27th November 2020

Councils collaborate on Climate

A Local Council Climate Action Planning workshop was held yesterday, sponsored by BANES Council and supported by Bradford on Avon Town Council, to assist local parishes on their journey to carbon neutrality.   

The Town Council invited several neighbouring parishes to join the online event, which was also attended by Parish Councils from across Bath and North East Somerset. Of the Wiltshire parishes invited, we were thrilled to be joined by delegates from WinsleyCorshamLimpley StokeMonkton FarleighWarminster and Trowbridge. 

Bradford on Avon Town Council was represented by three CouncillorsAlex Kay, Dom Newton and Sarah Gibson, and four officers at the day-long event. The event was hosted by Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), and focused on helping councils develop action plans to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate and ecological emergencies at both in-house and community levels. 

Leader of the Council, Cllr Dom Newton, who liaised with CSE and BANES to allow provision for Bradford on Avon and our neighbouring parishes to attend said; 

A huge thanks to CSE for a very informative and inspiring day! It was great to meet Councillors from all over northwest Wilts and BANES; to hear about the actions they are taking or considering, and also giving the Town Council the opportunity to showcase some of our projects for those just starting on the path. Whilst there is clearly much more work to do, providing opportunity for smaller local parishes to also access this brilliant workshop was beneficial for all involved 

A CSE spokesperson said: 

“It was really promising to see such enthusiasm from the councils on the day, and their strong motivation to drive forward innovative action on the climate emergency in their local communities.” 

It was agreed by the Environment and Planning Committee in July 2020 as part of the amendment to our Climate Emergency to declaran Ecological
 that this should include investment in training for both our own members and officers, and also recognise the benefit of collaborating with our neighbouring parishes. 

Cllr Newton who proposed this added 

The Bradford on Avon area shares a long boundary with Bath and North East Somerset, and many travel between these towns and villages every day, sharing a river valley and habitats. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are at a critical point, and do not recognise county borders; they affect the whole planet.  While the task can seem daunting,  if we work together and share ideas, we can have a hugely positive impact.” 

The day started with a stark reminder about the reasons why urgent action is required; succinctly summarised in the following video:

Cllr Alex Kay, who seconded the motion and is Chair of the E&P Committee and Deputy Mayor said of the event: 

“It was an interesting and lively day sharing ideas and views on the Climate Emergency during the virtual Conference. It was amazing to network with representatives from over 20 town & parish councils from nearby I could feel the ground-swell of energy to really make a difference!” 

Councillor Sarah Warren, joint cabinet member for BANES Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, said: 

“When the council (BANESdeclared a Climate Emergency last year, we pledged to provide leadership to enable the district to become carbon-neutral by 2030. If we are to achieve this aim, we must support organisations to take action and embed change. Town and parish councils will play a key role, not only by setting an example and providing leadership themselves, but also by providing a focal point to stimulate practical, grassroots action in their area. 

Bradford on Avon Town Council has recently launched a new Climate an Ecological Emergency section on our website, where you can find out about what we have achieved so far, what is on the drawing board, and much more. Visit https://bradfordonavontowncouncil.gov.uk/climate-ecological-emergencies/ to find out more.

To discover more about CSE’s Local Council Action Planning days visit: https://www.cse.org.uk/news/view/2516