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Council sets out first stage of climate emergency action plan

Wirral Council is unveiling new plans to tackle the climate emergency it announced in July.

The initial plans, developed in the context of a new climate strategy for Wirral, could be approved as early as next week.

If approved, the plans could see a number of key changes implemented across the borough which will radically transform Wirral Council’s environment-related policies.

In fact, the plans outline that going forward, key Council decisions will be required to consider their impact on the environment and climate change, across all services.

A report has been written, which will be discussed at a Council overview and scrutiny meeting this month, updating the council’s work since it declared a climate emergency in July this year. The report, which details some changes which are already in place, also includes the first stages of a climate and environment emergency initial action plan to kick off the proposals.

Cllr Liz Grey, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “The decision to declare a climate emergency this Summer was a significant move and crucial step in the journey toward Wirral’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.

“A key part of this journey is developing a Climate Emergency Action Plan which commits that we will do all in our power to achieve this goal.”

The action plan is made up of a variety of new strategies, policy changes and goals to be completed or commenced over the next few months.

Some key elements and policies outlined in the plan include: 

  • A new policy for encouraging the growth of pollinators and wildflowers along hedges and verges.
  • New proposals for developing electric vehicle charging provision across the borough.
  • Plans to establish a network of Environment and Climate Emergency Champions in the Council’s workforce.
  • A review and update of the Council’s procurement policy, reflecting the climate emergency.

These policies have been developed by the Council, following engagement with the public and close work with the Wirral Cool Partnership, a group comprised of a number of statutory, charitable and voluntary organisations.

Cllr Grey continued: “As a newly-appointed cabinet member for climate change I am determined to listen to residents’ concerns and work closely with local environment specialists to deliver this on this plan, tailoring key decision to our borough’s needs and issues.

“The new plans, if approved, will see some dramatic changes across Wirral in its strides to become an eco-friendly borough.

“Since announcing a climate emergency, we have instigated several initiatives including Wirral’s Clean Air Campaign and the LED light program. If our plans are approved this will formalising the many strategies outlined in the report, and all us to take them from the drawing board and into reality.”

"Although Wirral has faced recent challenges in its approach to the local environment, I am determined that we all learn from these and develop a much more positive and ecologically friendly attitude to our precious natural world."

The plans will be discussed at this month’s overview and scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday 24th September 2019 (action19).