New North Northamptonshire council's strategy to tackle climate change

A draft framework strategy has been discussed by councillors

Monday, 15th March 2021, 2:48 pm
Climate change strategy

A cycling and walking infrastructure, energy efficient homes and electric charging points form part of a wide-ranging strategy to tackle climate change in the new North Northamptonshire authority.

The North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority's Overview and Scrutiny committee met on Thursday evening (March 11) to discuss a draft framework strategy prepared by councillors on the Climate Change Task and Finish Group.

A report stated the group, made up of eight councillors, gathered evidence for the framework which covers three key aspects. These are reducing emissions to lesson the causes of climate change, adapting to the current and future impacts of climate change and raising awareness in communities to the causes and impacts.

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The group invited the public to make proposals via email and received 110 submissions with some ideas listed in the framework as priority actions.

The framework looks at a number of climate change factors including: emissions trends, fooding risks, risks to health, well-being and productivity from high temperatures, risk to ecosystems, risk to domestic and international food production and trade and new and emerging pests and diseases affecting people, plants and animals.

The group went on to set out an extensive number of recommendations for the new authority and its partners could undertake to deliver climate action.

These include: declare a climate emergency; seek to use local suppliers and businesses to reduce carbon emissions; unify waste services and consider setting up an anaerobic food digestion plant in North Northants; establish/continue food waste as part of waste collection services; improve housing standards investing in more energy efficient, cheaper to run and adaptable homes; ensure electric charging points are built into new and existing public housing developments; develop a 'right tree right place' strategy to improve air quality; develop a local pollinator strategy to improve local biodiversity and increase carbon offsetting; review air quality action plans; explore possibility of authority wide cycling and walking infrastructure plan as initiated in Kettering; encouraging taxi applications so that they must be either electric or hybrid; encourage businesses to roll out cycle to work and healthy living schemes; set up a county-wide climate partnership group/forum.

It was agreed the draft framework is passed to the Shadow Executive for its approval as the basis for implementing recommendations by the new council after April 1.

Councillor Mark Pengelly commended the task and finish group for its work and added some of his own suggestions.

He said: "There are parts that I think are absolutely brilliant in there. There are parts that I think we should be adding on to it.

"One of them is community wealth building and something like the Preston model. I would love North Northamptonshire to use that same model where we procure all our goods from within North Northamptonshire so we're not going out and getting contractors coming in from Manchester or whatever working on properties.

"In Preston, that saved a fortune in money for the council and also been really, really green as well.

"On the waste side of things as well, you can't have a climate change proposal put forward without waste. And we haven't put in there how we're going to cut our waste."

At this point, Cllr Pengelly held his pile of minutes from full council up to the camera to show fellow councillors on the virtual meeting, and said: "Look at that - what are we going to do with that waste there?

"We as a council have to be in front of anybody else on cutting the amount of waste we use.

"So we've got to look at iPads and things like that for members of the future so we have less waste. So we have to show that we're in front of the game.

"So that's just things that I'd like to be added in the future. Of course they can't be done right now but I'd like to think the executive will add them in and when that comes back to a scrutiny committee in the future, they're all included in it as well."