At a troubling time for us all, one positive note seems to have been the increased importance people are placing on caring for our environment.
In Cheltenham, we are taking the next step in our local campaign on Tuesday. Around 100 people drawn from the business world, community groups, education and the public sector will take part in two online conferences.
This is the first step towards forming a Cheltenham Zero partnership, facilitated by the council and Vision 21 to help the whole borough achieve its 2030 carbon neutral target. The conferences will be led by independent facilitators and expert academics to guide us. And there will be discussion groups focusing on key topics like energy, transport and communications.
We know that embracing the expertise in local businesses and community groups will be key to hitting our targets. We also know that the council can’t do this alone by dictating to people – everybody in our town has a stake in this and this needs to be a shared effort.
This activity is the latest council response to my campaign to declare a climate emergency in the borough, which received cross-party backing. Now, as the council cabinet member for climate and communities since September, I am helping bring together our plans to get things done. I’m pleased we’ve got this far despite the pandemic, but we have so much more to do.
I’ll report back on the outcomes of the day and on any agreements reached by the participants. The Cheltenham Zero partnership has so much potential. I’d like to thank everybody who has signed up to take part, and particularly Vision 21 for organising the event with council support.
As always, I welcome your feedback.