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Council is finalist in three MJ Awards categories including for tackling climate change

Cornwall Council will find out tomorrow (Friday, October 2) if it has won a national award recognising its pioneering work to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. 

The unitary authority is a finalist in the prestigious MJ Local Government Achievement Awards which highlights local authorities delivery of services over the last 12 months and allows them to share expertise with peers across the nation. 

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Cornwall Council has been shortlisted in three categories - Leadership in responding to the Climate Emergency category, Digital Transformation and Corporate Director of the Year. 

In the climate emergency category, judges have praised the Council’s decision-making process and its commitment to innovation, notably reducing bus fares for residents and halting fossil fuel heating in all new council properties.  

They were also impressed by good community engagement for the Council’s climate change action plan and cited clear evidence of strong leadership across the authority. 

In the Digital Transformation category the Council is praised for its ambitious Digital Programme requiring committed leadership for a successful delivery across multiple stakeholders.

The project is described as having a clear multi-agency strategy with benefits for the community.

The Council's former Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods Paul Masters who is now the Chief Executive of the Council of the Isles of Scilly is a finalist in the Corporate Director of the Year category.

The MJ Awardhave been held every year since 2004 rewarding officers, managers teams and councils, and is one of the major events in the public sector calendar. 

This year’s winners will be announced on Friday, October 2, at a virtual ceremony. 

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s cabinet member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “Being shortlisted for an MJ Award in the climate change category is another feather in our cap of gaining national recognition for our leading work in tackling the climate emergency and striving for better environmental, social and economic outcomes for our residents. 

“Not only are we working to cut emissions in Cornwall, we are influencing and guiding other local authorities so we can fight the climate emergency together. 

am particularly proud that our community engagement has been praised as we cannot fight climate change alone. We know, if we have any hope of reaching our ambitious target of Cornwall becoming carbon neutral by 2030, working in partnership is essential. I want to thank everyone who has joined us in taking climate change action and making a difference in their communities across Cornwall. 

Cornwall Council was one of the country’s first local authorities to produce a detailed and ambitious plan to tackle the climate emergency while developing a blueprint for regional leadership.  

The plan to lead Cornwall in striving towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030 received unanimous Cabinet backing in July 2019 and was the culmination of conversations with thousands of residents, businesses, community groups and partners.  

A key part of the approach is to consider social justice in responding to the climate emergency which led to the Council being the first in the country to introduce a new decision-making tool, based on the economist Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics model, which has been utilised in all Cabinet decisions since last September and has attracted interest from across the UK. 

Click here to see excerpts of the recent Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive event featuring talks and workshops on ideas for community engagement in tackling the climate emergency in Cornwall.


Story posted on October 1, 2020