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Go ahead for action plan to reduce carbon emissions

A 33-point plan to continue Folkestone & Hythe District Council on its journey to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2030 has been given the go-ahead.

Trees against blue sky

The range of actions, some of which can be tackled quickly and others which will take longer to implement, focus on six key areas - energy; behaviour change; transport; water; contracts and biodiversity/green space.

The plan, drawn up by the council's Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group following work with experts, received unanimous support from the council's Cabinet on Wednesday (24 February 2021).

Cllr David Monk, Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, said: "I am very pleased that the action plan has been adopted and will be in place as we bring forward a number of major projects. We must reinforce the plan going forward as we make that journey to net carbon zero this council's primary policy."

Measures in the action plan include:

  • Examining the installation of low emission heating systems and water-saving technology in council-owned buildings

  • Providing carbon literacy training for staff and members and creating climate change staff champions

  • Exploring phased upgrading of the council fleet to hybrid or fully-electric vehicles

  • Ensuring contracted-out services demonstrate high levels of sustainability and commitment to carbon reduction

  • Continuing to work with partner agencies, businesses and community groups to develop appropriate flood mitigation measures and tree planting schemes across the district.

Councillor Lesley Whybrow, who chairs the working group as F&HDC Cabinet member for the Environment said: "I am delighted that the action plan has been given the whole-hearted support of Cabinet. The plan is a set of initial actions to reduce our carbon emissions by 2030 but also gives us a framework with which to assess bids for the climate reserve fund which the council has committed to in order to help achieve our goal."

The council has earmarked £4.75m through climate change reserve funding to support initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. To date £40k has been approved from the reserve to pay for on-street electric vehicle charging points across the district.

In addition the council is considering moving out of the Civic Centre building in Castle Hill Avenue to a purpose-built, carbon-efficient facility with office space, meeting rooms and a civic chamber, whilst maintaining a customer access point in Folkestone town centre.

Date published: 25 February 2021

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