Council leader calls for action on ‘climate change emergency’

Cllr Sam Corcoran

The leader of Cheshire East Council has called for local action to help tackle 'the emergency of climate change'.

A notice of motion tabled by the authority's new leader Councillor Sam Corcoran, which was seconded by Councillor Quentin Abel and backed by a unanimous vote of full council, called for a Cheshire East environmental strategy to be brought forward 'as a matter of urgency'.

The motion also called for the council to be carbon neutral by 2025 and said the local authority 'will work to encourage all businesses, residents and organisations in the borough to reduce their carbon footprint – by reducing energy consumption and promoting healthy lifestyles'.

Cllr Corcoran's notice of motion follows Parliament's declaration earlier this month of an 'environment and climate emergency'.

Councillor Sam Corcoran said: "The council recognises the importance of climate change and wants to reduce its carbon footprint even further. The key things we can do are to reduce the number of buildings we hold, improve the efficiency of our energy systems, promote recycling, increase the use of renewable energy and ensure we use vehicles efficiently in the delivery of our operational services.

"The council plans to bring forward a draft environment strategy in July, which will outline the steps the council can take to improve its impact on climate change and the environment."

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of the council and leader of the Independent group, said: "Climate change is an important issue and we must all do what we can, both as a council and as individuals, which is why I am supporting this motion. However, if this issue is to be seriously addressed, then it will need more agreement and co-operation at the national and international level."

Councillor Janet Clowes, group leader for the Conservative group, said: "Climate change is a global issue that demands collaborative action at international levels. However, individuals and organisations still have a vital role to play.

"Cheshire East Council has embraced this challenge and is already scheduled to launch its own environment strategy over the summer, building on its current 42 per cent carbon footprint reduction (achieved in 2016) and aiming to reduce it by a further 20 per cent by 2020."

Cheshire East Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Terry Roeves
Friday 24th May 2019 at 8:36 am
No on has been assigned as the Cabinet Member for dealing with the Climate Emergency.
All Councils need somebody exclusively to move this along at pace.
So much for us all to do and so little time. Parts of the Borough are fortunate to be a decent height above sea level. Much is not and whilst much is beyond our control, CEC can give the nation some direction.
The environmental strategy is needed now with a champion. It must lack nothing.
Pippa Jones
Tuesday 28th May 2019 at 12:23 pm
Terry is right....declaring a climate emergency is just the start, and without a clear plan of action on biodiversity and emissions reduction it is just talk. The next step will be for CEC to develop a carbon reduction and biodiversity plan ideally with a named Councillor to take it forward. It would be very helpful for WTC to do the same. We also need real government support, for example in supporting renewable energy and insulation and promoting biodiversity (current planning regulations seem to allow the felling of trees, pulling out of hedgerows, damaging or building on front gardens). We also need to get across the idea that a "greener" future is actually a better one....quieter roads, more birdsong, a fitter population (walking and cycling more) and less pollution. There's lots we can do as individuals but we also need help from councils and government. So congratulations to CEC for declaring a climate emergency, and we look forward to your carbon reduction plan. There are plenty of people locally with expertise and concern for the environment who would be glad to help.
Nick Jones
Tuesday 28th May 2019 at 1:52 pm
Agree fully...When you consider the Legacy ‘ Deliberate and systematic abuse’ of pollution data, affecting greenfield decimation / planning and avoidance of brownfield / town for residential purpose, its quite refreshing moving forward to see the legacy issues being faced in an environmentally realistic and sympathetic way by new Cllrs. There really seems to be an air for change / improvement now at CEC no matter what the originating party colours... Whilst there are many issues that could be considered; Better Insulation /Heating efficiency / Use of Brownfield / Unused shops / offices / Cycle lanes / and reducing carbon footprint etc.. Planting more trees and protecting green spaces is just one part, but an important part of that process and there should be a tariff of some sort to ensure each new development contributes toward a number of trees being planted in green spaces, shared spaces, copses, woods to help.

Perhaps CEC could look at its own footprint as well, I’m not aware of any of their buildings that I have seen using Solar panels etc to set good example ( There could be ! ). Cross party working together to challenge this very important topic is 'another positive' from this newly formed council.
Ade Whitaker
Tuesday 28th May 2019 at 7:14 pm
@Pippa makes a good point about bio-diversity. The current trend in Wilmslow for removing the entire frontage of houses, and replacing with border to border driveways is a major concern. How can this be good for the planet? It's bad for drainage/flooding and looks pretty horrible too. Front gardens provide habitats for all sorts of wildlife. It makes such a difference when you walk down a road and see houses with hedges, lawns, plants, trees etc rather than tarmac. I would like to see better environmental governance at all levels of government - including WTC and CEC. For this specific issue it would be good to have a local bye-law (if such a thing is possible). For example - any driveway development should preserve a certain percentage of the total area devoted to "garden" - and I don't mean plastic grass :-) I appreciate that people need to park but we need a proper balance rather than letting the car rule.
Rod Menlove
Tuesday 28th May 2019 at 9:22 pm
'CEC - I'm not aware of any of their buildings that I have seen using solar panels.'
Interesting quote from Nick Jones as ever being negative about CEC but erroneous.
Go to the second floor of Westfields and look out on solar panels.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 29th May 2019 at 8:00 am
Is that where the Lyme Green Report is hidden ? Publish it ! .. How much did your failings cost ? The reputational damage at CEC occurred on your watch.. just like Lyme green.. Asleep again ??

"Cross party working together to challenge this very important topic is 'another positive' from this newly formed council " is not a negative portrayal.

I've not had reason to fly over Westfields lately Is the second floor where the Lemmings who 'follow' and 'don't represent their electorate' jump from ?
Ben Davies
Wednesday 29th May 2019 at 6:27 pm
Must be some money in it for him somewhere along the line---like having a stake in a solar panel company. Sick of hearing about climate change and carbon footprint. Just run the council efficiently and recycle properly and that will be a start. I do not want to hear that street lighting has been turned off to reduce the carbon footprint when the real reason is cost cutting.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 30th May 2019 at 2:02 pm
This bunch were elected to run local services not pontificate on whether a "healthy lifestyle" will reduce your carbon footprint.
Until China, Germany and the good ole US of A start to deliver, gouging more from the over streched tax payer (who else pays) of Cheshire will make no difference whatsoever. Add to that the 15 countries busy burning down rainforest (15-25% of CO2 emissions) who should have their exports banned. I'm sure that would fit well with the caring Labour party.
If this lot want to have an immediate effect reduce the carting of kids to school in the old second car and start action to reduce unnecessary commuting.