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.

  • How we’re playing our part

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    The Council is committed to making changes across all our services to play our part to tackle the Climate Emergency and it is one of the Council’s seven key priorities, as set out in our Stronger Futures plan.

    The objectives that underpin this priority include:

    • Reducing the carbon footprint of the Council

    • Support the decarbonisation of energy, industry and business

    • Improve sustainable transport and infrastructure

    • Enable low carbon buildings, homes and development

    • Enhancing green spaces

    • Reduce waste and increase recycling

    As an organisation we have a target to be carbon neutral by 2030 and are leading by example to help the borough to be carbon neutral by 2045.

    Below are some examples of the work we’ve done so far to help achieve this

  • Let’s talk about…Transport

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council is starting a conversation on the future of transport of in the borough.

    “Let’s talk about...Transport” launches today (Monday 20 November 2023) with an on-line survey and full information at .

    The conversation on the future of transport is relevant to everyone who travels to, from or through the borough, including residents, businesses and a range of local and regional partners.

    In this initial stage of engagement, respondents are being invited to provide their views on the borough’s current transport system and the big issues around transport across the borough, to develop a draft vision and priorities for the future of local transport.

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Highways, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Transport gives us access to work, education, leisure activities and essential services. It shapes the places we live, impacts our health and wellbeing and is vital to our local economy.

    “Your views, ideas and experiences will help us to shape the future of transport in the borough to support our communities. This is a critically important conversation which affects everyone who lives, works or visits the borough.

    “It's an opportunity to make sure that our transport systems and networks work for the people who use them - not merely getting us from A to B but helping us address the future challenges our borough faces, such as climate change and social exclusion.

    “It will also be key to unlocking the government funding we need to deliver on these priorities. If you are interested in what our communities and neighbourhoods should look like in the future, I'd encourage you to share your views on our proposals.”

    Four in-person ‘drop in’ events and two online webinars will take place during the engagement window, where interested parties can learn more about the proposals, and ask staff any questions. These events are open to all residents and stakeholders:




    Northwich Memorial Court

    30 November 2023

    3pm to 7pm

    Ellesmere Port Sports Village

    04 December 2023

    3pm to 7pm

    Winsford Library

    11 December 2023

    3pm to 6.45pm

    Online webinar

    18 December 2023

    12pm to 1pm

    Storyhouse, Chester

    18 January 2024

    2pm to 6pm

    Online webinar

    22 January 2024

    5.30pm to 6.30pm

    Registration for online webinars available from 20 November via the online portal.

    Respondents can also get in touch via email or telephone, and paper copies of the survey and questionnaire are available on request. Easy-read and web accessible versions of the proposals and survey are also available.

    How to find our more and get involved:

    • On-line at:
    • By email to:
    • By letter to: Let’s Talk about Transport, Insight and Intelligence, Cheshire West and Chester Council, The Portal, Wellington Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BA
    • By telephone: Call the Council’s Contact Centre on 0300 1238 123 and quote ‘Local Transport Plan 4 Engagement’.

    “Let’s talk about…Transport” closes on 28 January 2024.

    A report summarising the results of this engagement will be available on the Council’s website in Spring 2024. A final version of the vision and priorities will be presented to Cabinet for adoption in Summer 2024.

    These will inform ongoing development of the Plan, with a full public consultation on the draft Plan scheduled for late 2024. Adoption of the final version of the Local Transport Plan by full Council will follow in 2025.

  • Preparations for bumper year of planting that will deliver for communities and nature

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council is showing their support for The Mersey Forest, the area’s local Community Forest, as they prepare for a bumper year of planting, establishing woodlands across Cheshire and Merseyside that will benefit the area for generations.

    The Mersey Forest team, with the help of the Green Task Force, has been preparing ground ready for planting on a number of sites and the first trees of the season are being planted. This year the team plan to plant 150 hectares of woodland across Cheshire and Merseyside.

    Over the last three years The Mersey Forest has worked with partners and landowners, including Cheshire West and Chester Council, to establish 220 hectares of new woodland across Cheshire and Merseyside through the national Trees for Climate programme. That’s the equivalent of filling 11,220 tennis courts with trees.

    Although many of these trees are in their infancy now, their impact will be felt far and wide across the region for generations to come. A recent study by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) shows that, thanks to these newly planted schemes, over 47,000 households in the area are within 500m of an accessible wood, with 21% of these homes based in some of the country’s most deprived area.

    Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest, said: “We saw over the lockdown period just how important green spaces and woodlands were to people’s health and wellbeing. They are spaces for people to connect with nature, places to socialise or to seek a moment of peace in their busy lives. Establishing trees and woodlands that benefit our communities is the essence of Community Forestry and will be what we’re focused on over the coming planting season.”

    Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Transport, said: “As a partner of The Mersey Forest and the accountable body for the Trees for Climate programme nationally, we’re proud to be supporting the growing Mersey Forest. Having access to nature provides so many benefits for both our communities and the environment, and increasing tree cover in the area is supporting the borough’s aim to be carbon neutral by 2045.”

    The LJMU study also found the planting will provide the following benefits for the region.

    • 58 hectares of flood risk land will be improved by the planting, helping to reduce the risk of flooding for local communities. The value of additional water storage on these sites is estimated at £26,640 per year.
    • Once established the newly created woodlands could generate over 490,000 recreational visits, with an estimated total value of over £1.5 million per year.
    • 1,620ha of ecological network has been improved, providing more joined up habitats for wildlife to thrive.
    • The trees planted will capture 2,962 tonnes of CO2 annually, the equivalent of removing 2,154 cars from the road each year. The economic value of this is estimated to be £219,439.

    Paul, continued: "The study by colleagues at LJMU shows the real impact that good planting can make to an area. We work closely with a wide range of partners to find land where woodland can be established, with a particular focus on schemes that can provide the most benefit to the local community.

    “We’re set to get planting again this winter, providing our flexible grants, advice and support to a range of landowners who are all doing their bit to help grow and maintain The Mersey Forest.”

    The Mersey Forest is the lead for the national Trees for Climate programme, which is funded through the government’s multi-million pound Nature for Climate Fund. Cheshire West and Chester Council is the accountable body for the programme, supporting the 13 Community Forests who are delivering the programme nationwide.

    Alongside The Mersey Forest's work, Cheshire West and Chester Council is also progressing their own biodiversity net gain project, which is focused on improving habitats in the area, including woodland and meadow land creation.

    Landowners and farmers with land available for tree planting can find out about The Mersey Forest's flexible grants, which can fund a range of woodland creation schemes from 0.1ha up by visiting:

  • Council’s first sustainable travel event will help businesses transition to net zero

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has arranged everything relating to sustainable travel to be brought together under one roof in a showcase for businesses in the borough.

    The free Driving Change event will be held at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall on Monday 4 December from 9am to 1pm.

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Highways, Councillor Karen Shore said: “The Council is committed to supporting the local business community to transition to net zero. Our first sustainable travel showcase will feature not just electric vehicles from a number of suppliers, available to test drive, but also a wide range of sustainable travel solutions for businesses.”

    Representatives from local dealerships will be there on the day to chat through options and showcase some of their electric and hybrid vehicles including cars, vans, scooters, bikes, mobility solutions. Local operators for public transport, active travel and micromobility modes will also be attending.

    Exhibitors including charging operators or installers, renewables suppliers and local trade organisations will be available on the day to showcase the latest technologies and business support available in the area.

    Speakers will include Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Energy Saving Trust and Scottish Power Energy Networks, and a detailed list of exhibitors will be confirmed nearer the date.

    Cllr Shore added: “This is a free event for businesses in the borough and tickets are now available. It will be of interest to not just businesses looking to transition to electric vehicles but perhaps also public transport operators, landlords or car park operators looking to introduce EV charging infrastructure or sustainable transport options.”

    Tickets are now available on Ticketsource - Driving Change: Sustainable Travel Options for Businesses at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall event tickets from TicketSource

  • Pupils play their part to boost walking to school

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    Children from Woodfall Primary and Nursery School in Little Neston have launched a School Parking Charter as part of a campaign to boost the number of children walking to and from school.

    Junior Safety Officers and the school’s Eco Squad helped to develop the Parking Charter to address the barriers parents and carers face when choosing to walk with their children at the beginning and end of the school day.

    A survey was carried out at the beginning of the school year which showed that the main reason for driving to school was “dangerously parked cars.” These vehicles blocked a clear view for children to see the cars coming towards them and for drivers to see children waiting to cross.

    The Junior Safety Officers wanted to create a School Parking Charter to address the road safety element and the Woodfall Eco Squad wanted to focus on the air quality element. They teamed up together with teacher, Mrs Howard, and parent representative, Helen Roberts, to meet with the Council’s Road Safety Team and find out how they could create their own.

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “A big thank you to everyone who was involved in putting this Charter together for Woodfall Primary School.

    “The Charter asks parents and carers to pledge to a number of things during the school run, including keeping below the 20mph speed limit, not to stop, drop off or park on the yellow “zig-zag” markings, not to park on pavements or grass verges and not to block driveways, even for a moment.

    “They are also asked to consider using the Royal Oak pub as a ‘Park and Stride’ site and walking the remainder of the way to school. This will reduce the traffic around school and keep the air quality cleaner around school.”

    At the pre-launch assembly, the School Parking Charter was explained to the children. All children were happy with the charter and agreed to let parents, carers, grandparents, or whoever brings them to school and picks them up, to sign up to create a safer environment around school.

    At the official launch of the School Parking Charter, the Road Safety Team also presented the Junior Safety Officers with the Woodfall Primary and Nursery School Modeshift STARS Green Award, for their commitment to Active Travel.

    For more information on how your school can sign up to have a School Parking Charter or take part in Modeshift STARS please contact the Road Safety Team at Cheshire West and Chester Council on

  • Council funding helps local business become more sustainable

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    A local family attraction has benefitted from funding through Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Climate Emergency Fund, helping them to install a solar PV (photovoltaic) system that will benefit the business and its tenants for years to come.

    Blakemere Village, near Northwich, was supported by the Council’s Business Development team to apply for the Council’s Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), which provides funding for low carbon projects that support the borough’s ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2045.

    The family business, which has shops, craft workshops, a play barn and several attractions, has invested £165,000 in energy saving measures across their site, with £50,000 contributed through the CEF. Following a green audit of the business by Groundwork Cheshire, a local charity who support Cheshire businesses to become more sustainable, a plan to install 113 solar panels across 3 buildings was developed.

    The new solar PV system will save the business around 19 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 4 cars off the road, as well as ensuring to maintain reduced energy costs for businesses on site.

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “It’s great to see local businesses reviewing their operations to find ways that they can reduce their carbon emissions as well as their running costs. The funding provided through the Climate Emergency Fund has helped many community groups and organisations across the borough over the last few years, from tree planting projects to introducing energy saving measures. Every one of these projects is playing its part to help the borough to meet its target of being carbon neutral by 2045.”

    Ginny White, Partner at Blakemere Village, said: “We were delighted to work with Cheshire West and Chester Council on this project. Their assistance and the support they provided was invaluable and allowed us to choose the right system for our business with confidence. The green audit has ensured we have planned well into the future to keep our energy costs down as well as improving our energy efficiency. We aim to continue to make progress within our business to achieve the carbon neutral deadlines set for 2045.”

    Since the Council launched the Climate Emergency Fund, 44 projects have been supported across the borough.

    Businesses interested in receiving support to lower their energy costs, improve their energy efficiency and make progress to achieve net zero can apply for support through the Cheshire West and Chester Council UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

    Small and Medium Enterprises in the area interested in having solar PV systems installed can register with the group-buying scheme Solar Together Cheshire and Warrington to receive a competitive quote from a pre-vetted installer. Businesses and residents have until Friday, 27 October, to register at:

    Solar panels on buildings are sometimes subject to planning permission, businesses should ensure that any requirement has been met prior to investing.

    The Council has also recently launched Business Tapas, a digital knowledge hub that has been developed to accelerate business growth and bring together a wealth of resources, tutorials, and advice on core business topics, including decarbonising your business. Find out more Business Tapas Homepage

  • Ellesmere Port transformation - improving walking, wheeling and cycling links

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    Plans for a new pedestrian and cycle link are being shared in Ellesmere Port this week.

    As a part of the Ellesmere Port Town Centre Levelling Up Fund, there will be improved links for walking, wheeling, and cycling, plus new cycle parking.

    There is funding secured to construct an improved cycling, walking and wheeling route from the rail station to Ellesmere Port Market. In addition, funding from Active Travel England has allowed for design extensions to the route, as far as the M53 underpass and Stanney Lane Junction.

    Councillor Karen Shore – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Highways said: “The design team is now looking forward to hearing the views of everyone who walks, cycles and wheels around Ellesmere Port plus residents along the routes and local businesses.

    “There is a short survey available online or you can meet the team at Ellesmere Port railway station and the market to learn more. We want to know your views on which route you prefer for walking, wheeling and cycling.

    “The survey will run until the beginning of November, but the wider project plans will be available to see online and in pop up exhibitions.

    “We are committed to improving areas across the borough, Ellesmere Port joins projects already underway in Winsford and plans for Northwich and Chester.”

    The design team is proposing two route choices, one along Cromwell Road and one along Whitby Road. They have considered all transport methods, including bus stops and loading requirements for businesses. The two choices have looked at 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.

    To find out more, the project team will be at Ellesmere Port train station between 8.30am and 9.30am on Thursday 19 October, Thursday 26 October, Thursday 2 November and Ellesmere Port Market between 10am and 4pm.

    Transformation plans are progressing well for Ellesmere Port. The £13 million project uses funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Levelling Up Fund to prepare 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 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.

    The survey and details about the route options is available online:

  • Over 5,000 households registered for solar group-buying scheme

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    A group-buying scheme to help local households and businesses to purchase solar PV (photovoltaic) systems at a competitive price has seen over 5,000 people register since it launched last month.

    Solar Together Cheshire and Warrington offers residents in the area the opportunity to have solar panels with optional battery storage and electric vehicle charge points installed at their property by pre-vetted installers, helping them to generate their own electricity and cut their energy bills.

    The scheme is also beneficial for those residents who have already invested in solar panels but do not have battery storage with their system and are looking to get more from the renewable energy they generate, as well as increase their independence from the grid.

    Cheshire and Warrington residents have until 10pm on Friday, 27 October, to register for the scheme. It is free to apply and there is no obligation to go ahead with an installation once a quote has been received.

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “It’s fantastic that so many people in the area are interested in switching to a renewable source of energy to power their homes and businesses.

    “The scheme is a first for the area and will help people to generate their own electricity, save money on their energy bills, and cut carbon emissions, helping the borough to reach its ambitious net zero targets.”

    As part of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s work to help the borough to become carbon neutral by 2045, the Council is working in partnership with Cheshire East Council, Warrington Borough Council, and independent experts iChoosr, to help make the transition to clean energy as cost effective and hassle-free as possible.

    This innovative scheme builds on six years of a successful Solar Together programme, run across the UK. To date, Solar Together has delivered over 22,000 installations and over 460,000 tonnes of avoided lifetime carbon emissions.

    To find out more and to register, visit:

    Alternatively, call: 0800 014 8851 (Monday - Friday: 8am – 5pm).

    How does it work?

    • Householders can register online to become part of the group for free and without obligation.
    • Pre-approved UK solar PV suppliers participate in a reverse auction, where installers bid to provide the service to you and others registered households. They can offer competitive pricing, as the volume and geographic concentration makes it possible for them to realise greater efficiencies, which they pass on with lower prices for installations.
    • After the auction, registered households will be emailed a personal recommendation which is specific to the details they submitted in their registration.
    • If they choose to accept their recommendation, the specifics of their installation will be confirmed with a technical survey, after which a date can be set for the installation of their solar PV system.
    • Telephone and email helpdesks are on-hand throughout the whole process which, together with information sessions, will allow households to make an informed decision in a safe and hassle-free environment.

    Advice on other home energy schemes and support for those who are worried about the rising cost of energy bills, food and transport can be found on the Council’s website. Visit:

  • Go green at the library this Library Week

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    Libraries Week (2 - 8 October) is an annual celebration where we showcase all the innovative and sometimes, surprising, ways in which we support our communities. This year Libraries Week is 'going green', focusing on sustainability and climate change.
    Picture of a man and women laughing as they repot a plant. Text reads - Go Green at the library this Libraries Week. Get involved at

    Check our Events page to see what your local library is planning to mark the week – there's plenty going on from Seed Swaps and Big Draws to Bin to Brilliant crafts!

    There’s never been a better time to join one of our hundreds of groups and activities, new and old. Chat about books with us at one of our new Not a Reading Groups at Sandiway, Neston, Helsby or Wharton, test your puzzling skills with new Board Game clubs at Weaverham and Blacon, or bring your own project and pick up new crafting skills at Great Boughton’s new Craft and Chat session. Details of all of our events are available on our website.

    Plus, all week we’re inviting you to share what you love about your library. Whether it’s the welcoming space, great range of books or access to information, let us know your favourite thing about your library for us to display.

  • Additional single-use plastics ban

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    A further ban on single-use plastic items came into effect on 1 October.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Public Protection officers are reminding businesses, such as takeaways, sandwich bars, care homes and retailers who supply certain single-use plastic items, that the ban came into force on Sunday.

    It means that from 1 October, businesses across England will not be able to supply certain single-use plastic items to members of the public.

    The ban relates to single use plastic plates, bowls and trays, unless:

    • The business is a supplier, supplying them to another business.
    • They are packaging which is prefilled or filled at the point of sale, for example, salad bowls, etc.

    Plastic cutlery and balloon sticks are banned with no exemption.

    Plastic polystyrene food and drink containers are banned, unless the contents need further preparation before consumption, for example, adding water, microwaving, etc.

    From 1 October, subject to the exemptions, members of the public will not be supplied these products from any business – this includes retailers, takeaways, food vendors and the hospitality industry and the ban will apply to online and over-the-counter sales.

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “Certain plastic items, such as straws, stirrers and cotton buds, have already been banned.

    “Businesses who continue to supply banned single-use plastic items after the legislation comes into effect could face a fine or prosecution. This will be enforced by the Council.”

    Plastic pollution takes hundreds of years to break down and inflicts serious damage to our oceans, rivers, and land. It is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself to the way it is disposed.

    It is expected that banning these items will have a significant impact on reducing plastic waste and littering in England.

    Businesses could:

    • Swap plastic for bamboo or wooden cutlery for takeaway food
    • Swap plastic for metal cutlery for in-house guests
    • Swap single use plastic plates or bowls to re-usable alternatives that can be washed
    • Offer paper plates instead of plastic
    • Offer to refill customers’ water bottles or travel cups
    • Encourage customers to bring their own clean containers for takeaway food.

    Further guidance can be found on the GOV.UK website.