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A New Pathway for Parish, Town & Community Councils

March 2023 by William Gibb

New Carbon Literacy Parish, Town and Community Councils Toolkit Course launching on Monday 20th March

With over half of the emissions cuts needed to meet net-zero relying on decisions that are made at a local and individual level, councillors and officers have a crucial role to play. They have a unique opportunity to engage the local community in climate action, create plans to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and integrate climate change into decision-making. To help to achieve this, councillors and officers need the knowledge and skills to cascade environmentally sustainable and socially responsible values, and engage local residents in taking effective and transformative action.

Our Parish, Town and Community Councils Toolkit Course mobilises grassroots engagement and action

Following the success of our existing Toolkits, which were made possible by funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, we are launching a new Toolkit Course enabling the delivery of a day’s worth of action-based learning on climate change to councillors and officers. Our new Toolkit Course to lead by example, inspire and support local people to make informed choices and advocate for their community’s best interests.

The Toolkit Course consists of all the resources needed to deliver training and is customisable to your location, climate strategy and carbon footprint. We would also like to thank the National Association of Local Councils for kindly granting us permission to showcase climate action case studies.

The materials were co-created, reviewed and piloted by a panel of councils, so we wanted to share just a few pledges from the pilots:

“I am committing to getting climate action considerations written into our new Neighbourhood plan which is currently under discussion.”

“Work with local charities and agencies to develop a domestic homes energy efficiency plan for Craven Arms. […] In my role as a councillor I can help influence the local social landlords and local authority towards making changes in the properties in the Craven Arms area.”

“Research and establish a local community repair and recycling resource that can help improve awareness of what is possible and people’s self-efficacy in achieving it.”

“I will seek permission from Council to start having regular Climate Conversations at our local library as a representative of our local Town Council and will also involve other local grass-roots groups.”

“I will speak to the school, […] about implementing a ‘walking bus’ to reduce the no. of greenhouse gas-emitting cars frequenting the school on a twice daily basis.”

“I plan to […] encourage councillors and the local community to agree to form a working group to contact local landowners and identify some vacant land which we could plant an orchard in and sow a wildflower meadow.”

And a few quotes:

“The parish council has resolved to become carbon neutral by 2030 and what I have learnt from the course is the importance of the role of the parish council in leading from the front and being very visible publicly in its actions to reduce emissions and instigating and co-ordinating activity locally or providing seed funding.”

“This enables peer-led, relevant and action-oriented training, to build understanding of individual and organisational responsibilities, along with opportunities for genuine action within an organisation and throughout the scope of its operation and influence.”

Our pilot showed ‘pennies dropping’, roles and responsibilities becoming clearer and ideas being generated by group activities and the free and open exchange of ideas.”

“Very surprising to me as a campaigner just how little was known about the climate science and the availability of simple community solutions.”


If you’re interested in learning more about the Toolkit Course, we’d be really pleased if you can join us for its launch on Monday 20th March at 10:30 am, where there will be a selection of speakers working with Parish, Town and Community Councils who will be sharing their experiences of training using the Toolkit. You can register for the launch event here.

The Parish, Town and Community Councils Toolkit Course is one of two new upcoming Courses in our Local Authorities Toolkit suite. We are also looking forward to launching a Community Leaders Toolkit Course later this year.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the Courses in our Local Authorities Toolkit suite, which are currently deployed at over 230 councils, you can do so here. If you’d like to request access to the materials, please email localauthorities@carbonliteracy.com.

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