Maldon District Council approves key climate action document

  Posted: 12.01.22 at 19:57 by Charlotte Lillywhite

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Maldon District Council has approved a new climate action strategy in efforts to become carbon neutral by 2030, after declaring a climate emergency in February 2021.

The document was set to be discussed by councillors last month, but the meeting was shelved before any items on the agenda could be debated, after chairman Mark Heard cited “disorderly conduct” by Councillor Chrisy Morris.

Councillor Morris had refused to leave the building, saying: “I’m a democratically-elected member and I will be heard.”

It followed the cancellation of the preceding district council meeting before any items on the agenda could be discussed.

The council has now approved its new climate action strategy - called Our Home, Our Future - and set out details of its five pledges on tackling climate change.

Three pledges focus on engagement with residents - “kick the car habit”, “create less waste” and “show nature we care” - which includes requiring all future buses and taxis to be electric vehicles, homegrown initiatives, planting more trees and supporting rewilding.

The remaining two pledges are commitments from the council to “be an authority that leads by example” and to “demonstrate a strong policy commitment to climate action”.

Councillor Richard Siddall, leader designate of the council, said: “Since declaring a climate emergency back in February 2021, a great deal of work has gone into developing the strategy that will help us to focus on areas where climate action can be made between now and 2030.

“The strategy has identified a broad number of activities where the council, residents, businesses, and delivery organisations can be encouraged to invest, change behaviours, and adopt greener ways of living.

“Much of this is dependent on investment, enabling important changes, helping people to make positive, healthier choices and decisions.”

A report on the strategy says: “Maldon district is bounded by 70 miles of coastline and has a number of areas around Mayland, Tollesbury and Goldhanger where sea defences are at risk of being below the acceptable level of protection, potentially causing flooding to homes and valuable agricultural land.

“This is a serious concern when, as a county, flooding is set to double by 2040, impacting 75,000 homes.”

It adds: “With the prospect of greater development occurring across the district combined with the rate of flooding, a rise in sea levels, increased subsidence and rising levels of pollution, the council and people who live in the district need to act.”

As part of the strategy, the council is set to develop a climate funding plan which it hopes will attract external funding to implement the action plan.

The council is also looking to appoint more Climate Action Friends to focus on local action and engaging with service providers and communities.

Hattie Phillips, Plume Academy student and Lead Youth Climate Action Friend, said: “I’m hopeful and optimistic that the work the council is doing will support people like me and lots of other Climate Action Friends in the community to have conversations, so that together we can help the district’s climate and nature.”

To register your interest in becoming a Climate Action Friend, email [email protected]

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