Local Power in Action offers ambitious councils, who are members of the UK100 network, tailored support to accelerate progress towards their Net Zero goals.
Councils across Gloucestershire agree to work together on transport decarbonisation, facilitated by UK100's Local Power in Action programme

Local leaders across the UK have set Net Zero targets that far exceed the ambitions of the UK Government, but the pathway to achieving these is not always easy for local authorities. Local Power in Action is here to help. This innovative UK100 programme offers ambitious councils within the UK100 network tailored support to accelerate progress towards their organisation’s Net Zero goals.

How does it work?

Local Power in Action works with a limited number of councils and deploys political consultants known as Net Zero Pathfinders across a 9 month period from Autumn 2023. These Pathfinders will work with the council by supporting Leaders, Cabinet Members and senior council officers to overcome the political, organisational and engagement challenges they face in implementing their ambitious Net Zero projects. Successful projects from previous programmes have focused on transport for example.

The programme uses a partnership model between Pathfinders, who work one day a week, councils, and UK100. Through this model, the programme is also able to provide knowledge-sharing events to disseminate best practice with other local authorities, including the wider UK100 membership.

Testimonials from previous Local Power in Action participants

“Local Power in Action has provided Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council with a sustained programme of consultancy, advice and support around delivering our ambitious zero-carbon transport plans. The knowledge and expertise of our pathfinder consultant has been of real benefit in helping us anticipate and address challenges and align stakeholders behind the schemes. The programme has also proved invaluable in linking us with other councils who have rolled out similar programmes to our own so that we can learn from their experiences.”

Susannah Wintersgill, Director of Communications, Strategy and Insight, Oxfordshire County Council

“UK100’s Local Power in Action pathfinder provided high-quality political analysis, supported and influenced effective decision making, and added rigour and confidence during the period we were engaged…It has also become clear that there has been a strong legacy, particularly in the way directors and politicians appreciate and articulate one and others’ perspectives and challenges.”

Cllr Adam Clarke, Deputy Mayor, Leicester City Council

What will it cost?

The cost of the programme is fully subsidised by UK100. But we require organisational and political commitment from your Council.

Who should apply?

Leaders, cabinet members and senior officers of councils within the UK100 membership that have ambitious plans looking to successfully achieve delivery of a challenging project that supports progress towards their climate goals. 

We will consider all applications, however we are particularly interested in those involving: air quality, housing retrofit and transport interventions.

How to apply?

Applications for the 2023 Local Power in Action cohort are currently closed.

For future applications, please keep an eye on this webpage and our members newsletter.

Local Power in Action FAQs

1. What kind of projects are appropriate?

We welcome any application based on an ambitious project focusing on a Net Zero transition. Successful projects from previous programmes have focused on aligning transport and housing plans within different tier councils, behavioural change and zero-carbon transport interventions. We will consider all applications, however we are particularly interested in those involving: Air Quality, Housing retrofit and Transport interventions.

2. How much time will this project require from the council?

The project will be delivered across a 9 month period from September/October through to June 2024. Councils will need to be committed and willing to resource the project, working with the pathfinder to ensure the best outcome for the project. Regular time commitments required by participants will involve: Frequent communication and collaboration with the Net Zero Pathfinder, Drafting a Memorandum of Understanding and gateway project plans, Quarterly meetings with UK100, Speaking at UK100 knowledge sharing events. However, the overall time and capacity required for delivery will vary according to the project, the council, and the challenges and opportunities involved.

3. Who will need to be involved in the application process and delivery if successful?

Leaders, Cabinet Members and senior officers at the council will need to be involved from application through to delivery. Interviews for shortlisted applicants will require both councillor and senior officer attendance, as Pathfinders will be working directly with both Councillors and officers. Councils will then be responsible for sharing out delivery responsibilities once successful. This includes ensuring relevant representatives are informed and in attendance at quarterly project meetings with the UK100 team.

4. How do Net Zero Pathfinders work with local authorities?

Net Zero Pathfinders are consultants without decision-making powers. They provide advice and expertise. They are not embedded in councils. Local authorities participating in the Local Power in Action programme have asked UK100 for support on their chosen projects. They direct the work of the pathfinders to help overcome the barriers they face to delivering those projects. Ultimately, democratically-elected leaders decide if any recommendations are implemented. Before implementation, the projects are subject to public consultation.

5. Can we apply if we're not a UK100 member?

This programme is only available for UK100 members. To make an enquiry about joining please contact membership@uk100.org

6. How will we know if our application has been successful?

We aim to inform all shortlisted candidates by the 7th July with interviews commencing the week of 10th July. All unsuccessful applicants will also be informed at this stage.

7. What help can we get if our application is not successful for Local Power in Action?

We expect the programme to be heavily oversubscribed, so unfortunately we are unable to support every applicant. However, we aim to secure further funding to offer a third opportunity to take part in this programme in 2024. In the meantime we offer an array of learning and networking events for members across the year, all of which are advertised on our events page and in our members newsletter so keep an eye out and join us if you're interested. We also always welcome ideas and suggestions for additional support we can offer so if there is an event, topic, or issue you’d like to discuss with us, get in touch at membership@uk100.org

Please email membership@uk100.org for further information or queries.