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

  • Libraries put the pieces together for the Great Big Green Week

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s libraries will be getting on board with the Great Big Green Week offering jigsaw swaps, special events, advice sessions and activities for children from 8 to 16 June.

    Libraries in Blacon, Great Boughton, Little Sutton, Northwich (Weaver Hall Museum), Storyhouse, Tarporley and Upton are encouraging customers to swap jigsaws throughout June to reduce waste. In addition to the swap, all libraries will be offering a quiz and treasure hunt for children as well as individual events, such as themed rhyme-times and the popular From Bin to Brilliant craft sessions.


    The Council’s Cabinet Member for a Fairer Future, Councillor Lisa Denson said: “There is so much going on during the Great Big Green Week, it’s going to be great. Come along to one of the twelve “Green Teas” where you can have a cup of tea or coffee and talk to a money-saving, energy or environmental expert. The sessions are in partnership with the Groundwork Green Doctor, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Citizen’s Advice and Energy Projects Plus."

    In addition, Ellesmere Port Library will be hosting “Stitched Up” on Saturday 8 June, from 10am to 12pm. The Pop-Up Patchers will be showing anyone dropping in how to mend and change clothes and they will be joined by the author Joanne O’Connell, author of two books for early teens on fashion.

    Finally, Libraries will be having a stall at the Great Big Green Week Festival at Grosvenor Park in Chester on Saturday 15 June from 11am to 4pm.


    Libraries have already been doing their bit for the environment. The country’s first modern electric mobile library was launched in the borough in July 2023 and the grounds of several libraries are wildflower seeded each year. Libraries also helped lead the way with a fancy-dress swap scheme for World Book Day in the last two years. The public can also borrow litter picker kits from all libraries or order them online via Community litter picking | Cheshire West and Chester Council.

    The Education Library Service is working with Grozone, Northwich to develop their outside space for growing plants and flowers and making it more attractive for schools and staff for wellbeing and activities.

    Grozone has been successful in applying for Shared Prosperity funding and will be using these activities to provide opportunities for people to volunteer. Grozone is also siting raised beds at Weaver Hall Museum in Northwich, where Northwich Library is temporarily located.

    A full list of events for Great Big Green Week is available from the Libraries events webpage at Library events | Cheshire West and Chester Council. All events are free and drop-in. It is free to join Cheshire West and Chester Libraries, with membership giving free access to print books, computers, Wi-Fi, working space and digital eBooks, eAudiobooks, newspapers, and magazines.

  • Air quality improvements could see end of air quality management areas in Ellesmere Port and Frodsham

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has announced it is proposing to revoke the air quality management area (AQMA) orders for Ellesmere Port and Frodsham following significant and continued improvements in air quality levels.

    The Ellesmere Port (Whitby Road / Station Road) AQMA was declared in 2005 in order to address road traffic related nitrogen dioxide (NO2) affecting residential properties on parts of Whitby Road, Station Road and Princes Road.

    The Frodsham AQMA was declared in 2015, also due to NO2 from road vehicles, and covers a small number of residential properties on Fluin Lane and High Street (A56) in Frodsham.

    According to the Environment Act 1990 and guidance, an AQMA can be revoked if a review demonstrates that air quality objectives are being met and there is confidence that they will continue to be met. Air quality objectives are limits on the acceptable presence of pollutants in the atmosphere established to protect human health and the environment.

    A review of current and historical monitoring data has shown that the roadside concentrations of NO2 have declined significantly since the initial declaration of the AQMAs in both Ellesmere Port and Frodsham. Air quality in the AQMAs is demonstrably compliant with the objectives as there have been no exceedances for five years.

    National air quality monitoring data follows a similar trend to that observed locally. Furthermore, predictions of future trends in NO2 show that a recurrence of exceedances of the air quality objectives in the AQMAs is highly improbable.

    The Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes, Planning and Safer Communities, Councillor Christine Warner said: “Air pollution is associated with several adverse health impacts. It is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. Additionally, air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable in society: children, the elderly, and those with existing heart and lung conditions.

    “Ongoing reviews of air quality in two of the Council’s Air Quality Management Areas for Whitby Road/Station Road in Ellesmere Port and Fluin Lane in Frodsham; have shown evidence to revoke this status.

    “The Council is confident that compliance has been and will continue to be achieved. However, monitoring of NO2 will continue at worst-case locations in the current AQMAs to confirm that ambient levels of the pollutant remain compliant with the national objectives and to gauge improvements in local air quality over time.

    “We’re currently asking residents to get in touch with us if they have any views on this proposal and further details are available on the Council’s website.”

    ENDS

    The Ellesmere Port (Whitby Road / Station Road) AQMA was declared in 2005 in order to address road traffic related nitrogen dioxide (NO2) affecting residential properties on parts of Whitby Road, Station Road and Princes Road. At the time of declaration annual mean NO2 was measured at 44.5 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3) – as compared to the national air quality objective of 40 μg/m3. Over time the ambient levels of NO2 have gradually reduced such that, as of 2022 (the last full calendar year for which ratified monitoring results are available) those levels stood at 29.2 μg/m3.

    Frodsham AQMA was declared in 2015, also due to NO2 from road vehicles, and covers a small number of residential properties on Fluin Lane and High Street (A56) in Frodsham. Annual mean NO2 levels of 41.5 μg/m3 at declaration have declined to a maximum of 28.4 μg/m3 in 2022.

    Link to webpage - Revocation of Air Quality Management Areas in Ellesmere Port and Frodsham | Cheshire West and Chester Council

  • National Bike Week: 10 – 16 June 2024

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    Bike Week is the UK’s biggest awareness-raising moment of the year for cycling and provides an opportunity to remind ourselves about the positives bikes can bring, for our health and wellbeing, as well as our communities and the planet.

    Organised by Cycling UK, this year’s theme is be a bike hero. By being a bike hero we can build a happier and greener world through cycling, saving the planet, saving money and boosting our wellbeing.


    Man in blue jacket riding a bike through a park
    There are lots of opportunities for us all to get out on a bike, whether we’re an avid cyclist already or haven’t been on a bike since we were a child.

    Here's some ideas to help you get out on your bike.

    • Replace a short journey you’d usually take by car
    • Take the kids out for a bike ride, or ride to and from school
    • Encourage friends to join you on a ride
    • Join a bike week event in your area
    • Inspire others by sharing your cycling journey on social media. Use the hashtags #BikeWeekUK and #BikeHero

    There are lots of tips and advice to get you out on your bike on the Cycling UK website.



    Free cycle training for schools


    The Council’s Road Safety Team continues to work with schools across the borough to offer free cycle Bikeability training for pupils. The training is organised and delivered across the borough by the Council’s delivery provider, Bikeright.

    Any schools in west Cheshire can take part in the training programme, which provides young people with the skills and confidence to ride their bike safely.

    For further information and to book a space visit the Bikeright website.


    Active Travel Festival – Sunday, 16 June


    The Active Travel Festival (AtFest) will be returning for its second year to Chester city centre, promoting all modes of active travel and the benefits for our health and communities. The event, which is take place in Town Hall Square, is part of the wider Chester Green Weekend event. There will be a range of activities taking place on the day from bike health checks, freestyle mountain bike stunt displays, security marking of bikes and films and talks.

    Find out more over on the AtFest website.


    Cycle buddy scheme


    If you are keen to get on your bike but are unsure of routes or need a bit of a confidence boost to take that first step, the Chester Cycling Campaign’s Cycle Buddy Scheme could be the ideal solution. The free scheme matches experienced volunteer cyclists who are Campaign members with those aged 18 or over who would like some support to help them cycle more in Chester. Find out more on the Chester Cycling Campaign website.

  • One week to the Council’s event to help you switch to electric vehicles

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    There is just one week to go until Cheshire West and Chester Council’s first electric vehicle awareness event in Ellesmere Port Civic Hall on Tuesday 21 May.


    The event is free to attend and open to everyone with an interest in switching to EVs and more sustainable motoring to help reduce carbon emissions on the borough’s roads.


    At the ‘understanding how to transition to electric vehicles in business and at home’ event the first two hours is for businesses only (between 8am to 10am) and then doors open to the public from 10am until 2pm.


    • David Thornton and Cllr Karen Shore at the Civic Hall in Ellesmere Port


    The event will showcase a broad range of EVs with the opportunity to get behind the wheel and go for a test drive. Experts will be on hand to give presentations and answers questions on all aspects of electric motoring; environmental performance, grants, salary sacrifice, operation costs, charging infrastructures and more.


    Electric vehicles on display at the event will include the BMW i5, BMW iX2, BYD Atto 3, BYD Seal, Ford E-Transit, Ford Mach-E, MINI Cooper, Peugeot E-2008, Peugeot E-308, Vauxhall Astra Electric, Vauxhall Mokka Electric, Volkswagen ID.7 and the Volkswagen ID. Buzz. The Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, Toyota bZ4X and the Toyota Proace City van will be available for test drives.


    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Strategic Transport and Highways, Councillor Karen Shore said: “This event is all about educating people in the transition to zero emissions motoring, as transport is currently responsible for much of our roadside air pollution.


    “If you are considering owning an EV or just want to find out more, then this event offers the perfect opportunity for you to do your research and ask any questions you may have.

    “There is just a week to go so if you are a local business with lots of questions about how to swap to electric, please register to secure your place as soon as possible, so you can get the answers you need.”


    Businesses need to register prior to attending the event but members of the public are free to walk in any time after 10am. Business tickets are available from Ticketsource.


    To take part in the test drives, just download your DVLA licence check before you come, by visiting: www.viewdrivingrecord.service.gov.uk. This will speed up your registration on the day, though checks on the day are possible if needed, just bring your driving licence and NI number.

    More information and a draft agenda for the business segment of the event is on the Council’s website – www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/EVevent

  • Council’s Climate Emergency Team visits newly created woodland

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council have planted an Oak and long-lived broadleaf woodland on a 10-hectare, Council owned site, near Barrow, this winter.

    Image of field with mature trees in background and newly planted trees in foreground
    After a rather wet winter and spring, the Council’s Climate Change Team visited the newly planted site in early May to see the work that has been completed already and hear about the plans to create a mosaic of habitats on this site.

    Howard Pimborough, Woodland Creation Projects Delivery Officer for the Council, explains why the site had been chosen and more about the design of the new woodland here.

    'This was low value agricultural land that is seasonally wet, so tree species selection was essential to its successful establishment. Equally the wood needs to be resilient against climate change, future pests and diseases, and help in reducing local surface water flooding. In the design phase the project was computer modelled using Forestry Commission software, to ensure its long-term survival.

    The woodland was created utilising innovative techniques to maximise its potential, not only to meet the requirements of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)*, but to also create a mosaic of different habitats (essential for any good woodland design). Old ponds were restored, and new ones created with edges sown with wildflowers. Open spaces managed as woodland meadow are included in the design providing space for natural regeneration of existing mature trees, which border the fields.

    An example of the types of innovation on the site was the translocation of early mature Crack and Goat Willow. Basically, removing early mature trees choking and shading out an existing pond, pollarding** them, and replanting in a more desirable location. This way the woodland has two ages of trees, not just young ones (or, even three ages of trees if we count the old Oak in the hedgerows).


    Image of tree stump with new shoots coming through. More mature tree in background of shot.One of the mature trees that has been moved to a more desirable location on the site


    One of the reasons this site was selected to establish a new woodland on was because of the existing specie rich woodland adjacent to it. This should speed up the new woodland’s potential for wildlife as ground flora, fungi and other species now have room to spread and increase, bringing benefits to the quality of both the old and new woodland.

    We’ve also left standing deadwood and deliberately splinted timber and old root plates placed across the site to replicate the result of a storm, which will provide ideal habitat for invertebrates. Coronet cutting*** techniques have also been used on declining trees to increase their potential for bats and stag beetle.

    If the gauge of success is how quickly wildlife occupies the site, then early indications are very positive, with wild geese and waterfowl using the restored open water. Meadow buttercup and Cuckoo Flower is visible in the open grassland and there has been an increased presence of bees and butterflies In the future we intend to place Beehives on the site to improve pollination and support our native Honey Bees, who are very much under pressure. This site is perfect for them.


    Image of pond with mature trees reflecting in the waterOne of the ponds that has been restored


    Forestry is a long-term investment, and it is vital that there is a sustainable revenue stream that supports this project and others without impacting the Council budget. To that end, the woodland needs to be commercially viable, that is producing high quality hardwoods and other forest products for the future, this is why the woodland is divided into identifiable stands of trees and a long-term management plan in place. Using continuous cover forestry, enables us to harvest on a sustainable, rotational basis, provide employment and it also helps in creating a diverse woodland structure.

    Equally we have the value of ‘home grown’ Carbon Sequestration and BNG units (to meet changes in the Town and Country Planning act). Without Carbon Units and BNG units created ‘in County’, the Council would need to purchase elsewhere (costing far more and without any local benefit), impacting the Council’s Net Zero aims and restricting development. Most importantly, if the land has no value, who will value and preserve it?

    From the outset, this has been a cross department co-operative effort between the Council’s Total Environment team and the Climate Change Team. It was really important to get both teams involved in its establishment, with Total Environment and The Climate Change team helping to plant trees and sow wildflower seed. Being part of helping nature, on a project that will outlast us all, and being amongst our natural environment is fantastic for mindfulness and well-being. In future projects perhaps we can get all our departments to come along and join us on this and other innovative, ambitious, projects. It is without doubt, a way of providing a most satisfying and worthwhile gift to future generations and their sustainability.'

    Image of people sowing wildflower seeds around the edge of a pondThe Climate Change Team helping to sow wildflowers


    This work is contributing to the Council’s Land Action Plan and Climate Emergency Response Plan, helping the borough to become carbon neutral by 2045 and the Council, as an organisation, by 2030. Every tree planted in the borough is also helping to grow the Mersey Forest and the wider Northern Forest, helping to connect more of our communities with nature.

    Find out more about our response to the Climate and Nature Emergency: Home | Climate Response (westcheshireclimateplan.co.uk)

    You can share what action you are taking to reduce your own carbon footprint over on the Climate Emergency Inspire page.





    *Biodiversity Net Gain is the term used to describe the process of increasing the overall biodiversity value of a development site.

    **Pollarding is a method of pruning that keeps trees and shrubs smaller than they would naturally grow.

    ***Coronet cutting is a pruning technique that mimics the way natural tears and fractured branches occur on stem wood and branches.

  • Free Cycle training for all schools

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    Bikeability is today’s cycle training for the 21st Century. It is based on the government approved National Standards for cycle training. It is organised and delivered at schools across the borough, or locally, by the Council's delivery provider, Bikeright.


    Cycling is a life skill and cycling safely, with confidence is key to enjoyment and participation, helping young people to develop lifelong physical activity habits to gain independence, social skills and a sense of wellbeing.


    Any schools in west Cheshire can take part in the training programme and bikes and helmets are available for training sessions too. Learn to ride training sessions can also be provided for year four, five and six to prepare students for the on-road training in years five and six.

    For more information and to book click here

    Watch a video of a Bikeability session held at Victoria Road School, Northwich.


    The Council will share details about family and adult training sessions later in the year.

  • Council's first electric vehicle awareness event will be held in Ellesmere Port

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has arranged everything relating to electric vehicles (EV) to be brought together under one roof in a showcase for business and residents in the borough.

    The free ‘understanding how to transition to electric vehicles in business and at home’ event will be held at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall on Tuesday 21 May, with the first two hours solely for businesses, from 8am to 10am, and then open to the public from 10am until 2pm.

    With specialist speakers, and around 20 exhibitors, the event will include test drives, forthcoming vehicle releases, grants available, plus how to select and install suitable EV charging.

    Stellantis will also be presenting on how their Ellesmere Port plant has been remodelled to support EV production.

    If you are a business and coming to the 8am to 10am session, you will need to register for this free to attend event. Anyone attending after 10am does not need to register.

    Tickets are available from Ticketsource now.

    Local dealers will be there with a range of the latest EVs for test drives.

    To take part in the test drives, just download your DVLA licence check before you come, by visiting: www.viewdrivingrecord.service.gov.uk. This will speed up your registration on the day, though checks on the day are possible if needed, just bring your driving licence and NI number.

    The Council has recently secured a £2 million Electric Vehicle Charging Grant. The new funding is expected to enable an initial installation of around 600 chargers, with approximately 300 in car parks and 300 on-street locations across the borough. The initial installation phase will start in late 2024 and is expected to take around five years.

    More information about the event is available on the Council's website.

  • Cheshire West and Chester Council secures £2 million Electric Vehicle Charging Grant

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has secured £2,049,000 Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funding (LEVI). The fund is managed by the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), with a Support Body consisting of the Energy Savings Trust (EST), PA consulting and Cenex.

    The funding will help to support EV charging solutions for people who are unable to charge at home (off street). The Council will now start an Invitation to Tender procurement process, to identify private investment from Charge Point Operators, to invest to deliver a commercial return over time. The public-private partnership will then deliver a comprehensive volume and type of chargers, meeting resident needs.

    The majority of EV charging takes place at home, but this can be a challenge for residents without access to off-street parking. The Council aims to ensure residents will have easy access to EV charging, within a short walking distance through a range of car parks and on-street.

    Council-owned car parks will be the first choice of where to site chargers. These car parks are often located in central areas. The plan will be to supply a quantity of chargers into these locations. As the demand for chargers increases the availability can be increased. Where car parks are further away than just a short walk, on-street chargers will be considered.

    In addition to this, other locations that suit people’s normal routine and may support more sustainable travel will be considered. The Council will work with partners to install chargers into park and ride sites, leisure centre car parks and into railway station car parks, alongside council car parks.

    The new funding is expected to enable an initial installation of around 600 chargers, with approximately 300 in car parks and 300 on-street locations across the borough. The initial installation phase will start in late 2024 and is expected to take around five years.

    The first stage will be engagement with possible Charge Point Operators taking place between April and June. Site feasibility studies will take place during the Summer 2024 with the first new charging points being installed Autumn 2024.

    A six-week public consultation took place between 1 February and 15 March 2023. Responses showed a high degree of support from those who already drive electric vehicles and those who do not.

    There were over 200 responses to the consultation 70 per cent of respondents said they agreed with the aims of the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy. Most respondents (53.9 per cent) considered that the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure will have a positive impact upon them.

  • Council wins the Green Public Service award at the Public Sector Transformation Awards

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    Cheshire West and Chester Council has won the Green Public Service award at the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards, in acknowledgement of the Council’s support to the world’s first net zero industrial cluster being developed in Ellesmere Port.

    An image of the iESE Public Sector Transformation Award

    Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “I am delighted to receive the Green Public Service award. Awards like this help to promote the truly world leading activities in our borough. Being a net zero industrial producer is currently a pipe-dream in all but the most niche circumstances, however in west Cheshire, it will become a reality, attracting many more businesses to locate here

    The Council’s programme of support to the industrial area has a long-standing history but in relation to net zero, this is a decade-long programme which is now moving into high gear. By working collaboratively alongside businesses, our communities and partners we are all playing our part to help the borough reach carbon neutrality by 2045, providing a healthier and resilient place for people to live, work and do business.”

    Ellesmere Port is a world leading area in industrial decarbonisation, aiming to be the UK’s first low carbon industrial cluster by 2030, and the world’s first net zero industrial area by 2045. The infrastructure and technology being developed there presents a vital lifeline for domestic industry to ensure that it can continue to be productive, innovative and globally competitive.

    The Council has worked extensively with industry and communities to facilitate the development of this cluster and deliver the combination of skills, relationships, resources and policy that make it one of the most exciting areas in the world for low carbon innovation.

    ORIGIN was launched last year, a brand for the Ellesmere Port Industrial area, helping to lead decarbonisation in the North West and a key player in leading the Green Industrial Revolution. Projects, including HyNet, Protos and others will ensure Ellesmere Port is at the forefront of trailblazing green energy and decarbonisation technology.

    Over the next 20 years ORIGIN aims to protect existing jobs, and create thousands of new green jobs, growing the economy with over 150 new businesses creating employment for over 10,000 people by 2040.