Case studies

Innovation in local government is about improving the lives of the people in our communities. Browse through our case studies to see the many innovative programmes councils are involved in.

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COVID-19 case studies

Councils are doing remarkable work to address the challenges brought by coronavirus. Good council practice related to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on our dedicated web hub.

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City of York Council: Towards long-term flood resilience

Storms Desmond and Eva in late December 2015 led to record river levels in many river catchments, 453 properties and 174 businesses flooded in York. The Environment Agency and City of York Council were successful in attracting funding to renew existing and provide new flood defences. The York Five Year Plan was developed and detailed business cases and designs for schemes in 19 flood cells across the city have been delivered. An adaptive approach to flood resilience has been developed, work programmes to develop increased flood storage and the incentivised delivery of natural flood risk management measures have commenced.

Durham County Council: Scaling on Street charging infrastructure (SOSCI) project

Durham County Council (DCC) declared a climate emergency in 2019 and wanted to work with partners and local communities to lower air pollution and help residents save money on fuel costs. 30 per cent of emissions comes from road transport, and the council needed to support residents in making the switch to electric vehicles. DCC became part of a consortium, supported by Innovate UK to help those residents. DCC were granted funding to install 100 Electric Vehicle charge points in the Durham area.

Portsmouth City Council: Voi discount scheme

Portsmouth City Council, as part of Solent Transport, have teamed up with Voi to promote their discounts available to those on low income, students and those serving their community. Voi have focused on making the shared e-scooter scheme in Portsmouth, which is funded by the Solent Future Transport Zone, and e-bike service elsewhere as accessible as possible to everyone.

Exeter City Council: Passivhaus in Exeter

Exeter City Council have been constructing buildings to Passivhaus standards since 2009, using their triple bottom line approach to deliver high quality builds, by being socially, environmentally and financially responsible. Since starting to deliver Passivhaus homes, they have developed and built nearly 150 homes to these standards. The process of designing and building so many different types of structure, has enabled them to improve their delivery model and in doing so reduce the overall cost.

Greater Manchester: Your Home Better

Nearly every home in the UK has the potential to use less fuel for heating, lighting and appliances. To support home and building owners with understanding how they can make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable, Greater Manchester has set up Your Home Better, a one-stop-shop to support people with advice, finding contractors, as well as overseeing installation.

Derby City Council: Bee bus stops

Living Roofs contribute towards climate resistance, through absorbing rainwater falling on the roof, helping to reduce the ‘Urban Heat Island Effect’, capturing particulates from the air, and helping make the city a greener and happier place. The roofs are made from a mix of 13 native wildflower and 5 sedum species; selected by experts to aid and support bees and other pollinators.

Devon County Council: Commercially Recycling EV Batteries

Devon County Council have supported Altilitech through the Green Innovation Fund to scale-up their proprietary process for recycling electric vehicle (EV) batteries to a commercial operation. Verified by the University of Plymouth, the innovative method recovers over 95 per cent of the critical metals contained within spent batteries at a quality for reuse in new batteries. Altilitech operates under a circular economy model; retaining value in the local economy whilst reducing the toxic waste and emissions produced in mining.

Staffordshire County Council: Here to Help campaign 

Staffordshire launched a ‘Here to Help’ campaign to highlight the help and support that is available to tackle the current cost of living pressures.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets: Food Hub & FOOD Store pantry programme

Tower Hamlets Council has established a Food Hub which empowers over 60 Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations in serving residents in the borough, and also supports the Council’s FOOD Store pantry programme – a dignity-focused membership model that tackles both food insecurity and root cause issues.

Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Council: Helping older people access support

Recognising that online applications and attitudes to claiming financial support were low amongst older residents, the Council ran a multi-channel campaign to invite them to a drop-in benefits session at the council offices and assist them in claiming vital cost of living support.