Notable practice: LGIU case study roundup May 2023

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Innovation and inspiration from LGIU

We rounded up the best case studies from our articles and exclusive Member briefings as well as examples of interesting practice from our Daily News Service available to everyone at member organisations.

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Think tank review

Our monthly roundup of the latest research and thought leadership on topics important to local government from leading think tanks around the world. Read the latest edition here. 

Global Local

Each week we focus on a new topic with case studies, resources, articles and briefings on local solutions to global challenges. Check out our archive. 

Climate and environment

From our Daily News service

Water quality

Citizen scientists launch beach water testing project

The Herald reports on the launch of the Porty Water Collective, a group of individuals, organisations, community groups and charities, which has been formed to test the water quality at Portobello Beach in Edinburgh. The group aims to supplement the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency’s regular testing for sewage-related bacteria with an independent, community-led water quality monitoring and data collection service. The group is inviting volunteers to get involved in monitoring and hopes to inspire other communities around the UK. A growing wave of citizen scientists, alarmed by what they see in their nearby rivers or sea, are taking testing into their own hands.
Herald Scotland

Enfield project could hold key to urban river restoration

The restoration of Turkey Brook, a river flowing through Albany Park in Enfield, north London, has highlighted the importance of reconnecting rivers with their hyporheic zone. This layer of porous sediment beneath a riverbed connects surface water with groundwater, supporting the river in cleaning out pollutants and regulating temperature. Many restoration projects focus solely on surface-level changes, such as adding plants, but rivers are three-dimensional ecosystems that extend potentially hundreds of metres below the bed. Enfield Council’s restoration of a 400m stretch of Turkey Brook, which was lined with concrete, reconnected the waterway with its hyporheic zone, and its flora, fauna and fish will be monitored to assess the success of the project.

Energy

Solar investment in Scotland

Glasgow City Council has set out plans to install solar panels at the Kelvin Hall, Emirates Arena, Royal Concert Hall, and a number of schools, day care centres, leisure centres and other council buildings. The £2m project is expected to save up to £750,000 a year on energy costs, while cutting carbon emissions. Climate convener Cllr Angus Millar said the project will not only “help us move further away from a damaging reliance on fossil fuels to power our estate, but it will also give us access to cheaper, sustainable energy that will support our work to deliver quality public services”.

Glasgow Evening Times

Oil-dependent rural homes could turn to district heating

Sky News looks at the potential benefits of district heating networks for rural households across England, with around 1.1m living off the gas grid and largely dependent on oil for heating. It highlights a partnership between Cambridgeshire County Council and Bouygues Energies and Services on a £12m energy centre in Swaffham Prior, which uses ground and air source heat pumps, soon to be powered by a local solar farm, to supply hot water to nearby homes.
Sky News

Biodiversity

Councils urged to join ‘no mow May’

The Times backs a campaign from charity Plantlife, which is asking local authorities across the country to “join domestic gardeners in a temporary ceasefire in the eternal battle between man and weed” by committing not to mow roadside verges during the month of May, in order to support local wildlife and pollinators. “Hammersmith and Bradford councils have promised to limit unnecessary mowing this month”, the paper notes, “The whole country should join them.”

The Times

Newcastle, Australia commits to being pollinator-friendly city

Newcastle City Council has committed to becoming a pollinator-friendly city, with a proposal tabled by Dr Elizabeth Adamczyk, a lecturer in planning and councillor for the council. The proposal was unanimously backed by the council and aims to ensure that the city is built with pollinating species in mind. The plan wants to see native-friendly foliage corridors through the city to help various species establish themselves and move about through the area. The infrastructure has been successfully trialled in the UK, including bus stops capped with specific types of foliage to support pollinating animals. The plan also highlights the need to rethink the use of some pesticides, including neonicotinoids, which are known to negatively impact both bees and birds. Native beekeeper Vicky Sherry said the idea of creating a pollinator paradise for native fauna was “marvellous”.
ABC Online

 

 

Global Local: Climate action during a cost of living crisis

Packed full of international guidance and good practice, our Global Local bulletin looks at how local governments are building democratic consent and inspiring every day action during while households are feeling the pinch. Available to Global Local subscribers and LGIU Members.

Event: Climate action in a permacrisis

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LGIU and the VLGA are thrilled to gather together senior executives from Ireland, the UK and Australia to explore how local government can approach climate action while in a permacrisis.

Global local executive panels are FREE to LGIU members and paid subscribers to LGIU’s Global Local

13 July at 8:30am BST / 5:30pm AEST

Equalities and diversity

Photo: Shutterstock

From our Daily News service

Representation

Women for Election campaign grows

Women for Election is expanding a national campaign to encourage women in Ireland to run for office in the upcoming local elections. With only 24% female councillors elected in the last local elections, Women for Election is calling for 1,000 women to be on the ticket in 2024. The #CountHerIn campaign aims to encourage people to encourage women in their family, community and workplace to get involved in politics and to consider running for election or taking the next step towards being a public representative. Recent research by Amárach shows that one third of the population is likely to know a female relative who they would consider for politics, and the campaign hopes to leverage this to bring more women into politics.
Limerick Leader

Pride

Rainbow steps to be installed across South Dublin

New rainbow steps are to be placed throughout South Dublin over the next few months to highlight diversity and inclusion. “I think it’s important to actually say to people coming into our communities and living in our communities that we recognise the need for social inclusion, we recognise the need for diversity and inclusion”, said South Dublin County Council Mayor Emma Murph. “I had seen rainbow steps initiatives in locations in Europe, there’s a beautiful one in Istanbul and I thought it would be very befitting for south Dublin.”
FM104

Councillors back libraries against anti-LGBTQ+ protests

A meeting of Dublin City Council’s arts, culture, leisure and recreation committee has seen councillors discuss attempts by protestors to seek the removal of books on LGBTQ+ topics from the city’s libraries. Cllr Mícheál Mac Donncha said the protests were “concerning”, with groups encouraging library visitors to report publications to the gardaí. The committee backed a motion reiterating its “support for the libraries and the staff and for their policy of inclusion and for the fact that the libraries are very much centres of freedom of information where everybody is welcome and people are able to access the information they want”.
DublinLive

Lachlan Shire stands firm on Rainbow Storytime with Betty Confetti

The Upper Lachlan Shire Council in NSW has vowed to host a Rainbow Storytime featuring Bathurst-based drag queen Betty Confetti, despite “disturbing” leaflets being circulated in the community. The neighbouring Goulburn Mulwaree Council cancelled a similar event due to threats directed at staff. Upper Lachlan Shire Mayor Pam Kensit said the council had indicated it would host the event instead. “Propaganda spreading hatred, vilification and attempting to force the cancellation of rainbow storytime later this year has no place in our community,” the council said in a statement. Betty Confetti said she was thrilled the council had taken this stance. “It’s so beautiful to hear that I’m being supported by this council”, she said.
ABC News

Civic Pride

See our roundup of municipal Pride celebrations with links to resources on how to work effectively with organisers to ensure Pride celebrations are safe, inclusive and economically beneficial and how to be inclusive all year. Follow the rainbow.

See her elected

Dr Michelle Maher, Programme Manager of See Her Elected, discusses how they are working to increase women’s participation in local government, especially ahead of the 2024 Irish local elections. Read here. 

Culture, tourism and heritage

heritage terra cotta floor tiles
Photo by Sarah Agnew on Unsplash

From our Daily News service

Cork County Council VR simulates rip current dangers

Cork County Council, in partnership with Water Safety Ireland and The Coast Guard, has launched a virtual reality initiative that simulates the experience of being caught in a dangerous rip current. The aim is to educate communities on how to recognise a rip current and stay safe while open water swimming. The virtual reality experience will be taken to educational events, schools, swimming pools and beaches over the coming months.
Corkindependent

Ireland’s Night-Time Economy to be supported by late night museum scheme

The Government has announced a new late night museum pilot scheme to support the country’s Night-Time Economy (NTE). The scheme aims to support over 80 small museums and galleries across the country to open later and programme new live events. Around €1m has been secured to support the scheme. Members of the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) and the Irish Museum Association can apply for up to €10,000 in funding to host late night events this year. Last year’s NTE Support Scheme – developed in conjunction with the Irish Museum Association, The Heritage Council and Fáilte Ireland – provided support for cultural activity in pubs, nightclubs, cafés and other suitable licensed and unlicensed premises during off-peak times.
Irish Independent   Leinster Express   TheJournal.ie

Pay to stay? The growth of tourist taxes around the world

Tourist taxes are increasingly common in parts of the world, but how much do they raise and what are they designed to achieve? A new briefing looks at the option of taxing visitors to a city or country and the role local government can potentially play in ensuring they are effective. Read  here.  Open to LGIU members and paid GL subscribers.

Global Local: Tourism for heritage, sustainability and economic development

Find out how councils around the world are supporting the economic benefits of tourism while also mitigating against the downsides. Resources, innovation and key LGIU briefings and articles. Take a trip.  Open to LGIU members and paid GL subscribers.

Global Local: Museums and local history

Museums are one of our most trusted public institutions. But are their futures in peril? This week we look at the role of local museums in reflecting the history of community as well as how they’re supporting communities to skill up and thrive. Explore this curation.  Open to LGIU members and paid GL subscribers.

Transport and infrastrutcture

bicycle with orange tires
Photo by Tiffany Nutt on Unsplash

From our Daily News Service

Parking

New system could simplify parking apps

The Government is proposing a National Parking Platform scheme that would allow drivers to use their preferred parking app in different parts of the country, regardless of which local authority owns the space. Currently, drivers are required to use different apps in different car parks, depending on the local authority’s contract with a specific firm. The proposed scheme would simplify the pay-by-phone experience and improve customer satisfaction. The Department for Levelling Up confirmed that a pilot run by Manchester City Council had identified and addressed technical and contractual challenges that would need to be considered. Ministers are now considering funding models for a wider roll-out of the scheme.
Daily Mail

In July, look out for a new report on parking strategy and the National Parking Platform from LGIU

Active travel

Fines on the way for improperly parked e-bikes

Westminster City Council is planning to set up docking stations for e-bikes across the borough in the coming months, with rental firms to issue fines of up to £20 to users who fail to park within the new docking bays. The council’s decision comes after growing issues with rental bikes being left in the middle of pavements and on roads, causing issues for those with mobility challenges and visual impairments. Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg said: “We are very supportive of more people travelling in Westminster by bicycle. But bikes need to be parked in the right place, and in a way that doesn’t create hazards for pedestrians.”
The Daily Telegraph

Inverness bicycle mayor details traffic vision

The newly-appointed bicycle mayor of Inverness, Emily Williams, has stepped up a campaign to make the city more bike-friendly, with the target of making roads safer for cyclists. Among the goals is to support Highland Council plans to reduce traffic on Academy Street, one of the most polluted streets in Scotland, and improve air quality. Ms Williams is part of a network set up by Amsterdam-based social enterprise BYCS, and her appointment makes her the first bicycle mayor in Scotland. She plans to encourage more bicycle mayors to join the network to add to the validity of the position and create a good network across Scotland.
The Press and Journal

Aberdeenshire transport projects shortlisted for awards

Aberdeenshire Council has been shortlisted for two categories at the Transport Times Scottish Transport Awards. The Targeted Travel Behaviour Change Project has been shortlisted in the Contribution to Sustainable Transport category, while the Aberdeenshire Bothy project is shortlisted for the Excellence in Walking, Public Realm and Cycling category. Cllr John Crawley, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee said the recognition for the projects provides “a tremendous opportunity to promote our work around changing travel behaviours” and recognises “all the hard work our teams undertake every day on behalf of our north east communities”.
Grampian Online   The Scotsman

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