Council makes climate emergency pledge
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has taken the first important steps to tackling the issue head on by agreeing action must be taken to minimise our impact on the environment.
Tonight (Tuesday 10 September) the council’s Cabinet agreed to support a Motion, considered at Council in July, declaring a Climate Emergency.
This will see the council leading the way and delivering services to residents in a more environmentally friendly way, targeting carbon neutral operations by December 2025. It also pledges to join with partners, local businesses and residents to work towards a carbon neutral borough by 2030.
The motion supports the themes to reduce carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels in Horizon 2050, the vision set out for the borough over the next 30 years.
Already the council works hard to protect and enhance the environment and reduce the impact of its buildings and services on the planet.
Achievements include installing solar panels on several key council buildings, introducing fast electric vehicle charging points, working with partners to adopt a transport strategy focusing on encouraging more sustainable transport and introducing a ‘switch off’ campaign to prevent idling cars creating air pollution.
But the declaration accepts that more must be done and everyone needs to step up to pool the ideas, expertise, energy and enthusiasm of residents, partners, groups and businesses in the borough.
Some next steps have been identified including a climate change summit to bring together ideas with partners and the development of a Climate Change and Low Emissions strategy.
These suggested steps also include: seeking advice from the Energy Savings Trust on the council’s fleet of vehicles to explore using electric vehicles; updating our Local Plan to ensure tougher standards associated with climate change and emissions, reviewing our accommodation and our staff and councillors’ travel. Delivering 3,500 homes at Manydown using the Garden Towns’ principle, supporting the annual green week and exploring opportunities for businesses to develop low carbon solutions.
Cabinet voted to ask the Community, Environment and Partnerships Committee to consider a report on these proposed actions at a meeting in December.
Cabinet Member for Environment and Enforcement Cllr Hayley Eachus said: “We are blessed with a beautiful green borough but we cannot be complacent. As a council we have collectively chosen to declare a climate emergency and this means things need to change to minimise our impact on the environment. This starts with a desire to make a change and work together and I look forward to working with councillors, officers, partners, communities and businesses to tackle this issue.”