Work on tackling climate change in Calderdale up for prestigious award

Calderdale Council is in the running for a prestigious national local government publication award for its work to tackle climate change.

Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 8:00 am

The council is one of ten councils shortlisted in the Climate Response category of this year’s LGC Awards, held annually by the Local Government Chronicle, which aim to recognise the best of local government innovation and service delivery.

Calderdale declared a climate emergency in 2019, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2038 at the latest, with significant progress by 2030.

The council’s award submission recognises the threat that climate change represents in Calderdale and highlights the significant progress made to tackle the climate crisis since 2019, says the authority.

Coun Scott Patient

Tackling climate change is one of the three priorities for the council – the others are reducing inequalities and promoting strong towns – and despite the challenges of COVID the authority has progressed a range of key projects.

News of the nomination came at the same time as BBC research suggested more than a third of English councils support policies that could increase carbon emissions despite having declared a “climate emergency”.

But the council’s award submission outlines measures including use of electric vehicles in the council’s fleet, additional electric vehicle charging points in the borough, tree planting, LED street lights installation, energy efficiency improvements in council buildings and helping provide insulation for low-income households.

The council is also working in partnership with the Community Foundation for Calderdale to launch a Climate Emergency Fund to help combat the impact that climate change is having on the borough – more than £1 million has been pledged to support local projects, with the community group element able to source match-funding not available to the council.

The council has come in for some criticism recently over some highway and housing issues regarding impact air quality but the authority argues these contain measures to meet environmental challenges.

The council’s Cabinet member for Climate Change and Resilience, Coun Scott Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said in Calderdale people were living with the impacts of the climate crisis.

“In February 2020, the borough suffered its fourth major flood in just eight years – unfortunately this means that the borough is flooding more frequently than at any other time in its history.

“As a council, we therefore recognise more than most the need for urgent action to tackle climate change – it’s one of our key priorities and environmental impacts are a consideration in every decision we make.

“I’m delighted this commitment to the climate agenda has been recognised by the LGC and it’s a real achievement to be shortlisted.

“Our nomination acknowledges what we’ve already achieved and also our ambitious plans for rapid climate action, both within the council and borough-wide, working with local partners and our communities,” he said.

Further judging will take place in the autumn with the final awards ceremony taking place in November 2021.

* Support your Halifax Courier by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe