association) and is therefore official guidance for councillors. As would be expected, it is not as ambitious as the other documents in this section but it is the minimum that our elected representatives should be doing. Councillors need to be held to account if they are not familiar or have not acted on the advice held in this document.

The third document is a little older but also an excellent read for councils and leaders to consider. It highlights the co-benefits of adopting measures to tackle climate change

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Wiltshire Climate Alliance - Green Recovery Survey Report

In July 2020 the WCA carried out a survey to establish what people wanted as the country started to recover from Covid 19. The survey was distributed via our mailing list, Facebook page & website. It was completed mainly by our member base which consists of different environmental groups throughout Wiltshire. As was to be expected, the results are slightly weighted but clearly shows the thoughts and feelings of WCA and its members.

The results are very interesting, particularly the comments that have been submitted by people.

We hope to develop this survey and share to a wider audience to help feed back to the Council what Wiltshire residents think are the most important areas of action.

Just click on the attachment to view the excellent PowerPoint slides that have been prepared by Eva

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Main update report

Business plan addendum 2020

Area Boards Engagement

Wiltshire Council Carbon Reduction Update on Council's Response to the Climate Emergency - July 2020

At its meeting held on 26 February 2019 Full Council resolved to acknowledge that there is a climate emergency and to seek to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030.

A commitment was made to provide six-monthly progress updates on actions the council is taking to reduce carbon generation in Wiltshire. The first update was provided in November 2019. (See item lower down this page)

 

The attached report provides an update on progress since then. At its meeting on 26 November 2019, Full Council received a motion to amend the Council’s Business Plan 2017-27 and the Leader committed to give prominence on the climate emergency in the plan. The plan will need to undergo a thorough review due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the upcoming elections in May 2021.

This report therefore proposes a Climate Emergency addendum to the current plan pending the development of a new Business Plan.

Wiltshire Council joins Countryside Climate Network to help tackle climate change

Wiltshire Council has today (Wednesday 24 June) become a founder member of a newly-launched network to promote the voice of the countryside in climate change discussions.

The Countryside Climate Network aims to ensure that the voice of rural knowledge and experience on climate action is listened to in Westminster, and asks that rural councils are an active participant in transforming the national economy into one that saves, rather than harms, our environment.

You can read the full article HERE

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Wiltshire Council Carbon Reduction Update on Council's Response to the Climate Emergency - Nov 2019

This report has kindly been sent to the WCA by Wiltshire Council's Head Carbon Reduction - Wiltshire Council aims to report every 6 months to WC Cabinet on progress that has been made with regard to Wiltshire Council's commitment to make Wiltshire Carbon Neutral by 2030. The next update, which has understandably been delayed due to Covid-19, is due to be published on 7th July. This too will be available on this page of our website as soon as it is published. Do not hesitate to comment on the forum page