Challenge your council on climate change – new scrutiny report launched

Councils across the country are leading local communities to combat climate change, the Local Government Association sets out today.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, has worked closely with the Centre for Public Scrutiny and has published a guide to help councils play a leading role in tackling the climate crisis at a local level.

The resource, which sets out 10 scrutiny questions, will help all councils and policymakers to embed the necessary environmental, social and cultural changes that communities need to see to build resilience to respond to climate challenges such as investment strategies and transport plans.

The LGA said that the 10 scrutiny questions in the report are designed to invite further questions from council officers and members which will help to identify and understand local needs, including how councils will be adapting their climate change action plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said scrutiny can support councils to engage with partners to channel local views, as well as playing a formal accountability role as councils make public commitments to climate action.

Councillor Howard Sykes, LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader said: “Climate change and the challenges it brings have been thrown into sharper focus during the coronavirus pandemic, demonstrating the need for places and communities to become more resilient.

“The impact of climate change cuts across all communities, council departments and functions, and our guide will help leaders to continue to deliver effective responses through scrutinising and testing climate action plans.

“I could urge you enough to have read this report and many thanks to Liberal Democrat Councillor Liz Green for all her work on this for the group.”

Councillor Liz Green, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “The LGA is hosting a webinar for councils on September 18 2020 to outline a practical approach for scrutineers to understand and seek oversight on climate action in their localities. Make sure you book your place on this.

“We hope that our report will help councils to explore questioning, identify key stakeholders, plan effective scrutiny work and consider the impacts that scrutiny can play in terms of delivering on climate issues.”

LGA’s 10 questions to ask if you are scrutinising climate change

You can sign up to the ‘Scrutinising climate action’ webinar which will comprise of a morning and afternoon session – we encourage you to attend both:

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