Agenda item

Update on Council's response to the climate emergency

Report of the Chief Executive



Cllr Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change presented a report which provided an update on progress and actions taken in response to the climate emergency.


Cllr Holder explained that the council has made significant progress in responding to the climate emergency and in particular against the seven Climate Strategy themes, with the Council being awarded  the Bronze Carbon Literate Organisation award. He reported on the energy and effort of the Climate Team and is encouraged by the recruitment of an additional 3 officers to the Team. In particular, Cllr Holder commented on the Council’s ranking of 5th best unitary authority in the UK for its response to climate change, an independent report from Anthesis finding that the Council is in a very strong position to meet its carbon neutral commitment by 2030, the recent LGA Peer Review stating that the Council is excelling in work to address climate change, the Climate Emergency Task Group playing a vital role, key performance indicators developed to track progress against objectives, the role of Area Board in addressing climate change and environmental issues as a priority for 2022/23 and the work with Wiltshire Climate Alliance. Cllr Holder then spoke in detail about the seven delivery themes for Transport, Housing and the Built Environment, Natural Environment, Energy, Green Economy, Waste and Carbon Neutral Council.


The Leader reflected on his attendance at a number of high profile events and the recognition of the work undertaken by the Climate Team.


The Deputy Leader commented on the importance and impact of working in the community and Area Board involvement in and funding of environmental projects.


Cllr Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure, Libraries, Facilities Management and Operational Assets highlighted the impressive and excellent work being undertaken by the Climate Team.


Cllr Clare Cape echoed the comments of the Cabinet members and welcomed the development of performance indicators, the carbon literacy training and Area Board activity.


Cllr Graham Wright, Chairman of the Climate Emergency Task Group reported that the Task Group welcomed the council’s commitment to give an update every six months on progress toward tackling climate change. He confirmed that the Task Group had received and considered the report at their meeting on 28 April 2023. He also recognised and appreciated the amount of work to this point, particularly by the Climate Team, and others across the whole council.


Cllr Tamara Reay spoke about the work being undertaken in Devizes with partners and specific action with schools and travel to school, and had confidence that the Council will reach its objectives.


Cllr Tony Jackson commented on Local  Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Capability Fund and future issues for those residents unable to park outside their homes. Cllr Thomas explained that it was anticipated that this funding would continue, and it could be allocated towards aiding the necessary infrastructure. 




That the actions taken in response to the climate emergency following the last update in October 2022 be noted.


Reason for Decision:


To provide Cabinet with an update on actions taken in response to the climate emergency.


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