Local Democracy – Wiltshire

In February 2019, at a meeting of full council, Wiltshire Council resolved to acknowledge that there is a climate emergency and seek to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030. In July 2019, the Cabinet pledged to make the council itself carbon neutral by 2030. The council has created a climate emergency page giving details of the resolution, plus updates on progress.

The council website has a section on Your Council and Democracy, including:

  • A list of councillors (including how to find the councillor for your area)
  • Details of committees (with dates of meetings, agenda, minutes etc). Some key ones are full Council, Cabinet, Environment Select Committee and Wiltshire Pension Fund.
  • Webcasts of the most important meetings.

You can ask questions or make a statement at most meetings or send them in advance if you cannot attend. Answers are recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

You can subscribe to regular email updates from Wiltshire Council

Wiltshire has been divided into 17 community areas, usually a town and surrounding villages, with Area Boards bringing together county, town and parish councillors, who meet every two months. The Area Board meetings are relatively informal and a good place to raise the need for community energy and other climate action initiatives. Some Area Boards have previously held meetings specifically focused on the climate emergency. The Boards also give out small grants. You can sign up to get news from your community area. For further details and meeting dates go to the Area Boards page.

Planning policy is crucial in tackling the climate emergency. A local plan forms part of the development plan for the future of the local area, drawn up by the local planning authority in consultation with the community.  By law, all planning applications for new development must be determined in accordance with the development plan unless material circumstances indicate otherwise. The Wilthsire Local Plan is currently under review. Sign up to the BWCE newsletter and we will let you know of any relevant consultations.

Neighbourhood plans are officially recognised and provide a legally robust opportunity for communities to produce positive and ambitious sustainable energy plans.