Localism push leads to charity expansion

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 20 Oct 2014

CSE teams at work with communites

The growth of the localism agenda has prompted an energy charity to look for a planner to help councils and residents become more energy literate.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) in Bristol helps people and organisations from public, private and voluntary sectors meet the challenges of rising energy costs and climate change. 

Head of local and community empowerment Rachel Coxcoon told Planning: “We are doing more work on localism and neighbourhood plans to make people become more aware of energy issues.

“The postholder must understand planning and renewables to help communities get involved at earlier and more strategic levels and to help them influence local policy and understand the NPPF.”

Coxcoon said there was a big 'disconnect' between the 70 per cent to 80 per cent of people generally in favour of renewable energy and local initiatives that were often blocked by strong anti-lobbying.

“There's a disconnect between positive national attitudes and obstructive attitudes at a local level. National campaigns can affect how local decisions are made.

“That can be very damaging on how it influences the views of councillors. As a result you can get views emerging that are not of the whole community but of a small, frightened core.”

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