Chatterton, T. and Leksmono, N.
Report on process and outcomes of questionnaire and workshop elements of consultation for the development of Reading Borough Council’s climate change strategy and air quality action plan.
University of the West of England.
This report summarises the outcomes of the consultation activities undertaken by Reading Borough Council in support of the development of their Air Quality Action Plan and Climate Change Strategy. The consultation consisted of a questionnaire being disseminated in both paper and internet formats (including a double page pull-out section in the Reading Evening Post), and two public consultation workshops held in February 2008 in Reading Town Centre.
The consultation was not based on seeking approval on draft documents, but was intended to help assess the viewpoint of Reading citizens with regard to their perception of the problems of poor air quality and climate change, how much of a priority the council should give to addressing these problems, and what sort of measures and actions the citizens would want to see taken, or given encouragement and support to take themselves.
This report summarises the views and suggestions of all those who have participated in the various aspects of the consultation exercise. The detailed open response comments from the 155 questionnaire respondents, or the notes and feedback sheets from around 5 hours of workshops are available in the Annex. Below are 8 key points distilled from the consultation exercise:
Better information on the causes and effects of climate change and air quality, on what individuals can do, and what the council and others are doing about the problems.
The council to take a lead both in terms of managing their own estate and in encouraging, supporting and enforcing better practice.
Trying to resolve the traffic issue mainly through demand management.
Giving non-car transport a higher (perceived) priority so that people do not feel that these modes are more dangerous, more expensive or less convenient than using a car.
Businesses to be encouraged/forced to take more action both to improve their energy efficiency, but also to help individuals perform better by, for example, reducing packaging.
More attention to green spaces to provide pleasant transport corridors for walking and cycling, to help increase fitness and well-being and to help mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Better quality housing development that ensures low carbon properties at affordable prices and uses appropriate land (not gardens, playing fields and other previously green space).
Regulation and enforcement to ensure that individual actions take place on a level playing field and so that environmental protection is seen as a necessity rather than an option.
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