This article looks at the actions local councils are taking in response to climate change, (as of July - September 2005) and in particular what information they provide for the ordinary concerned citizen. The scope of this enquiry has been limited to council websites. This article is one of a series - one article for each region of England.
An initial survey was carried out during July - September 2005, with the results included in the initial versions of this article. Please note that contributors are welcome to add information at any time. This means that different parts of the article may be up-to-date to a greater or lesser extent, but all will be at least as recent as the initial survey.
Websites for all councils in the region have been looked at during the initial survey (with the exception of any - no more than one or two - unavailable at the times of searches - see Notes on method below), though in most cases only 'postive' results (some information found) have been recorded.
Results of the initial survey could be compared with results from a similar comprehensive (England-wide) and systematic survey in about a year's time to give a broad indication of how the overall picture is changing.
The overall picture Edit
Of 25 councils in the North East, 6 (or just under a quarter) are listed as having some information for ordinary concerned citizens. Although the Newcastle site describes itself as a regional campaign other local council websites don't seem to be signposting to it. According to Worthing Borough Council (a council in the South East) the government has challenged all local authorities across the UK to develop climate change strategies.
- Hartlepool Borough Council - Hartlepool Partnership 'Declaration on Climate Change,' 21 October 2004. See also Hartlepool Partnership Climate Change sub-group
- Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council - Climate Change webpages. Signatory to Nottingham Climate Change Declaration
Tyne and Wear Edit
- Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council - Coping with the effects of Climate Change - An Action Plan for Gateshead (April 2004) PDF available via the council's Environment webpage
- Newcastle upon Tyne City Council - CarbonNeutral Newcastle Regional campaign
- South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council - (search results suggest consideration of the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, 30-6-2005)
Yorkshire (parts of) Edit
- Middlesbrough Council - Middlesbrough Climate Change Community Action Plan
Notes on method Edit
(Initial survey) A simple search for 'climate change' was carried out on each local council website. Links identified were restricted to web pages specifically about climate change or evidence of climate change strategies, that could reasonably easily be found by ordinary concerned citizens. PDF and word processor documents have not been included unless these can be accessed from a dedicated climate change page, or another easily found page. Information that appears to be more than 6 months old may not be recorded unless it suggests some current or ongoing activity. One or two websites may have been temporarily unavailable at the time of a search, in which case no information has been recorded. If no search facility could be found, or did not appear to be working properly at the times of searches, no information was recorded.
Links checked Philralph 08:08, 30 Sep 2005 (UTC)