Cambridgeshire council to spend £5m on tackling the climate emergency
Councillors have pledged £5million to help South Cambridgeshire tackle the global climate emergency.
The money will pay for a myriad of improvements linked to South Cambridgeshire District Council’s ‘green to the core’ priorities. This includes improving the council’s offices to cut carbon emissions and energy bills, as well as providing communities with grants for projects that do the same in their areas.
Further improvements include making council houses more energy efficient and helping people to cut down on the amount of food they waste. The investment was sanctioned by councillors at a meeting on Thursday (February 20) when the budget and business plan for SCDC was set.
The investment follows the council spending around £1.5m on improving council homes last year, and providing about £100,000 to 19 initiatives under the council’s zero carbon communities grant scheme.
The council now plans to invest in 2020-21:
n A further £100,000 on zero carbon community grants for community initiatives to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change
n £1.9m ‘greening’ its offices to cut energy bills and show others how they could go green
n A further £1.3m on improving energy efficiency of council homes
n £1.3m replacing 1,800 district council owned streetlights with LEDs, cutting energy consumption by 60 per cent
n £400,000 on an electric bin lorry to see whether it is viable to shift from a diesel to an all-electric fleet.
SCDC’s lead cabinet member for finance, Cllr John Williams, said:“The global climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges we face. That is why we have declared a climate emergency and are already taking bold action.
“We were named as one of the top performing councils for tackling climate change in a report late last year and are investing heavily so we can all enjoy a cleaner, greener future. We know more can always be done and we must all play our part.
“There is no doubt that we must take a different approach to our finances to be able to do this. That is why we have pledged to generate 25 per cent of the money we spend on services from our own investments.
“We are on a sound footing for our budget next year, but the challenge ahead is vast.”