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.


  • Large capacity smart technology bins to be installed in Chester

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    New bins that will compact an impressive 1,000 plus litres of rubbish inside are to be installed across Chester city centre.

    During June, Cheshire West and Chester Council teams will install 57 of the new bins, which use innovative solar technology so energy can be collected, even without direct sunlight, ensuring optimum performance all year round.

    The new bins will also include a foot pedal, so you don’t have to use your hands to open the bin and they even have the option to thank people for depositing their rubbish with a cheery voice message. It is hoped this facility will be activated soon after installation.

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Highways, Councillor Karen Shore said: “These smart bins are ideal for use in very busy areas with high footfall, like the city centre.

    “They store over 1,000 litres of rubbish and use smart technology to let us know when they’re ready to be emptied, ensuring our street stay litter free while making efficiency savings and cutting C02 emissions, by reducing the number of vehicle journeys to empty them.

    “We made a commitment in our Waste Management Strategy to provide good quality and appropriate bins that make it easy for residents and visitors to dispose of their waste in the right way.”

    The Council will ensure minimum disruption while the new bins are being installed, but there may be missing or duplicate bins in some areas for a very short time.

    Following installation of all bins, QR codes will also be applied to the bins, so any damage to the bin can be reported.

  • Some of the borough's most inefficient homes set to benefit from £2.5 million of funding

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has secured an additional £2,587,500 of funding to help improve the energy efficiency of some of the borough’s most inefficient homes.


    Over the last three years, the Council has helped improve over 250 properties across the borough through the Green Homes Grant scheme and the first round of Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) funding. Thanks to a second round of HUG funding, secured from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), more eligible homes in the borough are set to benefit.

    Home Upgrade Grants are available to homes which are not heated by mains-gas and have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of Band D, E, F or G. Properties heated by electric (such as storage heaters), oil, LPG or solid fuel, which have a mains-gas supply for cooking purposes only, are eligible to apply if all other eligibility criteria are met.

    Households will need to apply for the funding, and the measures installed could include such things as external or internal wall insulation, loft insulation, under-floor insulation, air source heat pumps, single glazed window and door upgrades, high heat retention electric storage heaters, heating controls and solar panels.

    To qualify, you must be a homeowner or private tenant and meet one of the following income criteria.

    • You receive an income related benefit (for example, Universal Credit, Pension Credit Guarantee, Council Tax Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or Tax Credits).
    • Your total combined annual household income before tax, National Insurance and other deductions is no more than £31,000.
    • Your total household income before tax, National Insurance and other deductions is no more than £20,000, after your housing costs have been deducted (by housing costs, we mean mortgage payments, rent payments and Council Tax).

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Energy and Green Spaces, said: "Having endured a winter with the highest energy costs in living history, the Home Upgrade Grant will be essential in helping households living in some of the most energy inefficient homes in the borough. The energy saving improvements will help to reduce household heating bills and improve residents’ health and wellbeing. The welcome inclusion of Band D properties in this second round of funding will help us to further reduce domestic carbon emissions across the borough, helping us to meet our target of becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2045, whilst helping households to save money."

    All energy efficiency measures are fully funded for homeowners. Eligible private tenants can apply with their landlord’s approval. In the case of a tenanted property, the landlord is required to make a minimum one-third contribution.

    The improvements, which are subject to survey, must increase your home’s EPC rating by at least two bands. For example, if your home is currently EPC Band E it will need to reach EPC Band C. If you are eligible to apply, but don’t currently have an EPC, the Council can arrange for one to be carried out for you.

    To apply for the grant online, visit:

    Home energy help for residents

    Alternatively, residents can request a Home Upgrade Grant paper application form by calling the Council’s Contact Centre on: 0300 123 8123.

    Residents who are worried about the cost of living and rise of energy bills can find some useful information from the Council and other local organisations:

    Cost of living support
  • Rewilding scheme approved for grassland in Winsford

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    A managed grassland project has been approved, which will see areas of Winsford boosting biodiversity.

    Selected grassed sections of green space will be removed from the usual fortnightly cutting schedule, to be cut once in spring and then again in the autumn. Allowing any wild flowering plants to establish themselves naturally.

    An area in Winsford approved for the new managed grasslands project.An area in Winsford approved for the new managed grasslands project.

    The new natural grassland areas will benefit creatures great and small from the humble beetles and other insects, right up to the barn owls that venture out at night looking for food.

    The scheme will add 43,000 square metres to the National Nature Recovery Scheme, which has also seen the Council create 101 native wildflower meadows across the borough. The project is now in its second year. The new scheme will now see natural species of grasses and plants growing unaided, without the need to sow seed.

    Careful consideration was given in selecting these sites, choosing areas that will not directly impact local community life. Some small areas must still be mowed to prevent encroachment on roadways and paths, as well as sight lines at road junctions around subway entrance points and pedestrian crossings.

    The Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore, said: "This is great news. Our StreetCare teams plan to mow winding pathways through the managed grassland areas, so people can walk through them enjoying nature in all its glory.
    The Council is keen to find other sites around other towns and villages specifically for rewilding. If you have a site you think may be suitable please contact the Council's Your Streets team at: yourstreets@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk and our officers will look into the viability of transforming that area too.

    Council teams currently cut around 3.2 million square metres of grassed areas across the whole borough.

  • First school in the borough receives active travel award

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    St. Saviour's Catholic Primary and Nursery School has become the first school in Cheshire West and Chester to earn the Bronze Modeshift STARS schools' award for its commitment to sustainable and active travel.

    Image of Council Road Safety Officers alongside two junior safety officersLeft to right: Road Safety Officer Gemma Rhodes; Junior Safety Officers, Urszula and Chloe and Vikki Abbate, JSO Buddy from the school.



    Awards under the national scheme are given to schools that have shown excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable and active travel.

    The school's Junior Safety Officers (JSOs), Urszula and Chloe, were presented with the award earlier this month.

    The scheme includes initiatives like the School Parking Charter, where the children are involved in educating their parents/carers to park away from the school and walk the last five to 10 minutes into school, making the school environment safer for everyone. The school has even featured on the BBC's Politics North West Show to talk about these issues.

    The Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Highways, Councillor Karen Shore, said: "Our Road Safety Team has been very impressed with the commitment shown from St. Saviour's Catholic Primary and Nursery School to achieve this Bronze Award. Huge congratulations to them on such a wonderful achievement.
    We know because of the fantastic dedication of everyone, including their Junior Safety Officer Buddy, Vikki, they will soon be up for the Silver Award."

    The Modeshift STARS scheme results in healthier students by encouraging active, healthy lifestyles for young people through more walking, wheeling and cycling, as well as making the environment around school safer.

    The scheme offers ways to reduce car use and increase active and sustainable travel, involving the whole school community - students, parents and teachers working together to make a difference.

    Other schools are welcome to take part - to find out more about how sustainable travel can help your whole school community, contact the Council's Road Safety Team:

  • Council's energy efficiency measures recognised at regional awards

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has won the Local Authority Body of the Year Award at the North West Regional Energy Efficiency Awards.

    The Energy Efficient Awards are open to anyone involved in the energy saving and efficiency sector in the UK and recognise best practice in energy efficiency projects that took place between January 2022 and March 2023.



    As part of the Council's target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 for Council services and 2045 for the borough, a number of energy efficiency schemes have been introduced to reduce the amount of energy being used across Council services.

    • 14 council buildings* have switched from primary gas heating to air source heat pumps and had solar photovoltaic systems and LED lighting installed, where appropriate, thanks to £5.8 million of funding secured through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (round one).
    • A further four schools have been supported to install energy efficiency measures including air source heat pumps, LED lighting conversion, solar photovoltaic systems, roof refurbishment with additional insulation and installation of double glazing, where appropriate, thanks to £3.5 million of funding through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (round 3a).
    • Streetlights across the borough have finished being converted to LED lighting, during the second round of improvements to the street light service. This is helping to reduce the electrical demand across the borough by 9GWh per year, the equivalent of the electricity use in 2,000 average homes. The reduction of demand has saved around £2 million pound in energy costs.

    The Council's awards submission will now be entered into the national Energy Efficiency Awards, with results to be announced in September.

    The Council continues to invest in ways to reduce energy use across the borough and, this year, has plans to refurbish leisure centres, libraries and schools with further energy efficiency measures. Home Upgrade Grant funding has also been secured to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the borough which are not heated by mains-gas and have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of Band D, E, F or G.

    Cllr Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Energy and Green Spaces, said: "Since declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019, we've been working hard to reduce carbon emissions across Council-owned buildings to help us achieve our target of carbon neutrality by 2030. With the energy market continuing to fluctuate, this has saved the Council money and cut the amount of energy we're using, and I’m pleased we've been recognised for these improvements by winning this award."

    The Council has also set up a Climate Emergency Inspire Hub, providing residents with advice and tips to help reduce their carbon footprint and make energy saving measures. Individuals and organisations are encouraged to share what energy saving measures they are making on the 'your stories' section of the website too.

    Participate Now: Climate Emergency
  • Ellesmere Port transformation

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    Transformation plans are progressing well for Ellesmere Port. The project using £13,378,478 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities' Levelling Up Fund will include preparations for low carbon town centre housing around Coronation Road to help bring new footfall to the town centre and exciting plans for Ellesmere Port Market.

    The third element of the transformation plan will improve pedestrian and cycle links with secure bike storage to make it safer and easier to walk or cycle from Ellesmere Port railway station into the heart of the town centre.

    The Council has now been awarded an additional £274,000 from the Active Travel Fund 4 (ATF4) managed by Active Travel England.

    The additional funding will enable an extended walking, wheeling and cycling route to be designed for future delivery between the M53 underpass and the Sutton Way/Stanney Lane junction. This longer route forms part of the Council's adopted Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.

    The Active Travel Fund nationally will deliver a range of schemes across the country, including 121 miles of new cycle track, 77 miles of new paths and greenways and initiatives to make streets safer around 130 schools.

    The design team will consider all transport methods, including bus stop infrastructure/routes and loading requirements for businesses. They will also consider the requirements for the market, as well as opportunities for signage and wayfinding. The new proposals will tie into existing cycling and walking routes such as those on Stanney Lane.

    Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Highways, said: "We are committed to improving areas across the borough, Ellesmere Port joins projects already underway in Winsford and plans for Northwich and Chester.

    "Engineering specialists are being commissioned to design the new active travel route, and their plans will be shared in the autumn with residents, commuters, and businesses along the route.

    "Construction work on the Levelling Up Fund project elements is provisionally scheduled to start in Spring 2024 and completed winter 2024."

    The Ellesmere Port project will include enhancements to the public areas around the market in addition to York Road and Wellington Road. Improvements will be made to the pedestrian entrances to the market plus a new multi-functional spill-out space for businesses and events.

    Traders and residents have been involved in conversations over the past few months as the plans for Ellesmere Port Market are developed and these will be shared more widely when they have been completed.

    This part of the project will include 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. The Market will also have new 'changing place' facilities for disabled customers and their carers.

    Added Councillor Shore: "Ellesmere Port is at the centre of major investment projects, and we are working alongside the private sector led investment in industry and housing. Last week we officially launched Origin and its multi million investment opportunities for the industrial area of Ellesmere Port."

  • Whitby residents invited to have their say on format of hydrogen village poll

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council is holding an engagement exercise to understand how the community in Whitby, Ellesmere Port would like a poll on the proposed hydrogen village to be run.

    Whitby in Ellesmere Port is being considered as the UK's first hydrogen village, under proposals put forward to Government by gas distribution network Cadent. The area has been confirmed as one of two locations across the country being considered as the first to use low carbon hydrogen on this scale.

    At an engagement session earlier this year, Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Council, confirmed that the Council would hold a poll on the proposed hydrogen village to test public support. Part of this agreement included engaging with the community on what form this would take and what questions would be included.

    Once the community's views on the format of the poll have been received and analysed, the Council will carry out the poll later this summer.

    The poll will measure 'public support' for the trial, one of the five tests that the Council is asking the gas distribution network (Cadent) and the Government to meet. The results of the poll will be published for residents to see and will be fed back to Government, prior to them making a decision on the location of the trial hydrogen village area.

    The Government (not the Council) will decide if the Hydrogen Village trial goes ahead. The Government have stated that they will only progress with the trial if there is local support. However, the poll is non-binding, and it is up to Government to decide.

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "We have heard clearly from residents how they want to have a poll on the hydrogen village and also that they wanted to be involved on how the poll will be run. I made a commitment at the public engagement event in February that residents would be involved at all stages.

    "Local elections in early May meant that we had to delay the start of this engagement exercise, but I’m pleased to confirm that people in the proposed hydrogen village area will receive a letter about how to submit their views on the format of the poll, as part of this initial engagement process."

    People can submit their views in a number of ways, before the engagement exercise closes at 10am on Monday 5 June 2023.

    • Complete an online feedback form
    • Attend the drop-in session: The Council’s Research Team will be running a drop-in session where you can come and talk to us about how the poll could be run on 23 May 2023, between 10.30am and 7.30pm, at Theatre Porto, Whitby Park, Stanney Lane, Whitby, Ellesmere Port, CH65 6QY.
    • Email your views: WhitbyPoll@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
    • Write to us: Whitby Poll, Insight and Intelligence, Cheshire West and Chester Council, The Portal, Wellington Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BA
    • Telephone: 0300 123 8123 to speak to the Council's Contact Centre, quoting ‘Whitby Hydrogen Poll’

    Paper copies are available on request using the contact details above. From 22 May 2023, you will also be able to pick them up from the following locations:

    • Ellesmere Port Library, Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BG
    • The Portal, Wellington Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BA

    Alternative formats are also available on request.

  • Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Environmental Services shortlisted for another top award

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Environmental Services team has been shortlisted for in the Workforce Optimisation category at the Municipal Journal (MJ) Achievement Awards for its work to provide an improved and efficient service for residents. This is in addition to the recent news that the service has made it to the finals of the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Environmental Service Award.

    The MJ provides news and intelligence about the UK’s local authorities, and the awards acknowledge “the tremendous effort of those in local government dedicating themselves to supporting local communities.”

    The Workforce Optimisation award recognises local authorities who have developed and engaged employees in a service to improve performance and delivery and make a positive impact on the experience of residents.

    In response to an increase in demand for Environmental Services between 2019 and 2022, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Environmental Services team implemented a transformation programme which has delivered an improved workplace culture, efficient services, a range of creative projects, and driven innovative solutions to improve customer experience for residents.

    Working with colleagues and partners at Qwest, some exciting, innovative changes have been made to improve customer experience and manage demand and expectation. The main focus has been to ensure that residents have access to information about the services the Council provides so that they can self-serve, expectations can be managed, and the need to raise enquiries is reduced.

    One example of this approach is that Cheshire West and Chester is one of the first local authorities to introduce QR codes on litter bins. Using their smartphones, customers can scan the code to find out when the bin will be emptied next, or to report it as damaged. An interactive map has also been developed on the Council website to help residents with grass cutting enquiries, enabling people to check when an area of grass is next due to be cut. The number of enquiries received by our contact centre for Environmental Services reduced by over a third from 2021 to 2022, as residents can now access the information they need more easily online.

    Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "We are delighted that the Environmental Services team are now double award nominees, having been shortlisted at the MJ Achievement Awards to go alongside reaching the final of the LGC Environment Service award. The team has provided residents with measurably better outcomes over recent months through a workforce culture programme and transforming service delivery.
    “The Council puts our residents at the heart of everything we do, and we have developed a wide range of creative, unique, and innovative solutions to improve customer experience, significantly reduce demand, and markedly improve culture within the team - with and for our staff. It is fantastic that this hard work has been recognised by the MJ for this award."

    Find out more about Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Environmental Services on the Council website.

  • Libraries will bloom to celebrate the Coronation

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    Cheshire West and Chester libraries will be celebrating the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and The Queen Consort with some wildflower themed activities.

    Some libraries will sow wildflower seeds, so they will bloom red, white and blue this summer, seed bookmarks will be given away and there will be themed children’s craft sessions.

    The Coronation’s themes are “youth, community, diversity and sustainability” which led the Library Service, which is already involved in the Council’s plans to tackle the Climate Emergency, to think more about sustainability.

    The outside space at five libraries – Barnton, Hope Farm, Lache, Sandiway and Tattenhall – will be wildflower seeded. Flowers will include the patriotic colours of red, white and blue. The wildflower areas are being created by the Council’s Your Streets team as they work their way around the borough creating this year’s native wildflower meadows.

    This follows on from the wildflower seeding of Upton Library last year and it is hoped that more libraries will have wildflower areas in the future.

    One thousand plantable seed paper bookmarks, specially printed with the Coronation logo, will be distributed by the borough’s libraries. After being used in books, watering them will allow the wildflower seed to germinate and grow. Simple instructions on how to do this will be given out with the bookmarks.

    In addition, libraries will be doing children’s crafts and other activities in the weeks before the Coronation. Please ask at your local library for details, or see the library events webpage: Library events

    Arts Council England have provided library services in England with £1,000 to mark the occasion in whatever way they think will be most relevant and enjoyable for their users and local community. In west Cheshire this funding has been used for the wildflower seed and bookmarks.

    It’s free to join and use a library. In addition to printed books, there is free access to computers, wi-fi and study space. Membership allows access to the popular BorrowBox app which provides thousands of eBooks and eAudiobooks for free. As well as this, the Libby app provides free access to hundreds of magazines online.

    The library events are part of the Council’s programme to celebrate the Coronation. For more details see: Coronation events in west Cheshire

  • Get involved with the Great Big Green Week at your local library

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    Libraries across west Cheshire will be celebrating The Great Big Green Week (10 – 18 June) by holding a special Treasure Hunt for children with green tips scattered around the library shelves.

    The Great Big Green Week is a nationwide campaign highlighting the need for urgent action on climate and nature. Thousands of people around the country take part in the campaign each year, showcasing actions to tackle climate change, creating a better world, for us now and for the next generation.

    As part of the library service’s week of events, adults and children will be asked to write “Letters to Tomorrow”, explaining their hopes for future generations and fears about what life could be like if we don’t slow down climate change. These can be addressed to anyone in the future - family, friends, your future self or even animals, such as descendants of their garden blackbirds. The letters will be put on display, along with environmentally themed books in the libraries.

    Residents are also invited to join the library if they have not done so already and to use the library more if they have throughout the campaign week.

    Environmental groups will be running information sessions and events, such as energy advice drop in sessions, in some of the libraries throughout the week. Details of all the activities taking place during the week at local libraries is available to view on the west Cheshire Libraries events webpage.

    Storyhouse in Chester also have several events taking place on Saturday, 10 June to celebrate Great Big Green Week. Join them for a range of free events (including a paper recycling workshop, a treasure hunt, and colouring-in sheets) from 1pm. More details can be found on the below links.

    🌳 The Great Big Green Week Activities
    🌳 Paper Recycling Workshop

    Public libraries are hubs of sustainability, helping to reduce consumption by reusing and recycling books and other resources as well as providing information to communities to enable their own climate action. The average book is borrowed over 20 times in a public library, as opposed to a private bought book being read just once (or even less in some cases). At the end of their lives, library books are then sold on or recycled. Cheshire West Libraries is also due to have the first electrically powered mobile library in the UK in operation later this year.