Councillors agree next phase of action on climate emergency

Cabinet councillors at Lewes District Council have agreed the next phase of ‘vital and urgent’ work to address the climate emergency in Lewes district.

Shortly after the Co-operative Alliance took control of the council in July 2019, the new administration accelerated plans to achieve zero carbon emissions and climate resilience by 2030.

With the Co-operative Alliance’s first budget agreed by Cabinet, the financial plans support a range of measures that underpin the council’s determination to provide leadership on tackling the climate emergency.

Councillor Matthew Bird. Cabinet Member for Sustainability, said:

“On top of the £100,000 already allocated, we have put £500,000 in the budget to fund climate and sustainability related projects, but this is just the start of a transformation in how the council, in partnership with communities across the district, will turn our sustainability agenda into action on the ground.”

The £600k will allow work to begin immediately on decarbonising council homes, increasing tree and wildflower planting, extending the Upper Ouse project to reduce flood risk, assessing the viability of moving the council onto a green electricity tariff and introducing smart technology into the waste collection service. 

Two partnership bodies are being established to ensure the widest range of stakeholders are fully engaged in the ongoing operations.

Councillor Bird added:

“We have created a Sustainability Panel that allows experts to feed into the formulation of strategy and policies and are seeking to facilitate a Community Climate Panel to encourage the broadest ownership of the climate emergency in the district, and maintain open channels of communication and consultation, particularly with our younger residents.”

A long-term and fully costed strategy that is aligned to the council’s 12 sustainability priorities in the new corporate plan, will be presented to Cabinet in July 2020.