City Council announce plan to become self-sufficient in low carbon energy

As reported on Pits n Pots 2 weeks ago, Stoke-on-Trent a city self sufficient in low carbon energy?, Stoke-on-Trent City Council yesterday announced that they are one of just six authorities nationwide to make it to the second stage of the ‘Creative Councils’ programme, securing £150,000. The funding will help the council create a trail-blazing local authority power company which will help the city become self-sufficient in low carbon energy – a first under the 2011 Localism Act.

Council leader, Councillor Mohammed Pervez, said

We are delighted to have made it to the second stage of the Creative Councils programme. It is a clear endorsement of our forward-thinking plan to become an energy self-sufficient city.

Last year we launched our ‘Mandate for Change’ – the framework for making Stoke-on-Trent a great working city and the place to do business. We have ambitious plans to support local employers, and to encourage others to bring their business to the city, creating new jobs and growing our economy.

We have the potential to exploit heat, gas and electricity to power operations right across the city. Offering a secure source of energy from natural and waste resources within the city’s boundaries will be a real incentive for businesses looking for a low-cost, low-risk location.

Innovation charity Nesta and the Local Government Association say they were “massively impressed” by the city council’s ‘Towards the sustainable city’ programme. It was “a great example of a council addressing a critical challenge for the sector and pushing the boundaries of the local government role”.

Philip Colligan, Executive Director of Nesta’s Innovation Lab, said

Now more than ever we need local government to take the lead in shaping the public services of the future.

All of the Creative Councils 2012 have shown a level of ambition and capability around innovation that deserves national recognition and attention. It’s an amazingly diverse and exciting portfolio that we’ll be working with over the next year and we’ll be working hard to share their experiences and learning with the wider sector.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement Board, said

This programme gives local government additional resources of almost £1 million to drive through major innovations in services. We look forward to assisting the successful councils on developing ideas and sharing these across the sector.

The Creative Councils programme was launched in April 2011 to develop, implement and spread transformational approaches to meeting some of the biggest challenges facing communities and local services. Seventeen councils, including Stoke-on-Trent, were selected for the first phase and have been working intensively with Nesta and the Local Government Association.

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