Environment Strategy

Published: 16 January 2020

West Berkshire Council statement on draft Environment Strategy

Date: 09 January 2020

 Have your say on our draft Environment Strategy

West Berkshire Council has developed a draft Environment Strategy in response to its declaration of a Climate Emergency in July 2019. The draft Strategy details the different ways the Council, with the help of the local community and businesses, can contribute towards tackling the climate crisis and achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.

The Council will lead by ensuring it is doing all it can within its own operation, and continue the initiatives we have already committed to making a start on since last year. These initiatives will make a positive contribution to protecting and preserving our natural environment as well as assisting us to become carbon neutral by 2030.  These include:

  • installing more solar panels across our estate, aiming for a significant contribution from solar energy towards the Council’s energy consumption and beyond;
  • continuing to increase the number of charging points for electric vehicles in West Berkshire; and
  • conducting a Council carbon audit so we understand our challenges and are better placed to become carbon neutral by 2030.

We have reviewed and analysed relevant data and engaged with a range of stakeholders over the last six months to gain insights into the priorities, challenges and opportunities related to our carbon neutral target and wider environmental concerns.

Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for the Environment for West Berkshire Council, said: “The Environment Strategy is a significant focus for us and while we want to lead on this important issue, we know the Council cannot deliver this strategy alone: everyone across West Berkshire has a role to play.

“The changes we can make will vary in size but all are important as we work towards our shared aspiration. The publication of this strategy, we hope, will act as a catalyst to residents, businesses and interested groups that we all need to adjust our own priorities and behaviours if we are to rise to the challenge that climate change presents to us all.  Please therefore read the strategy, respond to the consultation and, crucially think about what action you can take to make its aims a reality.”

The climate presents us all with a challenge that we must meet to secure a safer, greener environment for the generations that follow us. We recognise the Council needs to engage more with the local community, schools, town and parish councils, local environment groups and the business community. We will be holding various focus groups and drop-in sessions across the district in local libraries during February - more information will be announced on the website soon.

The consultation on the strategy will begin on Thursday 9 January 2020 and will be open for 6 weeks from this date, closing on 21 February 2020.

To read the strategy and take part in the consultation, please visit our website: www.westberks.gov.uk/draftenvironmentstrategy.