7 July 2021

Climate Change Scrutiny Committee


July 2021



29 June 2021


Report of the Head of Carbon Reduction


Portfolio of the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change


Report of the Head of Carbon Reduction


Portfolio of the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change


Climate Change Resident Engagement Plan




1.         This paper provides an overview of the Council’s approach to resident engagement and its role delivering the York Climate Change Strategy.


2.         The Climate Change Resident Engagement Plan follows the principles set out in the Council’s Resident Engagement Strategy. It recognises the interdependencies between addressing climate change impacts and for example, how people travel or work in York and sets out to create alignment with the development of other core strategies, including the Local Transport Plan and the Economic Strategy.


3.         Stage 1 of the Resident Engagement Plan launched with Our Big Conversation on 18 June 2021 (Join Our Big Conversation to shape York’s future! – City of York Council) and will run until 31 July 2021. Stage 2 will run July to September and include stakeholder roundtables focussed on the main themes of Buildings, Transport and Energy.


4.         Scrutiny are invited to consider how wide participation and resident engagement can lead to an ambitious and inspiring strategy




5.         In April 2021, the Executive approved the Resident Engagement Strategy, which set out a new council-wide approach to engaging residents to better support delivery of the Council Plan priorities and inform the development and delivery of future core strategies.

6.         The Resident Engagement Strategy aims to create a more cohesive programme of resident engagement that consolidates emerging feedback and learns from previous engagement to ensure approaching resident’s for their views and opinions is more inclusive, more joined-up and leads to a more consistent and aligned strategic direction.  The Resident Engagement Strategy focuses on how residents live, work and travel in and through York and is known as “our big conversation” Our Big Conversation – City of York Council.

7.         One of the core strategies currently under development is the Climate Change Strategy. Delivering the council’s net-zero carbon ambition by 2030 will require significant change across the city, supported by bold leadership and strategic decision-making.

8.         The evidence base for the strategic direction will combine the work completed to date at a local and regional level with the resident engagement programme set out below.  It will also draw on the expertise of existing and emerging stakeholder networks, the York Climate Change Commission and the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Change Commissions, together with understanding wider environmental, technological, societal and political impacts.

9.         Climate change activity can be categorised into two streams (mitigation and resilience).  The City of York Council are addressing both streams through carbon reduction work and through work on flood alleviation, biodiversity, overheating and food security.

10.      The Climate Change Engagement Plan clarifies our approach to engagement and its role in the development of the Strategy together with its alignment with engagement activity for the Local Transport Plan and Economic Strategy, approved at Decision Sessions in April and May.



Climate Change Engagement Plan


11.      The Climate Change Strategy is a strategy for the whole city.  It will set out the principles that support decision making at all levels over the years ahead to help York to contribute to reducing carbon, locally and regionally.

12.      To be successful, all parts of the city will have a role to play, especially residents and businesses.  It is therefore essential the council takes every effort to listen to as wide a range of community and resident’s perspectives as possible.  This will help ensure the strategy is both realistic and deliverable, whilst being ambitious enough to inspire change.

13.      The Carbon Reduction Engagement Plan addresses the first phase of engagement. It identifies the audiences and feedback required to inform development of the Strategy. Engaging residents will be a core theme of the strategy and continue throughout the duration of the strategy, with many more phases of engagement to follow this first phase.

14.      The plan follows the principles of the Resident Engagement Strategy; it will ensure that key audiences understand each other’s perspectives and explore responses together, so their feedback can inform multiple strategies, including the Local Transport Plan and the Economic Strategy.

15.      Key audiences for climate change engagement have been identified within the plan together with the main channels of communication (see annex A).  Audiences are listed per theme with many duplicated across all themes.  This demonstrates the interdependencies between transport, economy and carbon reduction and why none of the strategies can be taken in isolation. 

16.      Objectives of resident engagement are to:


                     i.         Raise awareness of the different stages and opportunities residents can engage

                    ii.        Create broadcast opportunities to feedback on activities and projects

                  iii.        Facilitate targeted opportunities to encourage participation

                  iv.        Draw on partners and networks

                   v.        Publish the decision making schedule relating to the strategy development

17.         The Plan (annex A) details the approach in the initial phase of engagement; a single core survey – Our Big Conversation – that reflects the interdependence of each the key themes, provides contextual insight, diversifies the audience engaging with each strategy and avoids repetition.


Our Big Conversation – stage 1

18.      Our Big Conversation launched on 18 June 2021. The launch has been promoted through a press release, signposting at York Festival of Ideas, social media posts and a Partner Toolkit (including posters, postcards and social media/newsletter copy).

19.      Additional planned promotion includes further social media advertising, working with online community groups, building advocacy through existing internal and external channels and networks, promoting in all resident and business bulletins (which now includes 200 climate change e-newsletter subscribers), community/interest group workshops and a Live facebook engagement discussion, planned for the middle of July.  Masterclasses are also being arranged to provide an opportunity to learn more about the themes and how other cities are responding.

20.      The survey is open until 31 July with fortnightly insight updates published to identify emerging themes and feed into the design and development of the Climate Change Strategy.

21.      An information dashboard will visualise the data from respondents.


22.      Participation to date is included in Annex A – 195 survey completions and 95 social media conversations in about 6 days since the online survey went live with paper copies from the Our City survey still being collated.


Stakeholder Roundtables – stage 2


23.      Throughout July, a series of thematic roundtables will be held to provide a greater depth of feedback and local context to inform and refine the Climate Change Strategy.


24.      The roundtables will cover the priority areas of buildings, transport and energy and delve into the barriers and opportunities facing residents, businesses, community groups and partners, together with likely scenario planning, horizon scanning funding and grants opportunities.


25.      Stakeholders will be identified and invited drawing on the Audience Map (annex A), developed as part of the Climate Change Engagement Plan,



Climate Change Strategy Timescale


26.      The current timescale is to produce a draft strategy in August 2021. At this point, the second stage of engagement will continue with deeper analysis and review and targeted focus groups.

27.      Following Executive approval, the Draft Climate Change Strategy will then be issued for wider resident consultation (ie. Stage 3 of this resident engagement programme) and, depending on the level and type of feedback, be published in late 2021.


28.      The Climate Change Engagement Plan will be updated to reflect the increasing importance and focus to inform, involve and monitor progress against the Climate Change Strategy.




Scrutiny are asked to review the report and annex and consider:


·        The extent to which resident engagement can inform and improve the feasibility, achievability and aspirations detailed in the final strategy

·        The extent to which this plan encourages inclusive participation of residents and partners


Council Plan


29.      The Climate Change Engagement Plan relates to the ambitions for York to achieve net carbon zero and the Greener and Cleaner outcome.




·           Financial – the financial implications were noted in the Resident Engagement Strategy and are contained within existing budgets.

·           Human Resources (HR) – there are no HR implications

·           One Planet Council / Equalities – the activities described in this report support the ambitions to be a sustainable city.   A Community Impact Assessments will be developed.    

·           Legal – there are no legal implications in relation to this report.

·           Crime and Disorder – there are no crime and disorder implications in relation to this report.  

·           Information Technology (IT) – there are no IT implications in relation to this report

·           Property – there are no property implications in relation to this report.

·           Other


Risk Management


23.  The list of risks are below:

Impact: resident engagement is not a decision making forum, however to be successful, feedback will need to clearly inform the next stage of evidence collation to inform strategy.  Tensions between resident perspectives will require sensitive but open handling. 


Transparency: to be effective resident engagement must be visibly open and accessible to all.  This includes publishing feedback and recruiting participants from across York.  This brings the risk of publically highlighting significant challenges. 


Representative views: there is a risk that those individuals who are keen to participate are not representative of the wider population.  To minimise this risk engagement activities are being provided at a household level through Our City to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to take part.


Contact Details




Shaun Gibbons

Head of Carbon Reduction

Corporate Strategy


Tel No. 07923 222971



Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Claire Foale

Assistant Director Policy and Strategy


Report Approved





Wards Affected: 







For further information please contact the author of the report



Background papers


·        Agenda for Executive on Thursday, 22 April 2021, 5.30 pm (york.gov.uk) Item 123

·        Agenda for Decision Session - Executive Member for Transport on Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 10.00 am (york.gov.uk) item 84

·        Agenda for Decision Session - Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning on Tuesday, 27 April 2021, 11.00 am (york.gov.uk) Item 44




Climate Change Engagement Plan