Herefordshire Council is set to invest £1.33million to progress priority sustainability projects across the county following a Cabinet decision (Thursday 28 April).
The council has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 to help tackle the climate challenge, and is leading the way across the county towards the goal of achieving net zero carbon.
The projects introduce new sustainability measures in people’s homes, greener transport options and further enhancements to the natural environment. They have been identified taking into account the recommendations of the Citizen’s Climate Assembly held in January this year, building on work underway across the county, and in light of national best practice and guidance.
The priority projects being progressed include:
Making homes more energy efficient – supporting the installation of measures to help keep homes warmer including training for local tradespeople to strengthen local skills, and funding free home energy efficiency audits to help people identify ways to save money
Greener travel to school – encouraging families to adopt alternatives to travelling by car for the school-run to help improve health and air quality, and upgrading school transport to electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions
Supporting uptake of electric vehicles – introducing more on-street charging points closer to where people live, and providing incentives and support for taxi and private hire car companies to switch to electric vehicles
Enhancing the natural environment – developing a county-wide nature recovery strategy to improve air quality and access to nature, and aligned with this a tree strategy to ensure a combined effort to tree planting and ensuring the ‘right trees are in the right place’
Councillor Ellie Chowns, Cabinet member for environment and economy said: “Action that benefits the planet benefits people too. These priority projects are an important step towards meeting our ambition to be a zero carbon county, and will be good for health, wellbeing and the economy.
“We know our residents are passionate about protecting the natural environment. They have told us that they want the council to do more to support them to live more sustainably, and we are responding. These projects offer practical support to help people have warmer homes and better transport options. They also help protect our beautiful countryside and wildlife, and will increase tree-planting too.
“These projects have many short-term benefits like new skills and lower bills, but they also have a real long-term focus: they are about what sort of county we want to hand on to our children. I am really glad that there is such widespread support for these actions”.
Detailed proposals for each of the identified priority projects will now be developed.
A link to the decision paper and action plan which highlights the priority actions being progressed can be found on the council website https://councillors.herefordshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=251&MId=8148&Ver=4