Sedgemoor Climate Emergency Strategy & Action Plan
Sedgemoor District Council has now released its Climate Emergency Strategy and Action Plan. The documents were approved by Full Council on 22nd February, and the documents are available for the public to view below.
These documents have been created following the council's declaration of a Climate Emergency and its pledge to work with partners, individuals and community groups to identify ways to make Sedgemoor and Somerset carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.
The Climate Emergency Strategy lays out the six key areas of action which will lead the council towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030, outlines the overarching goals and explains the scope and background to this project. It is followed by the Climate Emergency Action Plan, which details the activities involved to reach carbon neutrality and the co-benefits of these changes.
Some of the key actions include:
- Increasing number of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points throughout Sedgemoor
- Supporting schools, businesses and council employees to help educate the population on the importance and possibilities of reducing, reusing and recycling
- Delivering climate-change-ready, carbon neutral affordable housing in Sedgemoor
- Promoting climate change awareness among Sedgemoor residents, communities and businesses, and providing education on the key issues and ways to reduce carbon emissions
- Integrating climate change priorities and targets into all key corporate projects, programmes and strategies
This Strategy and Action Plan are to be read in line with the Somerset-wide Climate Emergency Strategy, which Sedgemoor and the remaining Somerset councils have worked collaboratively to produce. More info on the Somerset-wide Strategy can be found below.
Sedgemoor's Climate Emergency Strategy and Action Plan will rely on partnership between the district council, county, town and parish councils, local stakeholders, businesses and individual residents working together towards our collective carbon neutrality goal. We are therefore also excited to launch our Environmental Champion scheme. To sign up, email: email@example.com
In December 2020, Somerset Climate Action Network was commissioned to undertake a public consultation on our Action Plan. This consisted of five surveys that took place during November-December 2020. Overall, it was found that residents agree with the actions in the Action Plan and support the climate change work the council is doing. SCAN also felt that the responses indicated a need for more education on carbon neutrality and which actions have the most positive impact. Results also showed a need for the council to lead by example and to draw on the positive behavioural changes that have resulted from the pandemic (e.g. shopping locally, working from home). We will therefore consider this in the prioritisation of the action plan and build stronger communications and connections with the community around carbon reduction activity.
EV charging strategy
Additionally, Sedgemoor has worked alongside the other four Somerset Councils and Exmoor National Park produce a Somerset electric Vehicle Charging Strategy, with help from consultants WSP. This Strategy evidences and assesses different options with regards to delivering electric vehicle charge points and growing electric vehicle adoption in Somerset and makes a number of recommendations on actions for the Councils to take. These recommendations will be considered throughout the implementation of our Climate Emergency Action Plan.
Somerset-wide Climate Emergency Strategy
The five Somerset Local Authorities have all passed resolutions to declare or recognise 'Climate Emergencies' and have since agreed to collaborate to produce and deliver an ambitious, joint Climate Emergency Strategy encompassing the county of Somerset.The draft Climate Emergency Strategy, put together by the five councils in Somerset, has now been published in the website here.
In January this year people in Somerset were invited to have their say about the global Climate Emergency and Somerset's plans to become carbon neutral by 2030.
The key themes in Somerset's Draft Climate Emergency Strategy are energy, transport, built environment, business and industry, natural environment, farming and food, water, waste and communications.
The Climate Emergency Strategy outlines what action will be taken under each theme. In addition, in the Summary Strategy, some actions are given on how everyone can contribute to Somerset becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Two surveys were carried out earlier this year for 11 to 18s and another for over 18s to help shape the draft plan.
A series of 'have your say' drop in events were also held in each district area and a business summit where people found out how the five councils in Somerset are working together on their approach to the Climate Emergency and how they aim to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. Over 5000 people took part in the surveys and drop in events.
The results of the public feedback were used to inform the direction of Somerset's draft Climate Emergency Strategy, which will now be going through a formal governance process, including through the scrutiny committees and full council meetings at each of the five councils.
This will be debated by Sedgemoor on 16th November at Scrutiny and at Special Executive and Council on 25th November.
|Councillor Duncan McGinty, Leader of Sedgemoor District Council|
What have Sedgemoor District Council done so far?
As an organisation and one of the largest employers in the district, we have already started taking practical steps. The drive to become a carbon neutral district by 2030 starts now and we have started work to set out the steps we as an organisation can achieve. To support this, we have a dedicated staff member for climate change actions, who is supported by the Leadership team.
Already we have:
Replaced 416 street lights in car parks, housing estate walk ways with LED bulbs. This will reduce electricity consumption by 60%. £60,000 has been set aside over 3 years to achieve this objective.
24 of the 30 our car park ticket machines have been replaced so they are powered by solar and not mains electricity. The remaining six will be replaced over the next three years so effectively all machines will be powered by renewable energy
We have installed tap aerators in the taps here at their main offices Bridgwater House in Bridgwater, to save water. We have also installed LED lights at Bridgwater House to reduce electricity consumption.
Run an electric and a hybrid (electric/petrol) pool car since 2015. The all-electric car has saved 12,569kg carbon in 4 years.
Encouraged staff to cycle to work, work from home and use technology for meetings, rather than driving.
Adopted a transport strategy with a focus on encouraging more sustainable transport including cycling and walking - The Bridgwater Way.
We were the first Council in Somerset to adopt a single use plastic policy.
We have set up five internal groups looking at practical measure that we as a large organisation can take to reduce carbon emissions. These are green travel, our staff canteen, recycling and waste, tree planting and thorough review of all our policies, strategies and procedures to see if we can improve or include any climate change actions.
For more information on climate change adaptation projects going on in and around Sedgemoor, please see the following document:
What you can do to help
Do you have ideas on how you, your family, your street, your local neighbourhood, school, business or community group can reduce carbon emissions? Maybe you're already doing something to tackle climate change and you'd like to share that with others. We'd love to hear your thoughts on what other measures we should be taking, ideas and top tips for others to use.
Alongside the other councils, we are running two surveys. One is specifically aimed at young people between the ages of 11 and 18 and one lucky participant will win £25 for submitting their ideas.
The other questionnaire is for over 18s and there are two prizes of £75. Both surveys can be found at https://www.somerset.gov.uk/waste-planning-and-land/climate-emergency