New climate change strategy for new North Northamptonshire unitary being drawn up

A cross party group of councillors will draw up the new draft strategy
A draft climate strategy is being compiled.A draft climate strategy is being compiled.
A draft climate strategy is being compiled.

A climate change strategy for North Northamptonshire is being drawn up to lay the green credentials for the new unitary council.

The shadow council’s scrutiny committee has set up a task and finish group that will spend the next three months putting together a draft strategy that can be adopted by the new council once it comes into being next April.

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The group, which was the idea of Liberal Democrat councillors Chris Stanbra and Andrew Dutton, will identify best practice being carried out by other local authorities from across the country as well as developing an environmental framework that can guide decision making and policy development for the new unitary.

The move, which was welcomed by the numerous speakers from the community who spoke at the virtual meeting last Thursday, comes after all of the borough councils in the area plus the county council declared climate change emergencies last year.

Geddington resident John Padwick said: “It is an emergency and we have only got three months before a report is produced, but it is a real chance to provide a blueprint for a sparkling new authority and a chance for that authority to show its green, sustainable, environmental credentials which are so important at the moment and for the future.

“I hope it will go towards working for a carbon zero economy in 2030 which is what Kettering and Corby councils were urging when they agreed we should be declaring a climate emergency.

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“I would urge the task and finish group to look outwards and not inwards and to include as many people as will be useful across parties but also considering people not within the council. They should be given a chance to give evidence as expert witnesses.”

Teenager Dylan Lewis Creser, who is a member of the Kettering Eco Group, welcomed the focus but wanted things to move quicker.

He said: “I am concerned about the slow pace of the improvements being made and it is imperative the project to decarbonise the North Northamptonshire economy is sped up after vesting day. So many of our borough councils are doing so little and doing it slowly, that it is not acceptable, it is too slow to make a real difference. This committee with public pressure can start a journey to a green North Northamptonshire. As young people in Kettering, me and so many of our peers are invested in the future of our area and the sustainability of current and future policies should be top of the agenda.”

Green party member Dez Dell also requested the new council should consider setting up a citizens assembly.

The task and finish group will be chaired by Wellingborough councillor Lora Lawman and include all political parties.