WALC Annual Conference 2021

Climate Emergency:

Practical Steps for Parish Councils

Join us for a two day online Conference with a range of speakers 
to help local Councils play their part in addressing climate change.

Online: 22 - 23 October 2021
£10 to Members

includes both days


Day 1: Friday 22 October 2021

9:45 am Welcome with Ian Prosser, President of WALC

Ed Gemmell
Scientists Warning

10:00 am Keynote Speaker

Cllr Ed Gemmell

Climate Emergency Working Party in Hazlemere

The Global Climate Emergency - 
The Idiot’s Guide to Parish Council Action 

Calamitous climate impacts can be seen happening all over the World. 
How does this affect us locally? 
What should we do to stop it? 
What is the role of the parish council? 
Ed is parish Councillor and chairman of the Climate Emergency Working Party in Hazlemere and on NALC's climate emergency committee. He is also Buckinghamshire Unitary Councillor sitting on the Transport Environment and Climate Change Committee in Bucks and a member of the LGA's Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board. Ed also works as Managing Director of Scientists Warning Europe and is the founder of No Disposable Cup Day. He stood in the General Election in 2019 with only one policy to "reverse climate change".
Act on Energy

1:30 pm Guest Speaker

Rosie Hermitage & Richard Millward

Act on Energy

Supporting Your Communities to Reduce their Carbon Footprint

This talk will cover how you can support your constituents to save money and energy and give you an understanding of fuel poverty. It will also look at what `Retrofit’ means and why this is important.
Richard is a Retrofit Assessor and Coordinator and specialises in undertaking technical whole house surveys to ensure that residents obtain energy efficiency outcomes. 
Rosie has been with Act on Energy for over six years working with Local Authorities to enable people to obtain grants for insulation and heating. She works in the community and delivers various training courses all based on energy efficiency and savings

Choice of Friday workshops

Each workshop will run at 11:15 am and be repeated at 2:45 pm
There will be a break for lunch from 12.15pm, to 1.30 pm

Ian Jelley
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Workshop 1

Bringing Our Wildlife Back

Ian Jelley 
Director of Living landscapes 
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust are leading a new campaign called 30by30. This involves enabling 30% of the UK land and sea to support nature’s recovery by 2030. The great thing about this is that it is scalable, so whether people have a window box, a garden, a community greenspace, a farm or a county – everyone can make space for nature. Join Ian Jelley, Director of Living Landscapes on this webinar to hear about how Warwickshire Wildlife Trust can support you and your community to make space for nature.
How does this affect us locally? 
What should we do to stop it? 
What is the role of the parish council? 
Ian Jelley is Director of Living Landscapes at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Ian is responsible for engaging external stakeholders (NGO’s, Government agencies, Local Authorities, private landowners and corporate partners) in the Trust’s work to create bigger, better and more joined up areas for the benefit of wildlife and people. Ian leads a department of 25 staff and hundreds of volunteers, whose roles include practical delivery, coordination of species recording and surveys, and grant funded projects in the wider landscape. As an active member of the senior management team Ian contributes to the strategic direction of the charity, overseeing a £1 million+ annual departmental budget, organisational health and safety, regional and national media engagement, chairing meetings and supporting colleagues where appropriate.
Gareth Davies

Workshop 2

Community Supported Agriculture

Gareth Davies: Community Supported Agriculture Network 
Ann Coomber: Five Acre Community Farm

A practical session looking at the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and how it connects to the conference theme of climate change and community resilience and adaption to climate change. 
The session will 
1. give practical examples (case studies) of two successful examples in Warwickshire including the challenges and the benefits of growing locally in this way. 
 2. explore the issues around food miles, local sustainability, local food security and sovereignty in the context of local community becoming involved in producing and eating local seasonal produce. 
3. look at other benefits of CSA (See attached brief from CSA Network).
Ann Coomber has been involved with Five Acre Community Farm as a vegetable share member and volunteer since the beginning then joining other volunteers on the Steering Group to help manage the project and giving her time and skills in a range of different ways as needed. She is currently leading on the recruitment and support for the volunteer workforce so vital to the success of the Farm.
Gareth Davies has helped set up and run two Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms; Canalside Community Food in Radford Semele and Five Acre Community Farm near Ryton on Dunsmore. He sits works at and sits on the steering groups of both farms and is also involved with running the CSA Network UK which represents CSA farms at a national level and runs a programme publicising the benefits of CSA to local communities.  
Alex Lockton
Matt Kirby

Workshop 3

We’ve declared a climate emergency, what do we do next?

Matt Kirby & Alex Lockton
Chippenham Town Council

Two members of Chippenham Town Councils Climate Emergency Advisory Group (CEAG) will chart their experiences of setting up a group made up of officers, councillors and local residents with knowledge of the Climate emergency, and will endeavour help to answer questions no matter if you are at the start or on your journey to help tackle Climate Emergency
Matt Kirby is the Director of Community Services at Chippenham Town Council and is responsible for the Councils front facing operations. Matt is the lead officer for a number of Committees and working groups, including the Climate Emergency Advisory Group (CEAG). As a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, Matt has over 20 years local government experience and joined Chippenham Town Council in 2020.
Alex Lockton is Managing Director of a specialist Renewable Energy and Carbon reduction consultancy RenewEV Ltd based in Chippenham. He has over 15 years experience running businesses including his own as well as British Gas and T H WHITE, consultancy with Good which design, develop and install renewable energy solutions in a wider range of building types and sectors. Alex has extensive experience in the design, installation and maintenance of a wide range of technology including Solar PV, Solar Thermal, all Heat Pumps, Biomass heating, district heating, Wind Power, Battery Storage, Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure. 
Chippenham Town Council
John Stott
Friends of the Earth

Workshop 4

20 Actions Parish and Town Councils Can Take on The Climate and Nature Emergency

John Stott, 
Stratford upon Avon Friends of the Earth

John Stott will be asking how useful these suggestions are for parish and town councillors, and how can future actions be prioritised? There will be information about Friends of the Earth’s “Near You” data tool to reveal how each area is performing on climate and nature, and discussion of the ways in which town and parish councils can take a lead.
John worked for the Central Electricity Generating Board and for Lucas Aerospace as a Senior Project Engineer. Now retired. Current activities - Chair of Heart of England Community Energy (15MW solar in 3 CICs), Chair of Henley Climate Action, Chair of Henley & Beaudesert Society and Chair of Stratford on Avon District Green Party.
Heart of England Community Energy

Day 2: Saturday 23 October 2021

9:45 am Welcome with Ian Prosser, President of WALC

Sanjay Johal
National Flood Forum

10:00 am Guest  Speaker

Sanjay Johal

Community Engagement Manager, National Flood Forum

Working with Flood Action Groups. 

Sanjay will be talking about the importance of engaging local communities with flood management projects, particularly at the more localised scale of flood protection around villages and towns. He will also describe the role of the Forum and Flood Action Groups in developing, implementing, and maintaining flood management interventions using local knowledge and resources. The National Flood Forum's  aim is to ensure that communities and individuals feel supported, informed, and empowered to reduce their flood risk. 
Sanjay is the National Flood Forums Community Engagement Manager. His interest and passion is for supporting the community’s role in response to risk and disaster. His undergraduate thesis focused on how individuals were affected psychologically after a flood event. He subsequently completed an MSc in Hazard & Disaster Management, with a thesis focused on identifying trends in social media support groups for flood victims after a flood event.
Megan Blyth
Centre for Sustainable Energy

1:30 pm Guest Speaker

Megan Blyth

Senior Project Work, Centre for Sustainable Energy

Tackling Climate Change at Local Council Level

An introduction into what local councils can do tackle council change, how to effectively engage and communicate with your local communities on climate change, understanding and communicating your carbon footprint, plus an overview of the upcoming parish action days.
Megan joined CSE in September 2017, after studying Geography at the University of Edinburgh. A major part of her role has been supporting local councils who have or plan to declare climate emergencies. Megan has supported the development, delivery and outreach for the Parish action days, as well as the creation of further support resources. She also supports young people through the Bright Green Future and Green Influencers programmes, and works on projects supporting communities with their energy projects.

Choice of Saturday workshops

Each workshop will run at 11:15 am and be repeated at 2:45 pm
There will be a break for lunch from 12.15pm, to 1.30 pm

David Chapman
University of Warwick Environmental Sustainability

Workshop 5

Minimising Food Waste

David Chapman
Sustainability Champion 
University of Warwick

Globally our food produces 1/3 of our emissions. Part of that contribution is food waste. Join this session to discover more of the shocking facts behind food waste and how you can be a agent of change from your own kitchen.  
David Chapman has worked in the sustainability sector for a decade. He graduated Swansea University with a BSc Geography and worked in the charity sector supporting people in fuel poverty until entering his current role as Sustainability Champion (Waste and Recycling) at the University of Warwick. Within this role he takes a holistic view of sustainability. David is a Domestic Energy Assessor, Climate Reality Leader, WRAP Food Champion, Climate KIC Alumni, the co-founder of Green Week across the City of Coventry and Leamington Spa, and champion of numerous initiatives both on and off campus.
University of Warwick
Bob Sherman
Harbury e-wheels

Workshop 6

Meeting 21st Century Rural Transport Need

with Community Led Schemes’

Bob Sherman, Harbury Energy Initiative and Low Carbon Warwickshire Network

Transport in rural areas can be a serious problem, especially for the more vulnerable in our communities. In addition the requirement for a rapid transition to electric cars brings a very different need to rural areas, which will not have the charging infra-structure. How do we assess the need and demand for assistance with transport in our villages? What plans do participants have to address this need? What different models are already out there? How will rural areas encourage and support the transition to electric vehicles?
Bob Sherman is President of Harbury Energy Initiative and Chair of the registered charity Harbury e-Wheels, which he co-founded in 2015 to meet the needs of the disadvantaged, elderly and infirm in the region using electric vehicles. He is now working with others on a project to install an electric car charging station in the village part powered by renewables. More recently he co-founded and now chairs the Low Carbon Warwickshire Network.
Jacky Lawrence
Napton Environmental Action Team

Workshop 7

Transition Tales

Dr. Jacky Lawrence
Low Carbon Warwickshire Network  

Humans have always used story telling. Before writing, stories were the only way to pass on knowledge from one generation to the next. Stories get our attention on different levels, can fire our imaginations, make us hear the sounds, see the images and feel the emotions. Stories can help us understand and remember messages for a lifetime. Martin Luther King told the story about his dream of freedom and equality arising from a land of slavery and hatred.  Stories have the potential to be incredibly powerful. This workshop will look at how stories are now being used to help us to imagine (and then create) a positive, sustainable future.
Jacky was Energy Manager for Warwickshire County Council (WCC) for 20 years to March 2021. She is a Fellow of the RSA with an HNC in chemistry and physical sciences, a degree in Energy Studies and a PhD in local authority energy planning. She is a steering group member of Napton Environmental Action Team and the Low Carbon Warwickshire Network and one of four Trustees of Savers, an environmental charity who raise awareness of climate change and environmental issues through creative and artistic projects. 
Chris Bagshaw
Kendal Town Council

Workshop 8

Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change

a Citizen’s Jury Approach

Chris Bagshaw
Town Clerk at Kendal Town Council  

Kendal Town Council used a Citizens Jury to answer the question: ‘What should Kendal Town Council do about Climate Change’. We’ll look at how that panned out, and what the Council did next.
Chris Bagshaw is Town Clerk at Kendal Town Council, a role he took in Autumn 2020 after seven years as Town Clerk in Workington.