In April 2023 Quantum updated our Power Shift report for UK100, the most comprehensive examination of the powers local authorities have and need to take ambitious action on Net Zero, with Powers in Place.
Despite some changes since Power Shift, we found that barriers remain – such as counterintuitive planning rules on housing and onshore wind, business case rules valuing increased traffic flows over air quality and decarbonisation, and the rise of misinformation. Local authorities have to work too hard to deliver climate mitigation actions that deliver multiple other benefits because of a complex and contradictory policy system with competitive funding and a lack of resources holding them back.
Powers in Place is a useful handbook for councillors, officers, campaigners and businesses that want to look up the powers local authorities can use to deliver on Net Zero, cleaner air, greener localities and better places all round. There are creative ways around policy blocks, and many local authorities are determined to deliver.
Quantum used exhaustive research and extensive interviews with local members and officers to update the report. Look out for the linked Nature chapter too.