At the last Budbrooke Parish Council meeting I set out that the environment and climate change was at the forefront of the District’s Conservative administration’s business strategy.

In empathy with that theme, and as the Portfolio holder for Business & Environment, I wanted to encourage Parish and Town Councils to consider how their own communities could contribute to this important challenge.

In June 2019 a ‘Climate Emergency’ motion was unanimously agreed at Warwick District’s Full Council. The motion called on the Council to:

  • To establish how Warwick District Council can become net zero carbon by 2025 including contracted services in terms of scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions; and,
  • Facilitate the decarbonisation of businesses, organisations and residents so that the District’s carbon emissions are close to net zero by 2030.

I gave as a good example what the community of Barford had organised with their ‘BAR Zero’ organisation which is a forum for local action in Barford. On the agreement of the Parish Council I have made enquiries to see if the BAR Zero presentation can be made available for a similar presentation in the Budbrooke Community Hall.

Below are some photographs from the BAR Zero presentation

So that members of the Budbrooke Community can be aware of the kinds of actions that can be undertaken I set out what the District has done over the last few years in respect of addressing climate change.

  • The Council has joined the UN ‘Climate Neutral Now’ programme and grant funding for the Carbon Neutral Gold Standard scheme has been awarded;
  • The Council is the first to participate with One Carbon World (OCW) in carbon emissions offsetting;
  • The rewards and benefits are multiple including:

ü Expert independent help to work out the Council’s carbon footprint

ü Showing the community, the Council cares about sustaining future generations;

ü Carbon credits retired in the Council’s name which can offset its carbon emissions;

ü Contractors can join the OCW scheme through the Council’s scheme for the same price as the Council;

  • A single use plastics policy has been implemented
  • A survey of the Council’s housing stock condition has been completed to consider future energy and water conservation measures;
  • 60% of the Council’s fleet is now electric;
  • A ‘Better Points’ scheme has been introduced to encourage Council employees to adopt walking and cycling alternatives to car use; to date 308 users have signed up;
  • Design consultants have been appointed for the new Country Park between Warwick and Bishops Tachbrook to ensure no coalescence between the two communities;
  • A Sustainable Buildings Development Plan Document (DPD) is being prepared to enhance the Local Plan policies for all new housing developments so that they are to be more sustainable with renewable energy and water conservation;
  • Promoted ‘Refill Scheme’ for water bottle replenishment;
  • Introduced wildflower meadows including cemeteries;
  • Completed a staff travel survey;
  • Provided fuel poverty training to third sector;

The Future Plans include:

  • Introducing Park & Ride/Stride facilities including electric buses;
  • Planting 160,000 trees within the District;
  • Researching a bike hire scheme for the main towns in the District;
  • Reviewing consultant’s report on implementing a District network heating system;
  • Providing a ‘Wayfinding’ scheme increasing signage to encourage walking & cycling;
  • Encouraging private landlords to improve the EPC rating of their properties;
  • Researching better control of wood-burning stoves and use of kiln dried wood;
  • Aiming for Council electric fleet to be increased to 72% by 2021;
  • Considering encouraging use of electric vehicles with free parking;
  • Reviewing the air quality action plan and considering mitigating actions including ‘anti-idling’ legislation;
  • Trialling ‘paper free’ Committee agendas;
  • Researching alternative waste collection services to reduce waste to landfill;
  • Investigating renewable energy solar farms and Council roof solar PV panels;
  • Researching with partners for electric bus services and associated charging infrastructure;

Councillor Alan Rhead

Portfolio Holder for Business & Environment