Following its declaration of a climate change emergency, the Council has launched a consultation on its environmental strategy and is urging everyone to have their say on its priorities and vision for the future.
Cheshire East Council has developed its first draft Environmental Strategy 2019 - 2024 which sets out the strategic goals and priority actions the Council intends to take to respond to the global challenge of climate change, and to protect and enhance our local environment.
The council is now consulting on this strategy to see what you think of it, to see how you think it might be improved, and to see how you think the council could support the wider community to reduce its carbon footprint.
The goals of the Environmental Strategy are that:
- Cheshire East will be a carbon neutral council by 2025;
- Waste and pollution will be reduced;
- Air quality will improve;
- Increase sustainable transport and travel;
- Sensitive and sustainable new development; and
- Protect and enhance our natural environment.
Councillor Sam Corcoran leader of Cheshire East Council, said: "I believe that climate change is the greatest challenge facing our generation. We can tackle climate change and win – but it needs to be addressed on an international scale, a national scale, a local scale and an individual scale.
"We know what we have to do as individuals – we have to cut down on our energy usage, use our cars less, cut down on traffic congestion, improve air quality, walk and cycle more – and that's good for our health, as well as being good for the planet.
"We have to eat less red meat – and that's good for our health too. We can change behaviours. We can change hearts and minds. Or we can carry on as we are and change the climate for the worse.
"Cheshire East Council has set itself an ambitious target of being carbon neutral by 2025. However, the council only accounts for one per cent of the carbon emissions across the borough of Cheshire East.
"We also want to work with our partners, communities, businesses and residents to help them reduce their carbon emissions
"Please comment on the strategy to let us know how we can help you reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. This will, in turn, help the council to improve and strengthen its environmental strategy and its commitment to meet the challenge of climate change."
The Council has developed the following list of 12 priority actions:
- Develop an over-arching Carbon Strategy for the Council to achieve its carbon neutral aims by 2025 and to encourage all businesses, residents and organisations in Cheshire East to reduce their carbon footprint by Apr 2020
- Trial alternative fuel vehicles for our fleet vehicles to reduce transport related carbon emissions by Apr 2020
- Embed carbon reduction into Council procurement, purchasing and facilities management by Apr 2020
- Launch food waste recycling by Jan 2020Introduce Recycling on the Go street litter bin recycling in key town centres by Oct 2020
- Review and update the Council's Municipal Waste Management Strategy by Mar 2020
- Publish the 2019 Air Quality Annual Status Report by Sep 2019
- Publish the Local Transport Plan by Oct 2019
- Produce an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy to increase electric charging infrastructure provision and encourage the uptake of electric vehicle usage by Mar 2020
- Adopt the Site Allocations and development Policies Document of the Local Plan (Part 2) by July 2020
- Adopt the Minerals and Waste Development Plan (Local Plan Part 3) by Oct 2020
- Produce a Green Infrastructure Plan that guides the approach to Green Infrastructure management and investment in Cheshire East by Oct 2019
Councillor Quentin Abel, Cheshire East Council's environmental champion, said: "Most of our younger people (of any age) are deeply concerned about climate change. This is our first attempt at setting aims for our area and communities.
"We need your assistance. We absolutely welcome ideas and enthusiasms from our communities – we are all in this together. These might include tree planting and other forms of carbon capture, local energy schemes, transport solutions, building design and energy capture.
"You have the opportunity to have your say in the consultation, which is now live. Please don't miss out – if you have ideas, share them and be involved."
Photo: Councillor Sam Corcoran leader of Cheshire East Council.