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Residents in Chichester District to be consulted on council's new Climate Emergency Action Plan

Residents across Chichester District will be asked to contribute to a second Climate Emergency Action Plan after leading councillors approved it for a public consultation this summer.

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The plan focuses on how the council will help other individuals and communities in the district reduce their emissions. The plan was given the green light for public consultation at Chichester District Council's Cabinet meeting on 16 April 2024.

"As a council it's vital that we play our part in helping to fight the effects of climate change," explains Councillor Jonathan Brown, Deputy Leader of Chichester District Council and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy. "The council's emissions are only about 0.5% of emissions in the whole district, but since we declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, we have been working extremely hard to do what we can to cut our own emissions, for example in our buildings and in our vehicle fleet. We have a clear idea of what we need to do and are working on projects to reduce our emissions. So, this consultation focuses on our work to help individuals and organisations of all kinds in the district reduce emissions.

"This is a really important opportunity for residents and businesses across the Chichester District to help shape the plan and for us all to come together to help tackle a crisis that affects everyone. The ideas and options that could potentially be included in the new action plan have been put together after working with teams and services across the whole of the council, and now it's over to our residents to see what they think. Some actions can only be successfully accomplished at a national or international level, so the emphasis is on the areas where we believe we have the most influence, directly or indirectly, and can make the biggest difference.

"So far, we've helped some people to make their homes more energy efficient and generate their own energy through renewable energy measures, but there is an awfully long way to go. We've worked with a range of businesses to help them become more sustainable and we're also part of a Government-funded project that has led to nearly 25,000 trees being planted in the district, with many more due to be planted in the second phase. In addition, we've installed electric vehicle charge-points in our car parks. We have a number of projects that are still in progress, including work to reduce emissions from homes in the district. We're now looking ahead to see what else we can do to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"Although we are asking people to help shape the plan and help prioritise the different actions, I would like to stress that many of the projects will depend on the funding that is available, and this may rely on seeking external funding, so at this stage, we can't guarantee that they will go ahead, even with public support. Even so, it's important that residents know what the potential options are and can feed into the strategy."

The public consultation to gather people's views on the new Climate Emergency Action Plan will run from July to September. As part of this, a survey will be available online, with videos which help to explain each project. For those who do not have access to a computer, a pull-out paper version will also be included as part of the council's residents' magazine, Initiatives, which people will be able to fill out and post to the council.

Once the results have been examined and the final plan written up, it will be discussed by Cabinet and Full Council for approval in summer 2025, when the current plan ends. The new plan would run until 2030.

Jonathan adds: "As we get closer to the consultation going live, we'll of course let people know. I would really encourage people across the district to keep an eye on our website, our social media channels and to sign up to our Chichester District Council 'Let's Talk consultation panel' or keep checking our Chichester District Council 'current consultations' page".

Date of Release: 16 April 2024

Reference: 4320