Who is this for?

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A typical Job Description: for a Parish Clerk:

“A Parish Clerk is totally responsible for ensuring that the instructions of the Council in connection with its function as a Town Council are carried out. The Clerk is expected to advise the Council on and assist in the formation of, overall policies to be followed in respect of the Council’s activities and in particular, to produce all the information required for making effective decisions and to implement constructively all decisions.”

This course is for all those Parish Clerks who would like to be qualified to ensure that they make the right decisions on how to make their communities “fit for the future”. This qualification will enable clerks to ensure that they set out the right guidance and information for making decisions with respect to housing, transport, energy provision, purchasing, countryside development and food production and consumption in line with what is best for our climate.

It deals with current legal aspects, the changes that need to be made, how to fund them and how to engage communities so that they as citizens are protected from the worst effects of climate change.

It also shows how to improve job prospects, and health and reduce the cost of living by addressing the root causes of floods, fires, and fuel poverty, thereby improving local householders’ lives.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has welcomed The Carbon Literacy Project’s new toolkit for local (parish and town) councils.

The toolkit equips councillors and officers to lead by example, cascade environmentally sustainable and socially responsible values, and engage residents in practical and transformative action. A panel of councils has reviewed and piloted it to help understand and promote Carbon Literacy.

See NALC’s review:

Why Carbon Literacy?

A carbon-literate citizen understands how climate change will affect them and the people around them, both geographically and sectorally. A Carbon Literate citizen has acquired the knowledge and skills to develop their own responses to lowering their carbon footprint, and the carbon footprint of others, whilst having the confidence to share their Carbon Literacy.

Carbon Literacy is a desirable asset for any employer. A carbon-literate citizen will display compassion for the environment, their health and the health of those around them. This makes them directly more employable.

Certification is awarded following the successful completion of an approved Carbon Literacy course whereby each learner is awarded a uniquely coded Carbon Literacy certificate to reference that achievement.

Picture of logo that reads "Certified Carbon Literate"
You can add this to your email signature as proof

You can find out more about the Carbon Literacy Project by clicking on the following button.

Why a Parish and Town Council course?

Parish and Town Councils are at the heart of towns and villages across the UK.

Back in December the government updated the National Policy Planning Framework. This requires Twon and Parish councils to base their plans on sustainability. This course will help Town and Parish Councils deliver sustainability in their local plans.

They are brilliantly placed as community leaders to engage people in tackling climate change. We will beat climate change if householders respond to the challenge and change their behaviour in an informed way.

A cascade approach to education is core to bringing about behaviour change in the community.

Feedback on the course from learners

Comments that delegates to SOS CIO have made following attendance at recent parish and town council courses:

‘Both individuals and organisations need to develop their own net-zero targets and strategies. It is impossible to ignore the climate crisis. We need to act today to save tomorrow. The Carbon Literacy Qualification delivered by Save Our Shropshire for the SLCC is simply inspirational and a must for all Clerks and Officers employed by Town and Parish Councils.– Parish Clerk

‘Excellent training providing an in-depth synopsis of the climate emergency, and what we can do as individuals and organisations to combat the complex issues and prevent further devastation of our climate.’ – Parish Clerk

“This course is a real eye-opener, it shows the urgency of our responsibilities, but also some ideas on how to tackle them.  I believe everyone would benefit from this training.” – Parish Clerk

“The training delivered by SOS was practical, interesting and thoughtfully delivered. The training has been integral to my current role, allowing me to set up climate and ecology advisory groups, and we have started taking actions already! The trainers were both brilliant; approachable, warm, encouraging and made the course relevant and accessible.’ – Parish Clerk

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course and found it very interesting, thought-provoking and educational.” – Councillor of a rural parish council

“Trainers (Allan and Richard) were very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject which really added to the training.’

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On line course

What is the agenda?

This workshop covers:

  1. Basic Science.  We will explain the science simply. We will show why climate change happens and how it affects your community. We will show why it requires a change to what we eat, how we travel, where we live and work, what we buy, and how we care for our countryside. We will explain why doing nothing is not an option. 

  2. Carbon Footprint.  We will show you how to calculate your personal footprint. We will also show how to find out the consumption and emission of Greenhouse Gases in your Parish using the Impact tool, and what the answers show for your Parish.

  3. Global/Local Action.  We will show you the plans and strategies in place globally, nationally and locally, and cover the targets you need to work towards in your parish. We will share ideas from other Parish and Town Councils on the actions you can take from installing LED street lamps to creating a Repair cafe and helping householders save up to 80 % of their energy bills.

  4. Create a plan and pledge action.  The revised NPPF includes guidance on making homes fit for the planet. We will share the best practices for this with you. We will show you a practical Climate Action plan, and then show how you can create pledges on an individual and group basis to support your Carbon Literacy certification.  You will be confident to engage your council and engage your community in a plan to take action on climate change

  5. Communicate.  Success comes from getting householders to make climate change their priority – which is difficult in this cost-of-living crisis.  We will describe how to engage the community through listening and developing solutions which appeal to the different types of personalities in every community. One size does not fit all.

We will also then follow up with councils to help them lay out a plan

What is your council’s footprint?

It is essential to understand your community’s impact on the environment. Your carbon footprint is a calculation of how many tonnes of harmful gases your council emits into the atmosphere. Exeter University developed an online software tool that allows you to see how much.

Click on the following button, select “Civil Parish” and then enter the name of your council. You will then see a graphical report, analysing your consumption or geographical emission by Food, Travel, Energy etc. You will find out what to do about all of this at the workshop!

How much does it cost?

The cost for each learner is £ 120 which includes £ 10.00 payable to the Carbon Literacy Project for their assessment. This is payable to the SLCC.

This cost includes the materials, handouts and teaching and facilitation. The value lies in accelerating your community’s response to the climate emergency.

If you wonder about the value of taking action, then take a look at the recent BBC TV programme “Shop Well for the Planet”. It was filmed in Shrewsbury, and showed how simple actions saved a family £ 1,000 per year and reduced their carbon footprint by 2 tonnes per year! Householders need all the help they can get, and what is good for the planet is good for their pockets.

Click on the button below. You will need an iPlayer account (which you can sign up for) to watch it.

Where is it?

The course will be held virtually over Zoom. While that may emit some Carbon Dioxide through PCs, it is likely to be much less than hopping into cars and going to some central location! We can also deliver the course directly to councils locally if of interest.

When is it?

The courses will run from 9.00 to 13.00 hours over two days.

That gives you time to absorb the materials and prepare for the second day. You have an exercise to complete on finding out about your Carbon footprint in between and research the carbon footprint of your Parish. The next dates are:

20th, 27th Aug 2024

3rd , 10th October 2024

Book a place

You can book a place on the next course on SLCC’s website by clicking on the following button: