Cheshire and Warrington releases carbon economy action plan

Michael Hunt

Council leaders for Warrington, Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester have produced an action plan to help create or safeguard over 1,100 jobs and move the three boroughs to a low carbon economy.

The economic alliance formed by the three local authorities in April this year has been working closely with the Cheshire and Warrington Climate Change Group and a network of private, public and community sector organisations to produce the action plan.

The plan follows an earlier report commissioned by the Cheshire and Warrington Economic Alliance known as 'The Economic Impacts of Climate Change in Cheshire and Warrington'.

The actions include:

  • Developing local skills in auditing and installation of energy efficiency measures
  • Improving levels of energy efficiency in public sector buildings
  • Ensuring public sector procurement policies take account of climate change and local sourcing where possible
  • Investigating improved transport links between transport hubs and tourist attractions
  • Establishing sources and quantities of biomass waste available from local forestry, farming and local authority operations
  • Enabling more businesses to access resource efficiency support from Groundwork Cheshire, which will be funded by Enworks
  • Supporting low carbon communities to take local action and spread the message more widely

The earlier report identified areas of economic opportunity around climate change, produced carbon footprints for the three local authorities and prioritised what the focus for climate change activity in the sub region should be.

Kate Radford, climate change programme manager at CWEA, said: "Climate Change is a very broad topic covering energy, water, waste and transport issues as well as how we adapt to future changes in our climate. This action plan will give us a focus for our activities and we look forward to continued working with our partners on projects that deliver the plan."

The climate change programme in Cheshire and Warrington is funded by the North West Development Agency.

In April this year, the three Warrington and Cheshire councils agreed to establish structure that includes:

  • leadership board – which will also include Halton Borough Council
  • management team comprising each of the four councils' chief executives together with Cheshire Police and the Fire and Rescue Service
  • 'working groups rationalised partnerships' tackling problems such as prosperity, climate change and learning and skills
  • forum to enable wider involvement from other sub-regional interested organisations such as town and parish councils

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