HGN are excited to announce a significant expansion of our ‘Great Collaboration Towards a Zero Carbon Herefordshire’ project with parish councils, thanks to a recent successful funding bid to the MCS Charitable Foundation**. 

As councillors become increasingly aware of the vital role they have to play in the climate response, many councils have declared a climate emergency. Yet knowing what practical steps to take, especially ones that match local circumstances and conditions, is difficult. And in the experience of HGN, some councils are concerned about declaring a climate emergency because of the perceived risk of being unable to make tangible plans towards achieving a zero carbon target. 

This new funding will support development of an interactive web-based platform for parish councils. The platform, will encourage individual households on their journey towards zero carbon through interactive engagement with simple carbon reduction actions. Parish councils around Herefordshire will be encouraged to link to this Great Collaboration platform from their own websites, thereby guiding and supporting the development and uptake of local zero carbon initiatives around the county.  

In developing the resource, HGN will be partnering with Herefordshire based organisation Caplor Horizons and with Fownhope Parish Council, and working in collaboration with HALC (Herefordshire Association of Local Councils), and NALC (National Association of Local Councils) – pooling understanding, contacts, expertise and resource to develop a facility that will be responsive to local needs, and supportive of future carbon reduction planning.

The Great Collaboration web platform will support councils in a way of working with their local community that will be both inspirational and practical, enabling households around the county to engage with the climate emergency in a way that provides local outcomes, and allays feelings of impotency in the face of climate anxiety. 

Given our current global context with COVID-19 the capacity of The Great Collaboration website to move virtually around communities where people are socially distancing or isolating may prove vital in maintaining the momentum of our work towards carbon reduction. 

We will trial the project with Fownhope Parish Council in the Autumn/Winter of 2020. HGN will then co-ordinate with HALC to ensure good uptake for the website around Herefordshire – and then with NALC to extend the offer to parish councils around the UK. We plan to have the website resource available for local use across Herefordshire by Spring 2021. 

We hope your parish would like to be involved and we would be pleased if you would like to pass this information on to them over the coming weeks

Contact Beth Williamson, The Great Collaboration Co-ordinator for HGN events@hgnetwork.org

**The MCS Charitable Foundation works to increase public confidence, awareness and access to renewable energy and low carbon solutions across the UK. They support education and engagement programmes, fund research and facilitate innovative solutions to drive widespread adoption. More details can be found here