Daventry District Council should declare 'climate emergency' says scrutiny report

The report will be discussed at the Daventry District Council scrutiny meetingThe report will be discussed at the Daventry District Council scrutiny meeting
The report will be discussed at the Daventry District Council scrutiny meeting | other
Daventry District Council should declare a climate emergency to publicly recognise the ‘acute dangers’ of climate change.

That is the verdict of a panel of district councillors who were tasked with looking at whether the authority should follow the lead of more than 200 councils who have already declared such an emergency. Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council are among those to already do so.

Following months of research, the panel has recommended that the district council (DDC) follows suit and also aims to reach a position of net-zero emissions by 2030 on emissions that the council controls.

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The report has been compiled by councillors Rupert Frost (Conservative), Jonathan Harris (Liberal Democrat) and Ken Ritchie (Labour). It states: “DDC should declare a climate emergency and adopt a climate change strategy which should inform all DDC policies and decisions.

“Many emissions arise from people’s lifestyle choices. DDC must therefore engage with residents on climate emergency issues, making them aware of the threat and encouraging them to act in a way that reduces it. Changes to reduce emissions, however, must be presented not just as an imposition but as a way of improving the environment, saving costs, bringing health benefits and offering new economic opportunities.”

Other recommendations in the report, which was carried out as part of the scrutiny process, include encouraging local businesses to make their premises more energy efficient and end, or substantially reduce, their use of energy from fossil fuels.

It also says the council should facilitate and promote a transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to ones which use cleaner fuels.

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And it appears to suggest that the financial outlay for doing so will not be too much of a burden for the district council. The report states: “While the national response to the climate emergency will require massive investments, the demands on local authorities may not be as burdensome as they might first appear.

"Many, and indeed most, of the recommendations made in this report require only little council funding beyond what is likely to be available through Government programmes. Much can be achieved through appropriate policies, for example on building regulations and planning, and many of the measures proposed have the potential to bring about financial benefits as well as improvements in health and well-being.”

The report will be presented in full at a scrutiny meeting this evening (Tuesday January 21) but will require the approval of the full council if it is to be adopted.

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