TOWN councillors in Bradford on Avon have unanimously approved a Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy, outlining how the council will tackle the joint emergencies up until 2025.

The strategy was adopted at January’s full council meeting and includes specific measures approved by its environment and planning committee in December.

It provides for around £100,000 of specific funding in 2021-22, and commits the council to allocating at least ten per cent of its annual budget to this ongoing work in future years.

Council leader Cllr Dom Newton said: “This strategy is important in setting the blue-print for how we will approach what is now a defining public policy issue, both in our town and the world beyond.

"In setting a budget target of ten per cent per year to tackle the joint emergencies, and specific projects which are already starting to be delivered, the strategy is a living, breathing document not just fine words on a page."

"People sometimes ask what we, as a town council, or even individuals, can realistically do to address a global issue. The answer is simple; we can’t do everything but we can do something. If everyone does what they can, that can quickly add up to real change."We have a choice; to ignore what’s already happening to our planet or to step forward and take action, so that future generations are not made to suffer through our lack of action, and will hopefully, face a brighter future.”Upcoming projects supported by the funding will include installation of electric vehicle charging points at various locations in the town; provision of TerraCycling collection points for recycling hard-to-recycle materials; provision of recycling bins; and test-driving electric vehicles for use by the town wardens and community emergency volunteers.

The council will also continue to provide information on how the public can play a role, through their own actions, to reduce carbon footprints and support biodiversity.

The council will continue to work with Wiltshire Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council and other local authorities – recognising that issues affecting climate and biodiversity reach across parish and county perimeters.

It also commits to greener approaches to planning and town development projects such as the skatepark and Culver Close Pavilion, future tree planting and the implementation of recommendations arising from the recently completed Ecosulis Biodiversity Survey to be published soon.

In addition, it recognises the value of collaborative approaches and work with community groups such as Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon and the Bradford on Avon Preservation Trust, alongside local businesses and organisations further afield who may bring specific expertise to the table.

Members of the council's environment and planning committee were recently involved in a pilot project with the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol and the University of Exeter, trialling software that gives detailed information on local carbon emissions to highlight areas needing attention.

Additionally, this year’s funding includes up to £16,000 to be spent on grants specifically aimed at addressing the joint emergencies, with £6,000 of this allocated to projects to be devised by young people in the town.

Applications to these funds are open now, with the monies aimed at supporting community-led projects.

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