A GREEN ECONOMIC RECOVERY STRATEGY
Hampshire County Council commissioned the consultancy of the New Economics Foundation to support creation of a strategy for green economic recovery that:
- Improves living standards rather than simply targeting GVA growth.
- Supports the creation of good, secure jobs.
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the county.
We explored what a green economic recovery means for Hampshire, identified and assessed priority areas, and then brought together experts and local stakeholders to develop ideas for council strategy.
With an estimated 24% of Hampshire’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from residents living in their homes, our focus was on two key areas:
- Financing the investment needed to tackle emissions, housing deprivation, and fuel poverty.
- Tackling skills deficits in low-energy construction.
To identify and settle on these priority areas, we engaged a wide range of stakeholders and built on the existing work of Hampshire 2050.
This work was undertaken in three phases:
- Reviewing what a green economic recovery means for Hampshire.
- Defining and assessing priority areas.
- Developing ideas for council strategy
Phase 1 – Reviewing what a green economic recovery means for Hampshire
To explore what a green economic recovery meant for Hampshire, we used Hampshire 2050 as a starting point, supporting this with a document review and stakeholder interviews. We also explored the issue of skills deficits in areas of importance to a green economic recovery. Our analysis led us to focus on an initial quantification of skills deficits in low-energy construction and retrofit.
Phase 2 – Defining and assessing priority action areas
We assessed priority action areas against criteria for a green economic recovery, with the two highest scoring priorities being:
- Priority 1: Tackling skills deficits in low-energy construction.
- Priority 2: Addressing housing-related emissions and deprivation.
Phase 3 – Developing ideas for council strategy
We worked with council colleagues, key local partners, and sector experts to identify actions the council could take to work towards enabling a green economic recovery for Hampshire. We held two policy-lab workshops on each priority area to translate the shared ambition into tangible local policy ideas for the council.
The following is a summary of some of our recommendations for Hampshire’s green economic recovery. For full details, see the report on the Hampshire County Council website.
Finance for Housing Retrofit
- Assess the investment required to decarbonise Hampshire’s housing stock, and the related income profile and tenure of property occupiers, to inform an analysis of appropriate financing options.
- Bring together stakeholders to recognise the co-benefits of housing retrofit. Use this as the basis for pooling relevant budgets to support the development of a retrofit strategy, and the delivery of this strategy.
- Establish a council-operated ‘one-stop shop’ for the retrofit of privately owned housing, as a key element of Hampshire’s retrofit strategy. Key elements of this ‘one-stop shop’ should be to:
- Assess and communicate the benefits of retrofit to residents alongside key guidance.
- Communicate the different blended financing options to residents interested in retrofit.
- Support the expansion of long-term financing options for residents interested in retrofit.
- Make the argument for ambitious and stable policy and funding from central government.
- Explore how to work with lower-tier authorities to support the retrofit of council-owned stock.
- Drive forward retrofit in the ‘able to pay’ and social housing market segments before the harder-to-reach groups.
Skills for Low-Energy Construction
- Map the availability of low-energy construction skills and suppliers in Hampshire.
- Map the demand for labour for housing retrofit against supply and identify shortages.
- Develop a low-energy construction skills strategy to address current skills gaps and achieve wider objectives in the sector to include addressing the lack of ethnic diversity and low levels of female participation.
- Work with lower-tier authorities to use planning powers to support a net zero construction skills strategy. In addition, to set higher energy efficiency standards for new developments.
- Embed the council’s strategic aims into its procurement system, so that construction contracts meet diversity-related targets and higher energy efficiency standards. Additionally, explore the possibility of insourcing construction operations.
- Pursue the devolution of the Adult Education Budget, so the council can shape training to meet local needs.
- Use council-led projects to develop the skills needed for low energy construction in Hampshire.
- Explore alternative building control function arrangements to uphold construction standards through independent inspectors.
For more information see the report and briefing papers on the Hampshire County Council website.