East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan has been unanimously given the green light from the council’s operational services committee.
The Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan is a result of a wider climate change motion which was presented and approved at last October’s Full Council meeting.
The document has a two-pronged approach; to mitigate climate change and seek to boost the natural environment in the district.
The action plan focuses on what the Council can do to make a difference, but it also commits to facilitating the preparation of a district-wide plan, which will set out how residents and businesses can also do their bit.
It is the Council’s hope, that with their assistance, the district-wide plan will be owned by residents and businesses.
Following proactive conversations at the recent Parish Forum, the Council has also committed to working with parish councils to create a parish-specific plan.
Cllr David Ambrose Smith, Chairman of the Operational Services Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said:
“Now that the plan is approved, it is full steam ahead!
“In October we declared a climate emergency and it’s important that we now press on with our plan.
“Recent events have caused us to think differently about our future and have reminded us of the importance of respecting our natural environment and its impact on our health and wellbeing.
“We will continue to work with residents, parishes, the County Council, the Combined Authority and central Government to realise the changes we need to preserve and protect our environment.”
Cllr Anna Bailey, Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said:
“I am thrilled that the Environment Strategy and Action Plan was unanimously approved by the committee.
“To build on this, the council has recently placed a bid with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to benefit from part of the £2.9 million provided by central government for pilot upgrades to cycling and walking infrastructure.
“It is also important, like our strategy and plan, to look to short, mid and long-term actions required and therefore we will certainly be bidding, where we can, for central government funding to support our plans.”
A list of 20 commitments for the upcoming year were detailed within the approved action plan, this includes:
- A full review of the Council’s entire electricity and gas contracts, and, where practical to do so, amend to 100% renewable electricity tariffs and 100% carbon off-set gas tariffs as soon as possible
- Undertake a thorough appraisal of the potential to expand electric car charge points
- Prepare, consult and adopt two Supplementary Planning Documents (one on the Natural Environment and the second on Climate Change)
- Work proactively with the Combined Authority, as part of its recently launched Climate Change Independent Commission
- Finalise the Council’s bus, cycling and walking review (which commenced over winter 2019/20), and work with a wide variety of partners to try to implement its findings, taking advantage of new Government funds, linked to COVID-19 recovery, to boost cycling and walking infrastructure.