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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Devon County Council and the Apricot Centre: Future of Farming – Training the next generation of Regenerative Farmers

In January 2021 the Apricot Centre carried out a study that highlighted a huge skills deficit in Regenerative Systems, holding back farmers, growers, and food systems workers from transitioning to regenerative farming methods. Devon County Council supported the Apricot Centre to deliver a pilot training programme, helping local businesses to develop the required skills and to create new jobs in the sector.

Enfield Council: Council housing heat pumps

Enfield Council have worked in collaboration with Kensa Contracting and Engie to deliver England’s largest shared ground loop array heat pump programme replacing electric heating, all in under one year and whilst the flats remained inhabited. The project serves 400 flats in eight tower blocks in Enfield was named District Heating Project of The Year at the 25th annual H&V News Awards in 2019.

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea: Local Listed Building Consent Order

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the first council in the country to introduce a new listed building consent order, giving permission for solar panels on most Grade II and Grade II* listed buildings, without the need for individual listed building consent. Previously, residents of listed buildings had to obtain individual consent to install solar panels on their property. This was difficult and time consuming, which put many residents off.

Worcestershire County Council: Potential conflicts between net zero and fuel poverty

The challenge to meet net zero ambitions relies on a shift towards electrically heated properties. A key issue is how to bring fuel poor households along on this journey to net zero without making heating their homes even less affordable for them.

South Somerset District Council: Retrofit in Rural Somerset and the Action Learning Sets

Embarking on retrofitting council properties and supporting the community to retrofit their homes to save money, carbon and increase comfort and wellbeing.

Lancaster City Council: Housing Retrofit Action Learning Set

Looking to retrofit housing stock, engage with residents to explain the benefits and encourage more local contractors to bid for tenders.

Dorset Council: Low Carbon Dorset – Helping Dorset’s businesses, community groups and public sector reduce their carbon footprints

Low Carbon Dorset is a programme of activities led by the Dorset Council to help reduce carbon emissions in Dorset.  

Encouraging students in Surrey to cycle to school

This study aimed at understanding how to better encourage Surrey students to cycle to school.

Lewes District & Eastbourne Borough Councils and the University of Sussex: Citizens and Climate - Crowdfunding for net zero

There has been a growing interest in ‘civic crowdfunding’ for local authorities. This project sought to work through the options available to councils to raise additional funds for climate work whilst engaging with and involving the community, and potentially increasing community wealth. Through a series of workshops, issues and barriers were investigated in order to produce a tool to aid decision making and prepare the council for delivering alternative finance mechanisms.

Net Zero Now: a programme to enable community action on climate change

Net Zero Now is a one-year project from Cambridge Carbon Footprint which was awarded £15,000 by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Zero Carbon Communities (ZCC) grant scheme. The Net Zero Now project designed and delivered free training for community action on climate change. It trained 12 individuals to become local ambassadors for climate change. These individuals are now working on initiatives ranging from village hall sustainability, toy and book swaps, bike repair schemes and eco-festivals. The resources developed through the project have been transformed into a free online training course and will help to deliver future in-person and online courses.