Climate change plan gets the green light

COUNCILLORS in Hastings have endorsed a plan to help tackle climate change over the coming years.

The authority’s cabinet committee unanimously adopted the strategy at their meeting last Monday (September 10) to help the town become greener.

There are 10 themes in the plan, ranging from low carbon homes and businesses, energy, transport, waste, water, food, health, the natural environment and community engagement.

Each theme has a number of agreed actions and plans for future opportunities which include continuing to support the development of the Coastal Space project in St Leonards, which aims to increase the quality and efficiency of existing poor quality homes, increase the range of materials which can be recycled at the doorstep and plan for a network of cycle routes.

The plan, which was put out to formal consultation during the Spring, attracted more than 50 responses.

It also draws on the expertise of European partners in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Germany as part of the wider Future Cities project which is co-financed by the Interreg IVB programme for north west Europe.

Cllr Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: “Changes to our climate will impact in lots of ways on the way in which we live.

“Our houses, schools and offices must be equipped to function during heatwaves, withstand increasingly stormy weather and be resilient to flooding.

“The plan will build upon a series of events, discussions and workshops to bring together those who are working to mitigate, and adapt to, these effects across sectors in the town.”

“We need to protect those who may be most vulnerable, while also making the most of any opportunities that may arise from these changes.

“We as a council hit our target of reducing our carbon emissions by 10 per cent by 2010 and by 2015 we will have lowered them by a further 25 per cent. We are committed to a greener Hastings and our new waste contract will see a 50 per cent recycling rate.

“The challenge is how we can get economic growth in Hastings at the same time as not damaging the environment, and having a low carbon footprint.”