‘Pop-up’ cycle schemes and extra electric car charge points - council outlines plans to tackle climate change emergency
PUBLISHED: 16:34 02 June 2020 | UPDATED: 20:55 05 June 2020
‘Pop-up’ cycle schemes, extra electric car charge points and a full review of its gas and electricity contracts are some of the ways East Cambs Council hopes to tackle the climate change emergency.
Following its declaration of a “climate emergency” in October 2019, the council says it is seeking approval for its 30-year action plan and is setting out its bid for COVID-19 funding.
ECDC’s environment and climate change strategy and action plan, which will be considered at next week’s operational services committee, focuses on what the council can do to make a difference.
As well as aiming to ‘mitigate climate change and seek to boost the natural environment in the district’, it details a district-wide and parish-specific plan which will set out how residents, businesses and parish-councils can also do their bit.
Among the council’s list of 20 commitments for the upcoming year are:
• A full review of the council’s entire electricity and gas contracts, and, where practical to do so, amend to 100 per cent renewable electricity tariffs and 100 per cent 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 started over winter 2019/20), and work with a range 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.
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Cllr Anna Bailey, East Cambs Council leader, said: “The council recognises the role we have to play in order to protect and improve the environment to safeguard it for future generations.
“Some measures are in the direct control of the council and we will be doing all we can to make improvements; the majority of measures will need to happen together with our partners.
“Residents, parishes, the county council, the Combined Authority and central Government must all work together to realise the changes we need.
“This action plan is just the first step to delivering what the climate change motion seeks to achieve.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, as awful as it has been and continues to be, has brought a collective examination of what is important in life with a new sense of increased value being placed on our natural environment and on the importance of having time to appreciate it.
“The recovery from the pandemic therefore requires us to think about a different future and to capture and nurture those positive things that people have experienced.
“This is a 30 year plan - work has already begun, but with a new collective focus and money coming from central Government we must seize the chance to accelerate delivery.”
Cllr David Ambrose Smith, chairman of the operational services committee, added: “This week we are submitting our proposals to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority for “pop up” cycle schemes across East Cambs.
“This opportunity has arisen from the new funding coming from central Government and this gives us the chance to kick start one element of this work.
“Schemes can be trialled and if successful, taken forward as permanent changes.
“This money must benefit the whole county and we hope we can get some quick wins for cycling and walking improvements in East Cambridgeshire.”
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