WORK by BCP Council to establish a citizens’ assembly to “inform the public” of its work to tackle the climate emergency is underway.

Consultation officers have been tasked with researching the process ahead of the publication of a report in December.

The council’s cabinet will also be asked on Wednesday to give the green light to the employment of someone to oversee “behavioural changes” in its staff and councillors.

Data published earlier this year, shows the BCP Council area was responsible for almost two million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2017.

The figure equates to about 0.5 per cent of the total for the country.

In July the council declared a climate emergency, committing to making its operations carbon neutral by 2030 and to supporting the area to beat the 2050 government target.

The council is one of more than 200 across the country to have made such a declaration.

When it meets on Wednesday, the cabinet will be asked to establish a cross-party working group to oversee work to make the council carbon neutral by 2030.

“Climate change and sustainability is a key factor within our overall organisational development programme but embedding a response to the climate emergency agenda will require significant behavioural change for both councillors and staff,” a report published ahead of the meeting says.

“To make the biggest impact, we will be mainstreaming our commitment in key initiatives across the council to ensure alignment of effort and therefore the greatest possible outcomes.”

The report also suggests that £35,000 is set aside to fund a new "zero carbon support officer".

Cabinet member for climate change, councillor Felicity Rice, said the work being done was “a small starting step".

“There’s going to be huge change over the next five to ten years but if we are looking to make sure this is at the heart of everything staff do it will be needed,” she said at Monday’s scrutiny board meeting.

Green councillor Chris Rigby said the council could become a leader in efforts to reduce its contribution to climate change.

“The fact we are sat here debating this means we are ahead of most people,” he said.

“We have got the go-ahead for this from the residents and what I would really be saying is ‘does this go far enough?’."