District Dispatch - 14 June 2023
Hello! My name is Jonathan and I am the new Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy at Chichester District Council.
I'm taking over this week's District Dispatch to coincide with the Great Big Green Week, which runs from 10 June until 18 June.
The Great Big Green Week is the UK's biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. From festivals to football matches, litter picks to letter writing, I hope everyone will be inspired to get involved. We face both a climate emergency and a nature emergency and so I encourage everyone to take what action they can and to press for more action from all elected representatives.
This week, local community groups have been carrying out litter picks on Selsey beach and in Chichester; while the Southbourne Environment Group has been looking for creatures in the River Ems and orchids in Brook Meadow Local Nature Reserve. Work has also been taking place on the Florence Park mini orchard in Chichester. On Friday, Midhurst will be holding a home-made sustainable dinner at 7pm. You can book your place by visiting the sustainable dinner's eventbrite page. Please support this great cause and a community recovering from the terrible fire if you can. On the same day, the Earth Café in Chichester will be holding a special event in the Guide Hut in Whyke Lane between 11am and 1pm where you can write some 'letters to tomorrow'. Find out more on the Letters to Tomorrow website.
We are so lucky to have so many amazing community groups committed to making a difference. We want to encourage as many people as possible to get involved and participate in projects that help to care for our environment. This is something that I and all of my colleagues feel very passionately about.
As a council we are committed to working with you to do everything we can to tackle climate change at a local level. We have produced a Climate Emergency Action Plan and have been working hard to put in place actions and schemes that will help us reduce the impact we have on the environment. We have planted mini urban forests and launched a ground-breaking project that aims to safeguard and enhance strategic wildlife corridors. We have introduced electric vehicles and greatly improved the eco-measures in new buildings to limit their carbon emissions. You can find out more about some of these projects on our climate change webpage. We are committed to doing much more and working with you to build on this work.
Our successful 'Tree Chichester District' scheme is being extended thanks to a share of additional Government grant funding, which aims to investigate ways to increase tree cover in communities across the country. Our scheme has already enabled nearly 25,000 trees to be planted since its launch in 2021 and in total we have been able to support 175 individual tree planting projects to date.
We also have a range of home energy efficiency grants. People can apply for help to fund air source heat pumps, insulation or solar panels. To check eligibility and to find out more, please visit the Warmer Homes website or call 0800 038 5737. We have held two resident events highlighting the options available and we hope to hold another of these events in the year ahead. Tips on how to reduce your own carbon footprint, including where to access online calculators that offer personalised advice can be found on our climate change webpage.
We truly believe that by working together with you, we can make a big difference. If you are keen to have your say, please consider joining our Let's Talk Panel. We will then alert you of all the consultations taking place and you can decide which ones you would like to participate in.
Cllr Jonathan Brown
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy