Tree planting and more rubbish collection options - the green measures Babergh and Mid Suffolk are pursuing revealed
PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:00 30 June 2020
More tree planting, new electric vehicle charging points and new solar farms are among measures being pursued by two Suffolk councils to become carbon neutral over the next decade.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030 after last year declaring a climate emergency.
As part of that, a cross-party task force was set up to come up with ways of becoming more environmentally sustainable.
MORE: Climate emergency declared by Suffolk councils
Those findings have now been published, and will form the start of a carbon reduction management plan due to be approved at a joint cabinet meeting on Monday.
Babergh’s cabinet member for environment, Elizabeth Malvisi, Conservative, said: “These proposals, if approved, will form the blueprint of how we tackle the environment and climate change challenge.
“We want to make sure that our district remains a place we’re proud to call home, but also a destination for tourists to visit.
“Reducing the councils’ dependency on fossil fuels and developing sustainable travel at the heart of our town centres is a priority.”
Her Mid Suffolk counterpart, Jessica Fleming, added: “We also want our residents to get involved, with everyone able to take at least small steps to becoming more environmentally conscious, such as only buying what you need, wasting less and cycling and walking more.”
The headline proposals are:
• Exploration of council-owned or controlled commercial estates for battery storage or solar ports
• Green tariff energy plans with leisure providers
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• Moving from diesel-powered refuse trucks to greener alternatives
• Identifying further efficiencies and waste collection options
• Creating an electric vehicle charging plan to increase the number of EV charge points
• Pursuing digital-first methods of working to reduce paper use and staff mileage
• Increased tree and hedge planting
• Ensuring council housing utilises environmentally friendly measures
• Improve sustainable infrastructure with partner organisations such as the county council
Council data suggests that 5,452 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent are produced per year by the two authorities.
A joint statement was issued by all party leaders at the two councils which pledged to work together on tackling the issue.
However, Green group leader at Babergh, Robert Lindsay, while backing the measures, said that the final decision on what should be included should have been debated by all councillors.
He added that the group “regret that there are no proposals to cut carbon emissions from the council’s own investments nor from the wider Suffolk community”.
Andy Mellen from the Mid Suffolk Green group added: “One of the 11 years left to achieve steeply declining carbon emissions has been spent talking. For every year of inaction that passes, the level of effort and measures needed to meet this target become more challenging.”
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