Stroud District Council among best in country for climate action

The news that Stroud District Council has been named one of the best councils in the country for taking climate action shows what can be achieved when there are Greens in power.

The Council Climate Scorecards, published by Climate Emergency UK, put SDC in fourth place among district councils, with 77% across a range of measurements. That score is higher than any other Gloucestershire district council and far higher than the 43% average for all councils.

The result includes top marks (9/9) for community engagement and communication, and 7/7 for commitment and integration.

Martin Whiteside, co-coordinator of Stroud District Green Party, said: “This is great news, and a deserved recognition of the work the council officers and councillors of all parties have put into taking climate change seriously and making Stroud a greener place. It shows what can be done when there are Greens as part of a ruling alliance. Stroud’s Green/Lab/Lib alliance is now entering its tenth year, and these figures are proof of how working together can achieve so much. But it also shows we can’t be complacent and we have got to do more.

“Now we need Government leadership to help councils do more, to learn from each other and to help each other improve. We also need more robust national monitoring, instead of leaving it to a small voluntary organisation to compile the statistics. And we need to get to a position where we can compare results by outcome, as opposed to by stated intention.”

The research, issued three years after councils starting declaring a climate emergency, is the first ever assessment of all UK councils’ climate action plans.

Scores for the Gloucestershire district councils were:

Stroud 77%, Forest 45%, Cotswold 40%, Cheltenham 24%, Tewkesbury 10%, Gloucester City 0%.

The score for Gloucestershire County Council was 34%.

Climate Emergency UK assessed plans according to 28 questions across nine sections, based on the expert-approved checklist for Council Action Plans. Each council was marked against these criteria and given a right to reply before the scores underwent a final audit. This work was completed between June and December 2021.

Pictured is Simon Pickering, former chair of SDC’s environment committee.