Local government, net zero and third sector inquiry – CTA’s Response
by David Kelly
Director for Scotland
The Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee of the Scottish Parliament will be a prominent and influential one in this parliamentary session, as Scotland steps up its efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045 and end our contribution to climate change.
The Committee is conducting an important inquiry into ‘the role of local government and its cross-sectoral partners in financing and delivering a net-zero Scotland’. We have responded to its call for views, because we believe the third or voluntary sector – including the Community Transport sector – is a key partner for local government.
There needs to be a ‘just transition’ to net zero which leaves no one behind. We’re making the case in this response, as well as in our local elections manifesto, that change needs to work for the people and communities served by our sector.
The key points of our submission – which you can download here – are:
Local government is a major grant funder of and a key commissioner of accessible, inclusive and sustainable services from the Community Transport sector in Scotland
However, engagement with and support for community-led initiatives by councils varies significantly across Scotland. There is room for improvement and opportunities for collaboration and partnership
Community Transport is leading the way to net zero by delivering shared transport services and transitioning to zero-emissions vehicle fleets. Continued financial support from local government will be essential
Community Transport operators can design and deliver accessible, cost-effective, innovative and sustainable transport solutions which can facilitate modal shift and reduce carbon emissions. However, the sector’s potential has yet to be maximised
Local authorities should help Community Transport operators to expand their capacity to decarbonise transport and increase modal shift – for example by supporting the transition to EVs, creating new car share projects or innovating with e-bikes and e-scooters
We hope to strengthen our engagement with local government this year. I know from speaking to many members across Scotland since joining CTA in October that this is a key concern and priority for many of you.
Our aim is to work more closely with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) at a national level to influence policy, strategy and decision-making, as well as to better support CTA members on the ground to develop positive relationships and partnerships with local authorities.
Over the last few months, we’ve already taken big steps towards this by:
Advising Fife, Midlothian and North Ayrshire Councils on their local transport and active travel strategies; and,
Giving practical support to CTA members looking to secure local authority funding.
If you need advice, guidance or support to help you engage with your local authority, the CTA team in Scotland is here to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a chat with our Development Officers.
What do you think of our submission to the Committee? Have we missed any challenges or opportunities? I always welcome your feedback via email@example.com.
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