THE WHEELS are in motion to make Warwickshire greener.
Members of Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet met to receive an update on the draft Sustainable Futures Strategy on Thursday (June 15).
Decarbonising Warwickshire’s fleet of vehicles and reducing WCC’s carbon footprint through the modernising of heating systems in its buildings will be major areas of focus as the council seeks to meet its green targets.
The Cabinet heard feedback on WCC’s draft Sustainable Futures Strategy following an extensive period of public engagement in late 2022 and early 2023. The feedback will allow the council to make improvements to the strategy.
Further focused engagement will now take place over the summer prior to finalising the strategy in the autumn.
Councillors were also updated on progress made since first approving the draft strategy.
This includes obtaining an allocation of £3.3million capital funding to deliver electric vehicle charge points primarily for residents who do not have off-street parking, the allocation of funding for 38 climate-related community projects under round two of the Green Shoots fund, bringing the total to 107 funded projects over phases one and two, and the establishment of a tree nursery supporting WCC’s commitment to plant a tree for every resident by 2030. Twenty thousand acorns have been planted to date.
Meanwhile, outcomes of work to decarbonise the council buildings and transport operations have delivered reductions in carbon emissions by eight per cent, on track with the targets necessary to reach net zero carbon by 2030.
Further projects include the launch of the new countywide energy strategy, the creation of a renewable energy plan, the creation of an offsetting plan, a fleet decarbonisation strategy and a review of hydrogen for transport across Warwickshire, all of which will be developed in the 2023/24 financial year.
WCC climate spokesperson Coun Heather Timms said: “What Cabinet heard today was a very clear message that the county council is leading from the front and showing what needs to be done. We have agreed to put meaningful measures in place which will significantly and swiftly reduce the county’s carbon emissions.
“But we have always said that, if we are to successfully tackle this challenge, we have to do it together – with our communities. The planned funding to work with SMEs and schools, are excellent examples of empowering our communities so that we can all make changes that will make a difference. As the strategy has moved forwards, we have listened to our communities, taken their thoughts on board and now we are working with them. It’s very exciting progress.”
The final draft of the Sustainable Futures Strategy will be considered by Overview and Scrutiny Committees and the the Members’ Climate Emergency Group in September 2023 for comment before consideration by Cabinet in the autumn of 2023.
The complete draft strategy is available at www.bit.ly/SustFuturesStratFull