On June 27th I answered my first ever question at the Wokingham Borough Council Executive.

Cllr UllaKarin Clark asked me;

“Forty councils across Britain, including Reading, have recently declared a Climate Emergency. Does your newly created role mean that Wokingham is joining with other councils and their climate change initiates? And if so, what can we expect in the coming months that will help stem the tide of climate change, and improve the environment of all our residents?

I replied;

John Halsall started the process of declaring a Climate Emergency during his maiden speech as leader of the council on May 22nd. Following on from his speech the council has prepared a formal motion, declaring a climate emergency, which will be brought forward for a vote of the full council at it’s next meeting on in July.

To support our ambition of being Carbon Neutral by 2030, over the next six months we will be working to develop a Climate Change Emergency Action Plan, a key part of which will be to understand what our existing carbon footprint is and then to identify measures to either reduce or offset our carbon emissions. A partnership group will also be established to help monitor progress.

The Wokingham Borough Climate Emergency Action Plan will look at all actions and opportunities available to us to help reduce our carbon emissions and address climate change. I am particularly keen to ask our residents, our businesses, our charities and our schools for their thoughts and ideas on how we tackle this most important of issues. These will then be carefully considered and the most appropriate will be actioned.

I would also add that Wokingham Borough Council is already undertaking some bold and highly successful initiatives for helping to address climate change. The food waste recycling scheme has just collected its one thousandth ton, there are programmes in place for reducing the amount of energy used on the council’s own property estate and we have many sustainable development and transport policies already in place. All of these, coupled with the update to the local plan to include even more sustainability policies and targets will help us take steps to reduce our carbon emissions and reach our carbon neutral goal.

Although this is a global issue, local actions matter. Wokingham Borough Council is already demonstrating that we take our environmental responsibilities seriously and the Climate Emergency declaration is further proof of this. We call on all members, regardless of political party to vote in support of this crucial motion and ask all residents to contribute as we work towards affecting positive change with this stretching, ambitious and essential objective.

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