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 the 47 websites for the 51 local councils in this region, 13 (28%) are listed as having some information which ordinary concerned citizens might easily find, (with a further 2 linking to a county council webpage). Although this proportion may be slightly higher than for some other regions of the UK, it may not always be very easy to tell how up-to-date the information provided is, what actions are current, and how ordinary concerned citizens and community groups can get involved. If local councils or their strategic partners are in receipt of grants to promote action on climate change, it would not seem unreasonable to expect information of reasonable quality (clear, basic, up-to-date details with good links to further information) on appropriate council websites.
- Bristol City Council - Climate change webpage - under heading of Transport Policy, Climate Protection and Sustainable Energy Strategy Signatory to Nottingham Climate Change Declaration
- Penwith District Council - A Climate Change Strategy for Penwith - Consultation
- Devon County Council - Climate Change webpage, Signatory to Nottingham Climate Change Declaration
- East Devon District Council - (search results lead to Devon County Council pages - see above)
- North Devon District Council - (A pdf document of the North Devon Community Alliance mentions a climate change conference in October 2005) (html link did not appear to be working)
- Plymouth City Council - Climate change webpage
- South Hams District Council - (search results lead to Devon County Council pages - see above)
- Bournemouth Borough Council - Climate change webpage - under a Local Transport Plan heading, Climate change webpage including link to Climate change strategy
- Dorset County Council - Climate change webpage
- Cheltenham Borough Council - Cheltenham Climate Change webpage
- Cotswold District Council - Climate change webpage
- Gloucestershire County Council - Climate change webpage, includes extensive links
- South Oxfordshire District Council - Climate change webpage, Council actions to tackle climate change
South Gloucestershire Edit
- South Gloucestershire County Council - Climate change strategy development
- Swindon Borough Council - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust webpage mentions a Climate Change Network.
- Wiltshire County Council - Climate change webpage
- North Wiltshire District Council - Nottingham Declaration signatory Nov 2006, Climate Change Officers Group, Climate Change Working Group and Officers Energy Saving Group undertake several streams of work and various initiatives to reduce the North Wiltshire impact on climate change, www.northwilts.gov.uk
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 07:41, 30 Sep 2005 (UTC)