A new programme to empower rural communities and give them a voice for local climate action is underway across South Warwickshire.
The South Warwickshire Climate Engagement programme sees Stratford and Warwick District Councils engage with the public to support and influence local decision making on climate change.
The programme will deliver rural public participation aimed at:
- Ensuring the District Councils understand, and respond to, the issues facing rural communities in climate action planning.
- Supporting local people to take action in their communities towards a sustainable rural future.
A steering group has been formed made up of District Councillors, officers, Parish & Town clerks, the Warwickshire Association of Local Councils (WALC) and members of the community involved in local climate action. This is supported by The Involve Foundation who deliver the Local Climate Engagement Programme which has enabled the initiation of this project and related training.
Parish Councils are currently working with the programme to map out current climate action and resources in their local community so future public participation can build on the unique and various qualities of our rural communities.
Councillor Alan Rhead, Portfolio Holder for Climate Change at Warwick District Council, said: “Rural communities are proud of, and want to protect, the natural landscape and environment. Parish and Town Councils are well placed to build on rural support for climate action by connecting national policy with local concerns and help residents to understand what they can do to make a difference.”
Councillor Bill Fleming, Portfolio Holder for Climate Change at Stratford District Council added: “I encourage all local councils to engage with our survey so that we can understand what climate action is currently taking place in their communities and what assets they have that can be maximised to protect the environment.”
Jacky Lawrence from the Low Carbon Warwickshire Network said: “The Low Carbon Warwickshire Network (LCWN) welcomes this new climate engagement programme in South Warwickshire. The LCWN objectives include bringing people and communities together in rural communities to share ideas and to increase the number of projects which aim to achieve a low carbon sustainable future, so we are delighted to support this initiative.”
All Parish and Town Councils will be contacted directly by WALC with further details on the mapping exercise.
Local community representatives from South Warwickshire’s rural town and parish councils or community groups who are interested in working with the programme should make contact at email@example.com
In 2022, Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick District Councils were one of only five UK local councils to successfully secure ‘project group’ funding under the Local Climate Engagement Programme to equip local councils to engage with the public to support decision making on climate change. The Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon Districts LCE Project Group is funded by Forum for the Future.
The first phase of the project was a training programme which has now been completed. The training was delivered by Involve together with Climate Outreach. One aim of the training programme is to build capacity within the two District Councils and partners, including WALC, to help plan for the delivery of a new engagement infrastructure.