Good Council Practice

Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review Interventions – Solar Farm (Cardiff) 

The Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review on the current state of Decarbonisation Planning in Welsh Local Government analysed interventions listed in councils’ Decarbonisation plans were according to four priority areas including Buildings, Mobility and Transport, Procurement, and Land Use. These areas reflect the priority areas identified by Welsh Government Net Zero Carbon 2030 for public sector.  

 

Cardiff Council is planning to repurpose the Lamby Way Landfill site to establish a large-scale, 9MW Solar Farm. The project is projected to produce enough energy to power 2,900 homes annually and to cost £16.3 million over a 35-year period.

 

Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review Interventions – Heat Network (Cardiff) 

The Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review on the current state of Decarbonisation Planning in Welsh Local Government analysed interventions listed in councils’ Decarbonisation plans were according to four priority areas including Buildings, Mobility and Transport, Procurement, and Land Use. These areas reflect the priority areas identified by Welsh Government Net Zero Carbon 2030 for public sector.  

 

Cardiff Council is developing a new network piping heat from Cardiff Bay’s incinerator to reduce the energy consumption associated with heating public non-residential buildings in Cardiff. The project is expected to cost £26.5 million in total and to be completed by 2022, with a projected annual carbon saving of 5600 CO2e annually.

Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review Interventions – Solar Farm (Caerphilly CBC) 

The Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review on the current state of Decarbonisation Planning in Welsh Local Government analysed interventions listed in councils’ Decarbonisation plans were according to four priority areas including Buildings, Mobility and Transport, Procurement, and Land Use. These areas reflect the priority areas identified by Welsh Government Net Zero Carbon 2030 for public sector.  

 

Caerphilly County Borough Council has sought to develop a 20MW solar farm on previously privately owned land taken on by the council. The project is projected to cost £12 million over its estimated 35-year lifespan. The farm is expected to produce enough energy to power approximately 6,000 homes annually.

Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review Interventions – Land-use and place-based approaches (Cardiff) 

The Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review on the current state of Decarbonisation Planning in Welsh Local Government analysed interventions listed in councils’ Decarbonisation plans were according to four priority areas including Buildings, Mobility and Transport, Procurement, and Land Use. These areas reflect the priority areas identified by Welsh Government Net Zero Carbon 2030 for public sector.  

 

Cardiff Council is planning to introduce a city-wide tree-planting scheme,  a £1 million ‘Coed Caerdydd’ urban forest project. The intention of the scheme is to plant over 800 hectares of land with trees over the next decade focused on carbon, flooding, water management and resilience.

Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review Interventions – Transport (Blaenau Gwent CBC) 

The Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review on the current state of Decarbonisation Planning in Welsh Local Government analysed interventions listed in councils’ Decarbonisation plans were according to four priority areas including Buildings, Mobility and Transport, Procurement, and Land Use. These areas reflect the priority areas identified by Welsh Government Net Zero Carbon 2030 for public sector.  

 

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council–has established a depot for trucks and vehicles which has factored in the business case for Electric Vehicle charging points as well as developing skills and training for maintenance of the site.

Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review Interventions – Transport 

The Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review on the current state of Decarbonisation Planning in Welsh Local Government analysed interventions listed in councils’ Decarbonisation plans were according to four priority areas including Buildings, Mobility and Transport, Procurement, and Land Use. These areas reflect the priority areas identified by Welsh Government Net Zero Carbon 2030 for public sector.  

 

Isle of Anglesey County Council has purchased second-hand vehicles to retain flexibility of fleet whilst buying time to explore options decisions over Electric or Hydrogen vehicles.

Welsh Local Government Decarbonisation Planning Review 

The WLGA commissioned this review on the current state of Decarbonisation Planning in Welsh Local Government as part of their Transition & Recovery Support Programme to provide intelligence to those working in this area of policy; to identify and share practice; and ways to support officers and members working in this area.

 

The research is intended to inform local governments approach to progressing towards the Net Zero Carbon 2030 for public sector and the Net Zero Carbon 2050 target  for Wales. The research has been designed to inform the work of decarbonisation practitioners, senior managers, lead members and key staff within local authorities that need to be engaged in the decarbonisation agenda. The work will also inform the national level work of the Local Government Decarbonisation Strategy Panel.

 

The research focuses on the following aspects of progress in Decarbonisation Planning, production, delivery, scope and ambition, governance, the nature of interventions in the plans, measurement of baseline greenhouse gas emissions, and support needs. The research used documentary evidence and the views of expert local authority practitioners to inform the findings.

 

All 22 authorities were engaged in the research with over 50 individuals engaged in individual, group and workshop discussions from July-September 2021.

Supporting Homeless People during the pandemic (All Wales) 

Welsh Government’s £10million fund, enabled local authorities to engage with all those sleeping rough and ensure that they had access to safe and suitable accommodation to meet the pandemic restrictions. Within the first two weeks of lockdown, local authorities had accommodated, or re-accommodated, over 500 households who had either been sleeping rough or were in accommodation unsuitable for social distancing, this figure has risen to over 1000 households since the pandemic began.

 

Local authorities reconfigured teams and redeployed staff to ensure effective provision of services and also to find new ways of working with partners. The mechanism of a centralised coordination cell within each council brought together partners such as health, registered social landlords, police & probation, third sector organisations etc to collectively plan and deliver services.

 

These experiences have helped to shape and plan for current and future provision of homelessness and housing related support services.

Continuing to support homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic: local authority guidance | GOV.WALES

West Wales Friend in Need (Carmarthenshire CC, Ceredigion CC, Pembrokeshire CC) 

During the pandemic the West Wales Friend in Need initiative was introduced with the help of funding from Age Cymru. The projects aim was to improve the ability for formal and informal volunteers to digitally connect with people across West Wales, in doing so reducing social isolation and loneliness. A regional project group was established for organisations to work together, the membership of the group consisting of Age Cymru Dyfed, Pembrokeshire County Council, Ceredigion County Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services, Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services and Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations. A total of eleven community and voluntary groups received funding from the grant resulting in over 1,100 individuals benefitting from the initiative with 155 volunteers spending 1,975 hours working within their communities. 

Commended Certificate for the School Procurement Award – WLGA and NPS Procurement of face coverings to Welsh school children 

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and the National Procurement Service (NPS) have received a “Commended” certificate for the 'School Procurement Award' from the Education Business Awards for their collaboration in providing school children with face coverings. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the NPS worked with Lyreco, the WLGA and RotoMedical, the medical and protective equipment division of the Rototherm Group, based in Margam, South Wales, to manufacture and distribute a 3 layer face covering to Wales’ schoolchildren via the NPS framework for personal protective equipment. The WLGA highlighted a need to provide face coverings, to Welsh schools to the NPS following the issuing of a Welsh Government grant to Welsh local authorities to purchase these items. There was also a desire to have the face covering manufactured in Wales. Subsequently, the NPS and WLGA worked with RotoMedical to understand how they could help service the Welsh public sector in the fight against the virus. Lyreco purchased the products from RotoMedical on behalf of NPS and distributed them to customers utilising their own nationwide logistics network. Lyreco service their South Wales customers from their own distribution centre in Bridgend and North Wales customers from just over the border in Warrington.

Galw Gofal (Conwy CBC) 

Galw Gofal was established by Conwy County Borough Council’s Social Care and Education, Community Wellbeing Team to provide support in the home through telephone systems to improve peoples’ quality of life and independence. During the pandemic Galw Gofal services were extended to include those in the community who were shielding. In order to respond quickly to the growing need for support during the pandemic, Galw Gofal built on existing partnerships with organisations including Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Age Connects North Wales Central and Community & Voluntary Support Conwy. From March to August 2020 10,789 daily telephone check calls were made with staff responding to a range of enquiries from assistance with delivery of food and prescriptions to signposting to Community Wellbeing Teams for support to get online. 

Friend in Need (Bridgend CBC) 

During the COVID-19 pandemic Bridgend County Borough Council worked alongside Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) to expand the Community Companions befriending scheme recognising, the need to adapt approaches in relation to the pandemic and restrictions. BAVO and the Council wanted to provide support to individuals in different ways including telephone befriending to support social distancing particularly targeting older more isolated adults over the winter period. During 2020 there were 229 referrals received for befriending support. A total of 145 individuals were supported with befriending opportunities, with 102 volunteers involved in telephone befriending and 50 individuals involved in the pilot of the intergenerational pen pal scheme. This scheme has continued to grow despite the disruptions of schools closing and BAVO have made links with a local primary school during lockdown to write letters/drawings which were developed into postcards to send out to Community Companions beneficiaries and volunteers.

Connecting Communities (Bridgend CBC) 

Bridgend County Borough Council’s Connecting Communities programme has escalated the support provided to people and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) working with the Community Navigators are supporting a variety of community needs. The key levels of support include: prescription delivery, shopping services, food bank support including providing foodbank vouchers and delivering food parcels to those most in need, along with educating people on other affordable food provisions like the Food Pantries, welfare checks and telephone befriending. BAVO and the Connecting Communities programme work with external organisations and support services ensuring those most vulnerable access the support they need. There is a partners list of 77 organisations that have supported the Connecting Communities and also in a series of impact checks regarding the Connected Community support 214 individuals, 99% were happy with the support, signposting and information and advice the navigators had provided.

Monmouthshire Community Volunteering (Monmouthshire CC) 

Monmouthshire County Council and third sector organisations worked together during the initial lockdown in March 2020 to build a support structure for community groups. The support structure involved training and screening volunteers for safeguarding, sharing information, building neighbourhood networks and providing a single point of contact in the council who could assist the groups with any challenges they were facing. Asset-based principles and belief and trust in communities were the foundations of the council’s strategy to manage lockdown. The strength of the council’s relationships with the existing community groups and new mutual aid groups meant that the council was able to benefit from the support of the communities in much more than shopping and collecting prescriptions. This type of approach led by the community and driven by personal relationships has inspired the creation of the county’s new Town Ambassador Programme. Organised by town councils, with support from the county council and GAVO, the programme sees local volunteers meet with those who feel uncertain about leaving their homes and walk with them around the town centre. The volunteers are given training so they can advise about the COVID-19 measures in place around the town centre and shops, chat about general wellbeing and signpost to local services.

 

Further details are captured in New Local study (Jan 2021): Shifting the Balance: Local adaptation, innovation and collaboration during the pandemic and beyond 

Gwynedd’s Community Spirit (Gwynedd C) 

Within the first two weeks at the start of lockdown in March 2020, over 600 people had registered to volunteer with Mantell Gwynedd’s Volunteer Bank. Gwynedd Council and third sector bodies held formal weekly online meetings and worked together in a more joined-up manner to serve the needs of communities by identifying gaps, sharing resources and stepping up to the demand. Although the nature of volunteering has changed since the initial lockdown with many people returning to work or education, the volunteering spirit has remained. Many of the people who originally registered to volunteer with Mantell Gwynedd at the beginning of the initial lockdown reached out to volunteer again during the Autumn Firebreak.

 

Further details are captured in New Local study (Jan 2021): Shifting the Balance: Local adaptation, innovation and collaboration during the pandemic and beyond

Well-Fed – from care home healthy meal provision to emergency food boxes (Flintshire CC) 

Well-fed is a partnership between Flintshire County CouncilClwyd Alyn and Can Cook – it is a food company dedicated to feeding everyone well. Since the COVID-19 crisis hit Well-fed has adapted its operation from supplying healthy ready meals to care homes to respond to the overwhelming need to provide emergency food in the county. Alongside healthy ready meals, the council has been delivering slow cooker bags and ‘Well-Fed safety boxes’ which were an enhancement on the Welsh Government Shielded boxes. The ‘seven day’ safety boxes were provided to those considered vulnerable, shielding for health reasons and those who needed food support for financial reasons and included a selection of ready meals, staple food items and toiletries.  

COVID-19 Unlocking Signs (Pembrokeshire CC)  

Pembrokeshire County Council have developed a range of ‘COVID-19 unlocking signs’ that are available to download from the councils’ website. The council have created the signs which cover themes including hygiene, social distancing and face coverings as part of a broader campaign to preserve community safety as restrictions ease. The bilingual signs have proven to be a popular resource for local businesses in the county.  

Regional Community Cohesion Service for North East Wales (Wrexham CBC, Denbighshire CC and Flintshire CC)  

Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire councils have worked in partnership to deliver a Regional Community Cohesion Service (RCC) for North East Wales. The service supports around 40 community groups and third sector organisations that in turn actively support minority communities. 

Since March 2020, RCC has continued to support communities although as with most services, the focus has adapted to address the challenges posed by COVID19. In total around £20,000 has been awarded in grants to support specific schemes such as: 

  • provision of food parcels, personal protective equipment and online support; 

  • translated information packs; 

  • summer holiday socially distanced activities;  

  • support in relation to domestic violence and substance misuse during Covid-19; 

  • post Covid-19 volunteering and community engagement opportunities; and 

  • supporting the local Traveller Community during Covid-19 with remote education support. 

The RCC is not sitting back on its laurels. It has a seat on the Wales Council for Voluntary Action Emergency Covid-19 funds panel and is working with AVOW and key partners to identify and secure larger and more sustainable funds to support minority communities and individuals with projected characteristics. 

Development of the click and collect system for library books (Powys CC)  

Powys County Council libraries were unable to continue with the facility to reserve books through the Library Catalogue during the pandemic. A different system was urgently needed to allow customers to request ‘book collections’ to be picked up from selected libraries or delivered to their door, the council came up with the Library Order and Collect Service 

The council worked with the Library Service to develop a customer centred process which involves a customer facing web form triggering automatic workflow and emails to appropriate library locations. The council also developed an admin interface where Library staff can view the requests and select a date when the books will be available for collection. This action triggers an automatic email to the customer to notify them. Library staff then put together a collection of books suiting the customer’s tastes and leave them ready for collection on the date advised. 

There is also an ‘assisted-service’ version of the above developed for customers who prefer to interact by phone. This uses the same process and forms as the self-service version, but all communication is by phone. 

11 December 2020 12:49:00 Categories: COVID-19 COVID-19 (Libraries - Digital) Leisure and Culture Powys

Web-based food parcel and welfare calls system (Powys CC)  

The Web Team at Powys County Council developed a web-based system in response to assessing whether eligible people were in need of regular food parcel deliveries, monitoring the wellbeing of vulnerable residents on a weekly or fortnightly basis and responding to needs for support from Powys Social Care or Community Connectors volunteers. 

The system used ‘shielding people’ data and other internal ‘vulnerable individual’ data, which the council stored in a database. By clicking on a name from a list a web form opens for call handlers to record customers’ answers to questions based on an agreed script. The council developed automatic triggers to email Adult Social Care or Community Connectors or generate a food parcel request (if eligible) based on customers’ answers to the questions and the nature of the support needed.  

Between April 3rd and August 14th, a total of 23,791 calls were made by Powys County Council staff resulting in 

  • 649 Welsh Government food parcels being ordered 

  • 438 requests for a call back from the resident's local county councillor 

  • 459 requests for help with basic care needs which were passed on to ASSIST 

  • 1,654 referrals to PAVO's Community Connector Service (of these 1,076 wanted help with food, 373 needed help with their prescriptions and 205 wished to talk to a volunteer) 

  • 150 referrals over safeguarding 

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