The District Council has finally got back to work in Long Stratton HQ, meetings are in person where possible, but otherwise zoom is being used. Interestingly the use of zoom has increase the participation of Councillors and the public, which can only be a good thing. The main items on the agenda – encouraging business back to pre endemic levels, reopening the Leisure Centres and the wonderful facilities available in them, discussions with our partners – Broadlands District Council on amalgamating our offices in a new build or other suitable building, expanding the waste services with more vehicles and larger facilities. Work has started on the next 5 year budget projections – with the aim of achieving a balance budget without loosing any facilities, but with the reduction in central Government support, this will be a major challenge. Our cooperation with Broadlands has certainly helped reduce our operational costs and we keep exploring further cooperation.
Of course COP 26 has been the centre of attention in the media ( None withstanding the Canaries manager situation). Clearly there are huge issues here which will not be sorted that easily, but – were this is a will there is a way – some of the thoughts i have had A Fairer, Greener, more Caring South Norfolk must ACKNOWLEDGE AND TACKLE THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY
- The District Council should have a cabinet post and department, for Climate Emergency, to ensure all Council’s investment decisions take into account climate change and aim to reduce carbon footprint.
- Promote and support – sustainability, flood mitigation, house insulation, boiler replacements, recycling and waste management.
- Protecting the natural environment, including supporting nature-friendly farming, hedge replanting, tree planting.
- Reduce transport emissions by promoting locally sourced foods and goods.
- Support the expansion of sustainable transport to all villages and encourage sustainable transport for development proposals,
- Incentivise renovation, extension and improvement of existing buildings, rather than relying on new build. New developments to be Net Zero.
- Ban the release of sewage into the River Waveney.
- Support rewilding and wildflower road verges and roundabouts.
- Increase the provision of public electric vehicle charging points.
Hopefully the District Council will support the call to declare a Climate Emergency and start implementing policies which take into account the efforts to reduce carbon and methane emissions and save our planet.
Last but not least – I WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY AND HEALTHY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR
District Councillor For Ditchingham and Earsham Ward.