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What town and parish councils can do

Town and parish councils have an important role to play in tackling climate change, with many joining us in declaring their own climate and ecological emergency. There are a number of different ways they can work within their communities to take action, including:

  • Producing a neighbourhood plan which includes proposals to address the climate and to support nature. We offer support for those creating a neighbourhood plan and extra information on producing a climate-focused neighbourhood plan is available from the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Community First Oxfordshire also provides support to communities producing neighbourhood plans and community led plans.
  • Creating a nature recovery plan which outlines how biodiversity will be increased in the parish and identifies opportunities for tree and hedge planting. The Oxfordshire Treescape Project offers support to parish councils to create and adopt a nature recovery plan. The Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre can provide information on wildlife in your parish.
  • Reducing their council’s carbon footprint, for example by retrofitting council buildings, buying green and local products, and using sustainable travel options.
  • Supporting local communities to take action on climate change for example by encouraging the formation of Community Action Groups and working with existing groups.

The Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils provide advice and training for town and parish councils. The National Association of Local Councils has published a series of climate change case studies and have published a guide on What can local councils do on climate change. Friends of the Earth have published 20 actions parish and town councils can take on the climate and nature emergency, which lists ways in which local councils can make progress in this area. 

Help from South Oxfordshire District Council

Through our Climate Action Plan, South Oxfordshire District Council is committed to supporting our town and parish councils’ climate action initiatives, including offering advice on energy saving measures for your buildings, and by supporting collaboration between town and parish councils and community groups. We also offer grants for climate and nature projects. Please see our grants page.

Contact us - Climate and Biodiversity Team

South Oxfordshire District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE