Willingham Parish Council Climate Change and Sustainability Statement
At its meeting on 6 May 2020 Willingham Parish Council (WPC) adopted the following statement:
“Willingham Parish Council fully supports the urgent need to tackle the issues surrounding global warming and its impact on climate change. Within its limited resources the Council will do what it can to assist in the aim of ensuring the long-term sustainability of our environment.”
Back in 2008 the Climate Change Act established a legally binding target to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels. Over the past year or so the dramatic effect of these emissions on our climate has become widely recognised as a very urgent problem and tackling it has moved higher up the agenda. In addition to greenhouse gas reduction, the sustainability of our environment also involves issues such as biodiversity, pollution and plastic waste.
Fundamental change requires international and national commitments, but local authorities also have an important part to play. WPC will continue to engage fully with CCC and SCDC, both of which have declared climate emergencies and are working on policies and strategies towards net zero carbon. WPC was represented at the recent SCDC Zero Carbon Communities workshop aimed at helping and supporting local communities such as ours.
Though WPC has limited powers it can make a difference. The following are examples of recent actions:
Meadow Road site: Fifty oak trees have been planted to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day and poppy seeds sown. It is hoped that additional Silver Birch trees will also be planted on the site.
Community Orchard: WPC liaised closely with and supported the Willingham Action Group (WAG) in establishing the community orchard in 2015, planting more than 850 trees.
Street Lighting: The Council has taken over the provision and payment of electricity for the streetlights SCDC is responsible for in the village (the majority are under the remit of CCC). The supplier that the Council has chosen is a provider of renewable energy. It is also anticipated that over the next two years the lights will be changed to LED.
Lights in the Ploughman Hall: The Council has had the hall lights converted to LED.
Floodlights on the Rec: These have also been converted to LED.
Ploughman Hall Heating: The Council is continuing to seek funding to improve the heating in the Ploughman Hall so that it is much more efficient.
Planning: The planning committee takes the environmental aspects of new planning applications very seriously, within the constraints imposed by SCDC.
Possible future actions could include:
- Solar panels
- Grants to local organisations who are reducing carbon (green projects)
- Survey PC land and develop a 5 year plan to improve biodiversity and ecology by growing wild flowers etc, adding to work already done in the Orchard and Meadow Road
- Community workshops to learn about green spaces and how to protect them
- A water fountain at the pavilion to remove single use plastic bottles
- Aim to go ‘single use plastic free’ as a Council and create a hirer’s charter reflecting this.
- Publicise what we are doing on our website