West Lindsey’s Environment and Sustainability Action Plan has been assessed in a study published by an independent environmental campaign group.
The group examined every council in the country on their climate action plans, with West Lindsey District Council being in the top 50% nationwide.
Climate Emergency UK assessed local authorities using Council Climate Plan Scorecards, an assessment of every UK council’s Climate Action Plan, against several criteria of excellence.
The Scorecards project, uses data from CAPE (Climate Action Plan Explorer) which was then marked against Climate Emergency UK’s own Action Plans checklist. The checklist was created with advice from Ashden, The Centre for Alternative Technology, APSE and Friends of the Earth – organisations that WLDC drew from when constructing their own strategy and action plan, which was unanimously approved at Council in June 2021.
The project aims to make it easier for citizens to understand and engage with their local authorities’ actions in the face of the climate crisis. Cllr Tracey Coulson, WLDC’s Member champion for Environment and Sustainability has broadly welcomed the scorecards;
“We see the publication of our Environment and Sustainability Action Plan as part of the conversation between ourselves and local residents and businesses about how we can tackle the climate crisis together. Our public plan was drawn up after quite extensive consultation. As well as driving the urgent actions that need to happen now, it acts as a discussion point so that we can all continue to ask ourselves, ‘What can we do to improve this situation?”
Comparisons between different local authorities are difficult because of various demographic factors such as urban/rural balance, or deprivation, but the aim of the Scorecards project is to help residents, to understand where councils are planning well and where there is still work to be done.
Cllr Coulson continued: “We’ll certainly be using the comparisons to learn from those councils who are excelling in specific areas, and continuing to look for opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and improvement.
“The time has come to take urgent action and by embracing our Environmental Strategy fully into the fabric of our Council, we ensure all decisions and policy making put our mission to reduce carbon, and consideration for our environment at the forefront – as our public are now urging us to do. We have a solid framework in our Strategy, and an Action Plan that is a fluid, working document to guide us and record, monitor and scrutinise our activities.
“We aren’t just looking at what might be thought of as the hard end of carbon reduction; we also saw and embraced the co-benefits, that’s the knock-on effects of taking certain steps and how that can in turn assist with issues around say fuel poverty, bio-diversity, mental and physical health and well-being.
“The potential for positive improvements to almost all aspects of our lives are huge and I personally am really looking forward to seeing the impact of this Strategy as we start to work through the Action Plan. We will be updating and adding to our website as we progress.”
The full Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy and action plan can be read on our website.
The strategy explores innovative ways to reduce:
- the council’s carbon footprint
- support communities
- promote bio-diversity
- boost the economy and encourage job growth