Comment on councils' plans to go greener
Published on 17th August 2012
A new document has been published which brings together all Waveney and Suffolk Coastal's environmental policies and shows how they intend to take action with local partners to go even greener.
Both Councils now want to hear the views of people living or working in their districts about their draft Joint Environmental Sustainability Policy and Action Plan (JESPAP).
"Both of our Councils have a track record of working to reduce our own environmental impacts but also involving others in our districts to make an even bigger impact. We have now reviewed all our existing policies and pulled all them all into one single document, a greenprint for the future," said Cllr Andrew Nunn, Suffolk Coastal's Cabinet Member for the Green Environment.
"Our draft JESPAP sets goals and actions for us as to how, by working with others, we will not only protect our unique natural environment but also reduce our impact on the wider environment, by taking measures that will lower our districts' carbon footprint and help reduce the levels of climate change we will need to adapt to," added Cllr Nunn.
Both Councils have a range of existing documents including a Sustainability Action Plan, a Local Agenda 21 Charter, a Climate Change Strategy and a Green Travel Plan, and all of these have been revisited and turned into the JESPAP.
There is no statutory duty to consult on the JESPAP, but both Councils are keen to receive responses to a survey on the draft document by Friday, September 28.
"We are hoping to receive comments that may improve our draft document, but also to identify new partnerships or volunteers who could work with us to meet the challenges of improving the local environment and making more sustainable use of resources while recognising the need for economic growth," said Cllr Stephen Ardley, Waveney's Cabinet Member for the Green Environment.
"Of course there is probably less national or local funding to carry out some of the environmental projects that we would all like to see, but that makes it even more important to work together to get maximum value from the resources that are there, whether that is hard cash or the enthusiasm and commitment of volunteers," added Cllr Ardley.
The JESPAP has been developed alongside the second Suffolk Climate Change Action Plan. Its main focus is on how the two Councils can make their own buildings and services greener. There are four priority action areas which including community-based initiatives.
The action plan includes improving the energy efficiency of Waveney's Council homes, working with the Environment Agency, Town and Parish Councils and others to develop appropriate local emergency plans; promoting community-led planning and local environmental action; and promoting recycling and waste reduction.
The JESPAP highlights some of the successes already underway thanks to the Councils, such as the free Suffolk Coastal Business Energy Advice Service run by Groundwork East of England which in three years has helped 146 local businesses find potential savings of nearly £700,000, and the Waveney Harbour Ward Community Energy Saving Programme managed by Bright Green which has seen £2.6million spent on efficiency and heating measures to reduce the fuel bills of householders in most need.
The survey can be found online with the draft JESPAP at www.waveney.gov.uk/jespap and all responses received by September 28 2012 will be considered. Printed versions are available at Suffolk Coastal's Melton Hill offices and Waveney's Town Hall.
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