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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Cornwall Council: Doughnut economics in council decision making – revisiting

Cornwall Council have been using the Cornwall Development and Decision Wheel (CDDW) for cabinet decisions since September 2019. The CDDW is based on Doughnut Economics. It has been used to illustrate the positive and negative impacts of the decision being proposed in an easily accessible form that draws decision-makers to key issues that may require further debate, mitigation or even cancellation. Three years into using the CDDW, we have revisited them to understand what Cornwall Council have learnt from embedding it in Cabinet and other decisions and the impact it has had.

Cheltenham Borough Council: Climate Impact Assessment Tool

Cheltenham Borough Council has deployed its Climate Impact Assessment Tool within internal decision making processes to ensure new projects and policies are aligned with the Council's commitment to climate action. The tool is designed to enable officers and decision-makers to easily evaluate the environmental and social impacts of projects and policies from the very start of decision-making and project development processes. This 'from day one' approach results in more robust, climate-friendly projects and earlier opportunities to mitigate and improve the social and climate impacts of the Council's projects.

Using behavioural insights to improve air quality in the London Borough of Merton

London Borough of Merton's behavioural insights project tested an intervention to reduce engine idling at a level crossing in Merton using a pre-post trial. The simple and often subconscious act of engine idling can have significant effects on air quality within the local area.

Heart of the South West LEP and East Devon District Council: Electric aircraft as a catalyst for economic growth

The Heart of the South West LEP and East Devon District Council have worked with Ampaire, a US hybrid electric aircraft developer, to complete the first English Hybrid electric test flight from Exeter Airport. This has led to an inward investment plan for the region, focusing on high potential opportunities for Smart and Sustainable Aviation within Devon & Somerset. The first stage of this plan will see the development of a Living Lab for Future Aviation testing and demonstration.

Wiltshire Council: Meaningful learning experiences

Wiltshire Council’s Climate Team supported a research project aiming to bring Maths to life for Year 7 students. Partnered with a Maths Teacher from a local school, the team developed a challenge to support their Statistics module – using real data from the Council’s public consultation on its draft Climate Strategy. The project focused on Mean, Median, Mode and Range at the level required for Year 7. Students created tally charts, bar charts and pictograms, calculated emissions, money savings and funding, and analysed how Wiltshire residents feel about climate change and the Council’s plans.

Wiltshire Council: Climate Strategy development and engagement

Wiltshire Council has committed to being a carbon neutral organisation by 2030, such a bold ambition required an equally bold Climate Strategy. A key part of the strategy was ensuring the community weren’t just passengers but were involved in driving policy. To ensure they brought the community with them, the Council developed an engagement strategy to reach a broad demographic, with a focus on those not engaged in the climate agenda. The strategy saw them publish a Climate Strategy Discussion document, then engage the community through webinars, consultations, an electronic survey and face to face events with residents, schools and disability groups, all supported by coverage from all major local media.

Hampshire County Council: Year of Resilience

Hampshire County Council declared 2022 the “Year of Climate Resilience”, providing an opportunity for the Council to raise awareness of what climate resilience is and promote their approach

Brighton and Hove’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan

Brighton and Hove's Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan recognises and sets out plans to deliver the infrastructure needed to improve the city’s active travel network - creating the foundations to enable an active travel network where the whole community has the practical choices to travel by walking, wheeling, or cycling in a healthy and sustainable way.

Sunderland City Council: 5G Connected and Automated Logistics

The pioneering 5G Connected and Automated Logistics (5G CAL) pilot is the first in the UK to evaluate the potential of next generation technology in overcoming barriers for a more efficient future for last mile logistics. The pilot focused on understanding and utilising ground-breaking 5G technology in an operational automotive environment, to develop the UK’s first zero emission automated logistics HGV. The Council are now planning and delivering a series of projects to develop the technology and establish a testbed for connected and automated logistics in the North East.

Lancashire County Council: Highways Decarbonisation Strategy

In February 2021, Lancashire County Council adopted a resolution to set out on an ambitious carbon reduction and nature recovery strategy that seeks to 'transition the Lancashire economy away from carbon by 2030 and address the biodiversity crisis'. They recognised that the planned highway capital surfacing programme was a highly carbon intensive programme of works so have begun a journey to ascertain the carbon output of the programme, record and measure changes made to reduce carbon outputs and develop tools to eventually integrate carbon usage into the asset lifecycle modelling.