Climate Emergency

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The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.

The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.

  • Enjoy a more sustainable Valentine’s Day

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    When you treat your loved one on Valentine's Day, earn some extra brownie points by opting for more sustainable gifts - show how much you care about them, and the environment.

    Last year, Brits were predicted to have spent approximately £1.37 billion on Valentine’s Day, up from £926 million in 2021. However, non-recyclable/single use items, such as, glittery cards, helium balloons, and plastic packaging from chocolate boxes, will hang around long after we finish celebrating, contributing to the climate crisis.

    This year, why not choose an eco-friendly option?

    Instead of buying a glittery card that can't be recycled, have some fun making your own personalised card using recycled materials - reuse the cardboard from any boxes left over from online shopping, and take some clippings from magazines or newspapers to create something unique. If you're not the crafty type, and would prefer to buy a card, choose one made from recycled materials or make sure your choice can be recycled.

    According to the British Florist Association, 80 per cent of fresh cut flowers are transported to the UK from the Netherlands, although a large proportion of them originate in Kenya. You can help cut carbon emissions by buying a pot plant, planting seeds, or planting a seedling - as it grows, it will hold special memories for both of you. If you can't resist cut flowers, ask your local florist whether they stock British-grown, organic flowers. Opt for compostable/recyclable packaging or, better still, take your own vase to the florist.

    Many of us enjoy giving and receiving chocolates. Choose a sustainable and ethical chocolate brand - one that ensures its cocoa growers and farmers get a fair deal. Many of these brands produce chocolate either without the use of palm oil, or use sustainable sources of palm oil to reduce the threat to forests and wildlife, particularly in parts of South East Asia. Look out for the Fairtrade symbol on packaging or visit the Fairtrade website to read their guide to buying chocolate. Chocolates sold in recycled/recyclable packaging, as opposed to plastic packaging, is far better for the environment too. Alternatively, be adventurous and add a personal touch by making your own chocolate truffles, or other baked goods at home.

    Avoid novelty gifts
    Reduce your carbon footprint by avoiding novelty gifts that serve no practical purpose. There are more eco-friendly options available, such as, donating to a charity that seeks to protect the environment, or adopting an animal instead – you can adopt an otter with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust for £25.

    Eating in/out
    Consider buying some local, organic ingredients and cooking up a feast at home. But if cooking isn't one of your strong points or you'd like a break from it, take a stroll down to your favourite local restaurant. You might be feeling adventurous enough to try a vegan meal, which will also help to cut your carbon footprint.

    A change of scenery is always nice. Consider taking an outdoor adventure closer to home rather than travelling miles to have an overnight hotel stay. Most of us are often so busy that we don't have time to explore our own local area. There's likely to be many hidden gems that you don't know about, and you'll be keeping your carbon emissions to a minimum, with the added bonus of saving money.

    For more ideas on sustainable living, click here.


    Every effort has been made to ensure the information used in this article is accurate. All information used to inform the article has been taken from reputable sources, and those sources are given at the end of each article.

    We are aware, however, that data will change over time and that some information across the internet and printed matter can be contradictory.

  • Council asks for views on electric vehicle charging in the borough

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council is asking for views on electric vehicle charging in the borough.

    A public consultation on the Council’s draft Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy launches today (1 February) and will close on 15 March 2023.

    Uptake of electric vehicles has grown rapidly within the borough over recent years, and there are increasing requests from communities for the Council to provide more charging facilities.

    Making it easier for people to switch to electric vehicles forms a key part of the Council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan, which first promotes active modes of travel - like walking, wheeling or cycling - or public transport, followed by a transition to zero emission vehicles where car travel is unavoidable.

    The Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy sets out how the Council and its partners will support the transition to electric vehicles within this framework, though promoting and providing comprehensive, accessible, and efficient charging infrastructure.

    Potential locations for charging electric vehicles include key destinations - like town centres, supermarkets and restaurants, plus along routes across the borough and at residents’ homes.

    Delivering the level of charging infrastructure required to meet future demand will require close partnership working between the council and private operators.

    The adoption of local electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategies is being promoted by the Department for Transport, and development of this strategy will support submissions to the government’s Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund, which is expected to be launched soon.

    A consultation summary report is available setting out the core policies contained in the strategy:

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “If you have any comments or views regarding charging electric vehicles in the borough, please get involved in our consultation.

    “We want to hear from as many residents, businesses, communities and other stakeholders as possible. Help us to shape our strategy for the future of transport in the borough.”

    Findings from the public consultation will help to shape the final draft of the strategy, which will be presented to Cabinet in Summer 2023.

    There are a number of ways to take part in the consultation:

    Paper questionnaires and written responses can be returned to the following address: Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy Consultation, Transport Planning Team, Transport & Infrastructure, The Portal, Wellington Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BA.

  • Get behind local community projects

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    With less than two months to go until community projects on the Cheshire West Crowd need to reach their crowdfunding targets, this is an ideal time for you to help their ideas become a reality.

    The Cheshire West Crowd provides the opportunity for everyone to put forward community-led projects and attract funding to make the borough more vibrant, resilient and connected.

    The Cheshire West Crowd autumn 2022 round is the biggest yet, with 44 community projects currently running crowdfunding campaigns and more than £425,000 in funding pledged by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

    That means nearly £1.4 million has been raised for local projects from almost 4,800 backers since the initiative was first launched.

    Ellesmere Port Local and Family History Society (EPLFHS) is fundraising to create an animation video that will showcase the town’s history.

    Celia Webber, Chair of EPLFHS, said: “We’ve had wonderful support so far and every penny of it will help with promoting Ellesmere Port.

    “The funding we’ve received from the Council is a real incentive for others to get involved in a project that could make a real difference to the town.”

    Incredible Edible Handbridge is another project on a crowdfunding journey, with plans to launch a new Arches Wildlife and Wellbeing Garden.

    Lisa Rossetti, Secretary of Incredible Edible Handbridge, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to have our community project supported and funded by the Council.

    “We can’t wait to get started with transforming the patch into a lovely, thriving green space for our Handbridge community to enjoy.”

    Down Syndrome Cheshire is generating funds through the Cheshire West Crowd for a new sensory room.

    Lawrence Caygill, CEO of Down Syndrome Cheshire, commented: “We’re over the moon that we’ll be able to provide a sensory room for babies and children with Down syndrome in Cheshire, supporting their physical, communication and social development.

    “The pledge from the Council has been instrumental in getting our crowdfunding campaign over the line and providing funding for this-much needed resource, which will make a massive difference to the lives of children living with Down syndrome and their parents and carers.”

    While some projects have successfully reached their crowdfunding targets, others are calling on some extra support so they can become a reality.

    Whether you’re a business, donor, resident or anyone else, you can get involved with the Cheshire West Crowd and donate to local projects close to your heart.

    All projects will need to reach their crowdfunding targets on the Cheshire West Crowd by Wednesday 22 March 2023.

  • Energy efficient lighting

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    Updating your lighting can be an easy win to help you lower your electricity bills and your household’s carbon footprint.

    According to the Energy Saving Trust, lighting makes up 11 per cent of the average UK household electricity consumption, so spending some time making some small changes now could save you in the long run.

    The traditional or incandescent lights bulbs are particularly inefficient and only about five per cent of the electricity they use converts into visible light. Switching one 100 watt incandescent bulb to a Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulb could save you up to £15 per bulb per year.

    Halogen light bulbs are also fairly inefficient and switching a 50 watt halogen bulb could save you up to £6 per bulb.

    Lots of experts now recommend that households should consider installing LED bulbs in the home. LEDs use just a fraction of electricity, compared to incandescent or halogen bulbs, and typically cost only around 1p to run for four hours. They have come a long way since they were first introduced and now are much brighter than they used to be.

    Updating your lighting is fairly inexpensive and is a simple switch you can make yourself, however if not confident please seek advice. If you can afford to, it is worth making the switch straightaway, rather than waiting for your old light bulbs to run out, so that you start making those savings on your electricity bill straight away. Alternatively, plan to buy a few bulbs every month or two to spread the cost.

    There are several guides on choosing the right low energy light bulbs to help you get started.

    Other things you can do to reduce your lighting bill

    • Turn the lights off in rooms you’re not using.
    • Use light rather than dark lamp shades to help distribute the light more in your room. This will mean you can lower the power of the bulbs you are using or use fewer lights in a room.
    • Use sensors or timers on external lights, so they are only on when they need to be.
  • Council receives £1.805m UK Shared Prosperity Funding

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council will receive the full first year (2022-23) funding allocation from The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Following the approval by The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), a total of £1.805m will be allocated (£1.217m of UKSPF revenue funding, £453k of Multiply revenue funding and £135k of UKSPF capital funding).

    The UKSPF was launched by the Government in April 2022 and forms part of the broader Levelling Up agenda. The Council has been awarded an allocation of up to £12,642,312 over three-years, of which £1,497,303 is ring-fenced for Multiply (to support adult numeracy activities).

    The Council's Cabinet has approved the proposals for the allocation of the first-year funding.

    Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, said:

    "We have developed our investment plans in partnership with local people from health, education and voluntary sectors, as well as professionals from a range of businesses and other public bodies. 
    "Our priority for this financial year is to spend our allocation on projects that tackle the big issues faced by residents including the economy and the climate. We want to ensure every area of our Borough benefits from this funding and that’s why we will continue to develop an exciting mix of projects in the coming years which promote good jobs, bring pride to our communities and celebrate arts and culture."

    Future allocations for year two (2023-24 - £3.2m) and year three (2024-25 - £7.6m) will only be ratified by DLUHC at the start of each year, and allocations will be informed by performance in year one.

    The People and Skills element of this funding comes on stream in year three so will be restricted to one-year projects.

    More details about the Shared Prosperity Fund:

    Shared Prosperity Fund

    The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be used to help deliver Cheshire West and Chester Council's vision for an Inclusive Economy. It prioritises reducing poverty and inequality, supporting people to develop new skills and get into good jobs with fair wages, combatting the climate emergency, supporting community wellbeing, and enhancing the vibrancy of the Borough. More information about the Inclusive Economy:

    Inclusive Economy
  • Council secures £13.3m to support Transformation of Ellesmere Port

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has successfully secured £13.3m from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Levelling Up Fund to support the transformation of Ellesmere Port market hall and to help bring forward empty and underused sites in the town centre for new housing. The funding also includes proposals to make it safer and easier to walk into town.

    Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration said:

    "I am absolutely delighted that our plans for Ellesmere Port have received this funding. It was a very competitive process, but we made a strong case for the need to invest in the town centre, alongside the private sector investment in industry and housing in the wider area."

    The programme will now look at unlocking new housing sites around Coronation Road and Civic Way, which will make it a more attractive area and help bring new footfall to the town centre and exciting plans for updating the market hall. This includes transforming the flea market into a flexible space for specialist markets and events, creating an entrepreneurial start up space and importantly changing the fabric of the building so that it will be much more energy efficient and fit for the future. This includes new large windows to let the daylight flood in, new insulation, green walls and photovoltaic panels to generate clean energy.

    It also includes providing new ‘changing place’ facilities for disabled customers and their carers. The plans will also improve pedestrian and cycle links with secure bike storage to make it safer and easier to walk or cycle into the heart of the town centre.

    Councillor Beacham added

    "Combined with £1.5 million invested by the Council, there is now £14.8 million secured for Ellesmere Port. I would like to thank everyone who helped shape the proposals and backed our submission. The detailed plans are still at an early stage, and over the coming months we will work closely with market traders, residents and businesses to progress these plans."
  • You can now borrow an iPad from your local library

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council's Libraries Service is launching an iPad lending scheme, which will allow residents to boost their digital skills by borrowing a device from their local library.

    It will also make it easier for residents without their own technology to access a full range of Council Services.

    LiBS (the Library iPad Borrowing Scheme) will provide devices for residents to borrow for a six-week period from any Cheshire West and Chester Library. All you need is a library card and a form of ID, and you can join the library online in advance.

    Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Poverty and Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said:

    "I'm so pleased we are launching this scheme, free of charge, right across the borough. There should be no barriers to accessing technology, this scheme will help people keep in touch with family living away, apply for jobs, or boost their digital skills.   "Each iPad is equipped with mobile data, so they can be used to get online even if you don’t have WiFi at home. Everything to get you started is also included - a "getting started" guide and instructional video to cover the basics. Support will also be available in our wonderful libraries."

    The devices will feature pre-installed apps to support people in accessing online library resources, such as eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines, as well as links to resources and support with job searching, accessing Council services, or getting in touch with family and friends.

    The scheme will be launched in libraries in Cheshire West and Chester on Monday 23 January.

    For more information on the scheme or to check availability, contact your local library.

  • Three special trees to be planted in Castle Park, Frodsham

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council and Castle Park Trust have arranged for three special trees to be planted in Castle Park, Frodsham this week.

    The three trees will be planted in the top field at the park in honour of our late Queen, His Majesty King Charles III and the late Marie Birkenhead.

    Marie was a former Councillor of Vale Royal Borough Council and an Honorary Alderman who championed Frodsham and its residents throughout her life.

    Leader of the Council, Councillor Louise Gittins said:

    "These lovely trees will be a fitting tribute to the importance and significance of our late Queen, His Majesty the King and Marie Birkenhead. 
    "The trees will also add to the distinctive array of trees at Castle Park, which has a remarkable 'tree trail' with numerous rare and beautiful species."

    The following tress will be planted - for Marie Birkenhead, a Cherry (Prunus avium plena), for our Late Queen, a small-leaved lime (tilia cordata greenspire) and for his Majesty King Charles, a Lobel Elm (ulmus lobel - the Lobel Elm is resistant to Dutch Elm disease).

    A formal dedication event will then take place in February.

  • Whitby Hydrogen Village engagement session

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    Tuesday, 28 February, 6pm – 8.30pm Ellesmere Port Civic Hall

    Please note: Registrations to attend the engagement session in person at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall are now closed as the venue is at full capacity. Residents can watch the session live on the evening via a webcast link. Please use the following link on the evening to access the online session:

    For those attending the event, doors open at 5.15pm with the event starting at 6pm. Please allow plenty of time to arrive and take your seat. Pre-registration figures show that the venue is expected to be full. Entrance will be managed on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Event details

    Cheshire West and Chester Council is holding a public engagement session about the Whitby Hydrogen Village proposal on Tuesday, 28 February in Ellesmere Port Civic Hall.

    This is an opportunity for residents in the Whitby area to have their say about the proposals and hear from various experts with a range of viewpoints.

    The event is being chaired by Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council.

    The experts attending the event include:

    Professor Gordon E. Andrews, Professor of Combustion Engineering, School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds

    Professor Andrews is an independent expert on hydrogen safety and low Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) burner design for domestic and industrial applications. He has 52 years of experience in hydrogen combustion with 600+ total publications including 270 publications on explosion safety and low NOx burner design. He was the technical lead of an industrial team led by Clean Burner Systems (CBS) developing three hydrogen fires under the BEIS Hy4Heat programme. Currently he is the technical lead on a BEIS project with CBS to decarbonise the Whisky distillery industry using a hydrogen/biowaste gasification technique. Professor Andrews was a member of the British Standards expert panel that wrote PAS4444 which is the hydrogen central heating boiler and fires safety testing protocol, that has to be complied with to get the ‘hydrogen ready’ approval, which requires hydrogen appliances meeting the same NOx standard as NG appliances.

    Tom Baxter, Chemical Engineering Consultant

    Tom Baxter is a Chemical Engineer with 40 years working in the oil and gas industry. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a founding member of The Hydrogen Science Coalition. He is a retired Senior Fellow in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Aberdeen where he established a number of courses including Process Safety. Since 2003 he has been visiting Professor of Chemical Engineering at University of Strathclyde. He is currently a Chemical Engineering consultant providing heat, power and greenhouse gas reduction expertise.

    Dr Angie Needle, Director of Strategy at Cadent

    Dr Angie Needle is Cadent’s Director of Strategy, the Vice President of Hydrogen UK, and Fellow of the Energy Institute. In her current role for Cadent Angie is responsible for driving the UK’s largest gas distribution network towards a net zero future, and spearheading all things hydrogen. Prior to joining Cadent in 2019, Angie held several senior roles at Centrica and Anglian Water, developing energy and customer services propositions and supporting both organisations on their moves towards cleaner energy, reduced carbon emissions and more sustainable business models.

    David Cebon, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cambridge, England

    David Cebon is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight and leads Cambridge University Engineering Department’s Transport Research Group and the Department’s research theme ‘Energy, Transport and Urban Infrastructure’. Professor Cebon’s research covers the mechanical, civil, and materials aspects of road transport engineering. He has authored or co-authored more than 150 peer reviewed papers on the dynamics, safety, and environmental performance of heavy goods vehicles. He has a strong current focus on energy vectors.

    Mark Neller, Director at Arup

    Mark is Arup’s energy leader for the UKIMEA region, overseeing a number of growing industries and sectors whilst supporting a diverse range of clients.

    Mark oversees a diverse portfolio of service offerings for clients across the energy system, including electric vehicles, offshore wind, hydrogen and low carbon building energy solutions. He has more than twenty years’ experience within the energy sector and has a background in engineering.

    Mark been instrumental in developing Arup’s presence in the hydrogen market, supporting clients through this evolving sector within the UK.

    Tom Collins, Product Owner Hydrogen UK

    Tom Collins has spent over 15 years working in Research & Development on various new technologies to reduce carbon emissions from heating, including heat pump hybrid systems and district heating. He was also Bosch’s UK expert on building and heating system modelling. Since 2017, Tom has led Bosch’s team of engineers developing 100% hydrogen-ready boilers.

    Michael Liebreich, Chairman and CEO of Liebreich Associates

    Michael Liebreich is Chairman and CEO of Liebreich Associates, through which he provides advisory services and speaks on clean energy and transportation, smart infrastructure, technology, climate finance and sustainable development. In early 2019, Michael joined Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL) as a Senior Advisor and in September 2020, he became an official Advisor to the UK’s Board of Trade. Michael is a member of the Strategic Committee for the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions (Solar Impulse Foundation), a member of the selection committee for the Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers, a programme he created in 2008 and chaired until 2014 and recently became a member of the High-Level Observer Group for the Hydrogen Council and the UK Green Growth Fund. In April 2021 Michael became a member of World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Climate & Energy Advisory Council.

    Andrew Lewis, Chief Executive of Cheshire West and Chester Council will also be on the panel.


    6pm – 6.05pm Welcome and Introductions Chair

    6.05pm – 6.10pm Background to the Taskforce Chair

    6.10pm – 6.20pm Overview of the session Chair

    6.20pm – 7pm Individual Public Speakers (10 slots) Public speakers

    7pm – 7.10pm Comfort Break

    7.10pm – 8.15pm Panel Discussion / Q&A Expert speakers

    8.15pm – 8.25pm Taskforce discussion/reflection period Chair

    8.25pm – 8.30pm Conclusions Chair

    How to ask a question and register for the event

    Online registrations for the event are now closed as the venue is at capacity.

    We will aim to get through as many questions submitted by residents as we can on the evening.

  • Five ways to put yourself first on Blue Monday and beyond

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    The third Monday in January is often billed as the most depressing day of the year, with Christmas festivities long-forgotten and the shine already wearing off New Year’s resolutions.

    Rather than making life more of a struggle, there are five ways to lift your mood and improve your wellbeing, without having to make dramatic changes to your lifestyle.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council and its partners in the borough, including Brio Leisure, Active Cheshire, have teamed up to share information and advice about the five ways to wellbeing with residents and help people through the winter.

    The five ways to wellbeing are:

    • Connect – with people around you, including friends, family, colleagues and neighbours. Good relationships give you a sense of belonging and self-worth, as well as providing emotional support.
    • Be active – whether it is going for run or walk, gardening, playing a game or dancing around the kitchen, being active can raise your self-esteem, help you to set goals you can achieve and cause chemical changes in your brain that can positively change your mood.
    • Take notice – savour the moment and make the effort to be more aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better.
    • Learn – try something new or rediscover an old interest, which will help boost your self-confidence, give you a sense of purpose and help you connect with others.
    • Give – do something nice for someone else, volunteer or say thank you. Acts of giving and kindness can create a sense of reward, give you a feeling of purpose and self-worth and help you connect with others.

    Cllr Louise Gittins, the Council’s Leader and Cabinet Member for Poverty and Wellbeing, said: "It's traditional to make New Year's resolutions about losing weight or dropping a bad habit, but if that feels like it's adding pressure on yourself at a time when there are already a lot of worries, why not look to do something much more positive for yourself.

    "The best thing about the five ways to wellbeing is that you can take the theme and make it fit your life. It gives you the chance to put your wellbeing first without adding to your stress.

    "Whether you decide to learn how to cook a new tea, join a guided walk to be active and connect or give some of your time to volunteer, you can easily find your own five ways to wellbeing."

    The five ways to wellbeing have been adopted by the NHS and mental health charity Mind following evidence that the steps improve people’s mental health and wellbeing.

    During the next few weeks the Council and its partners will be sharing opportunities for residents to connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

    For more information visit:

    Live Well: Five ways to wellbeing

    Or follow the Council on Twitter or on Facebook.