Have your say on Council's green vision

Sam Corcoran 1

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."

The eight-week long environmental strategy consultation is now live until midnight on 24 November 2019

Photo: Councillor Sam Corcoran leader of Cheshire East Council.

Cheshire East Council


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

Jon Kelly
Wednesday 2nd October 2019 at 4:27 pm
I hope everyone will contribute to this consultation. This is one of the most important initiatives that is underway. Sam's point that the Council are a tiny fraction of the picture is spot on, we need people and organisations to look at their activities and where feasible procure local goods and services as locally as possible. Cheshire organisations like the National Trust and Nature Charities are starting, with wider partners, to develop wider long term land conservation plans, this very much has to be the way forward.
James MacDonald
Wednesday 2nd October 2019 at 7:19 pm
If they are serious, which is questionable, then the number one priority should be to encourage more walking and cycling, and significantly reduce the usage of motor vehicles. This starts with introducing a by-law to prosecute drivers that park on pavements so pedestrians can travel safely. It is already illegal to drive on pavements but the police turn a blind eye. Change legislation so the council can fine drivers. Increase spending on safe cycling lanes and not just painting a line down the middle of a pavement.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 3rd October 2019 at 6:41 am
I absolutely agree with Jon Kelly, the consultation is comprehensive and takes less than ten minutes to complete.

It can be completed either as an individual or as a representative of a group.
Alan Brough
Thursday 3rd October 2019 at 8:47 am
As part of this initiative, I look forward to hearing how CE Council propose to reinstate safe, reliable, clean and frequent Public Transport services that will entice people out of cars and back onto trains and buses.
David Nelson
Thursday 3rd October 2019 at 11:25 am
Let's all have a go at leaving packaging when possible at the checkout. I'm old enough to remember when fruit and veg came in paper bags. If we have to use plastic style bags let's follow the French approach with compostible bags made with starch
Mark Norman
Sunday 6th October 2019 at 10:31 am
I have to agree with James McDonald that shifting lots more journeys onto foot or cycle is a key element. I’d add that anything that the council can do to encourage retrofitting of insulation to homes is another area with huge potential.

However, the reality is that councils have very limited powers and resources. Uncomfortable though it is for many of us, to address the climate crisis adequately, action is needed on a massive scale... and fast. That requires political will not just in our town halls but, essentially, in Westminster.
Fred Rayers
Sunday 6th October 2019 at 7:02 pm
Paper bags are pretty poor as well, something like 4 times the energy and water needed for manufacture, greater transport costs as they weight more and less likely to be reused.