Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Where's the Council's Climate Change strategy gone? A reply.

Members of the public are entitled to ask questions at Council meetings.  This question was asked at the last meeting of East Riding of Yorkshire Council:

What has happened to the ERYC Climate Change strategy which, according to the Council website, was due for adoption by Council in 2012?  It promised to "set targets and action plans for mitigating both council and area wide greenhouse emissions by 2020."

Council – 30th July 2014
Response to Question by Elector

As part of a comprehensive review, the Council has recently updated and broadened the scope and content of its Environmental Policy in relation to climate change.  As a result, the Council's objectives and targets on climate change will now be contained within the policy's associated delivery plan, removing the need for a separate, stand-alone climate change strategy.  Therefore, the existing draft strategy dating from 2010 will be superseded by the Environmental Policy, and objectives within the policy will be reported against in the Council's annual Environmental Statement.

The operation of a separate Climate Change document had some advantages early on in the case for addressing the impact of climate change but as with all such subjects, the approach now needs not to stand apart but to be embedded within in all aspects of the Council and the daily lives of local communities and businesses.

In going forward this approach has been adopted to ensure practical measures are taken forward within each sector – for example:

Energy and Carbon Reduction Management Plan

The Council is currently preparing an Energy and Carbon Management Plan which sets out the energy and carbon reducing measure it has already achieved and its proposed way forward in respect of targets and action plans.  This is very much a practical approach and shows considerable success over the last two years and, although measures can be expensive, bidding for funds to support the measures sought, has assisted in taking this element of impact on climate change forward.  The council has received some acclaim for the stance and measures it has put in place.

Flood Risk Management Strategy

There are other aspects to climate change such as Flood risk management and this area again is of such significance within the East Riding that a Flood Risk Management Strategy is being produced for consultation early in 2015 but in the interim there is intensive bidding for investment funding for flood protection measures with some schemes already underway and especially treatments for a sustainable way forward in respect of local communities and businesses at risk from flooding.  Targets include number of homes with a reduced flood risk.

Local Transport Plan- emissions 

Considerable effort has been put into the Local Transport Plan to increase the use of walking and cycling for short everyday journeys and reduced car usage and this approach towards a reduction in emissions is embedded within the overall transport plan

Housing & Schools- affordable warmth with reduction in carbon emissions 

Measures again have been taken in these areas to have significant impact on individual property emissions, however this has a considerable way to go and work is ongoing to address this area.

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