Extraordinary Council meeting of Full Council, Monday 20 September, Councillors will be asked to review and agree Braintree District Council’s revised draft Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.
The public engagement on the draft strategy began in May 2021 for a period of eight weeks and used a range of engagement tools from online simulators, social media, face-to-face engagement as well as engagement with schools to hear the views of our young people.
It was clear from the feedback received that people’s awareness of climate change is high. It is also clear that the majority of respondents felt that we can all do more to tackle climate change and there were a number of differing views as to the best way to do this.
Some of the comments from residents included that they were driving less, walking more, buying second hand clothes and reducing the amount they throw away choosing instead to donate items to others. Many others said they will litter pick, recycle, grow their own fruit and veg and find alternatives to plastics.
Alongside Resources, Built Environment, Natural Environment, Transport, Adapting to Climate Change and Energy Conservation, a new theme Business and the Green Economy has been included, to recognise the link between climate change and businesses and how Braintree can become the home of green construction and support businesses to become carbon neutral. The Horizon 120 Business and Innovation Park* and I-Construct Innovation Centre at Springwood Drive* are current examples of working with local partners and businesses to create new, modern and more sustainable developments.
The public’s input and priorities of how best climate change can be tackled in the Braintree District has helped the council revise its draft strategy, which will be discussed alongside the draft cycling strategy.
Cllr Wendy Schmitt, Cabinet Member for Environment at Braintree District Council, said: “Climate change is something most of us are worried about and what really came across in the engagement activity is that we all want to do our bit. I would like to thank all those who took the time to give their views because it has helped us to refine our strategy and create a practical action plan which we can all contribute to.”
The strategy builds on the work Braintree District Council has already undertaken over the years to help the environment and address climate change. Since 2005, the Council has cut its own emissions by half and has worked with others to deliver a range of initiatives to mitigate the impacts of climate change across the District, including energy saving boilers, solar panels, encouraging people to waste less and recycle more, supported businesses to implement energy efficiency measures, flood alleviation schemes and habitat creation.
The revised draft Climate Change Strategy and draft Action Plan can be found in the agenda for Full Council here. People can also view the Cycling Strategy and its draft implementation plan.