Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We've set out our carbon neutral sustainability plan

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

A major step forward in making us carbon neutral by 2030 was agreed by our Executive Committee (Monday 14 September) when it recommended the next full Council meeting adopt a new sustainability plan.

Developed jointly by officers and elected members, it commits us to lead by example and by investing in sustainability and encouraging others – residents, businesses and key partners - to do the same.

The plan is our response after councillors unanimously passed a climate action motion in July 2019 and after we carried out an extensive analysis of both our own and the local area’s carbon footprints.

Councillor Steve Dixon, our Executive Member for Transformation and External Partnerships, said:

This document is purposefully a plan rather than a strategy. It has specific actions, responsibilities and timescales for each opportunity and project area within it.

And while we acknowledge the impact of COVID-19, we would argue that with working from home, changed travel patterns and more time spent outdoors the new ‘normal’ now is the perfect time to launch our sustainability plan.

The world has changed but this ambitious plan provides assurance that our long-term vision to be climate responsive, to grow in a sustainable way and create benefits for local communities and businesses has not. It places sustainability at the heart of what we do.

We want everyone to embrace the benefits through sustainable transport, clean green spaces and planning for a sustainable future. Working on the plan has been a priority for us even during the pandemic.

Since the climate action motion was passed we have already:

  • invested in a tree planting programme
  • acquired electric vans for our highways fleet
  • started trials for innovative sustainable highways technology
  • awarded a new waste contract to a company committed to reducing carbon emissions from waste collection services and improving recycling rates
  • continued the roll-out of LED street lighting
  • switched our energy suppliers to renewables

We are currently developing a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), planning to build two integrated transport hubs at Biggleswade and Flitwick railway stations, looking across our buildings to see where we can install solar panels and creating an online advice centre, where residents and businesses can access information on how to live and work more sustainably.

The draft plan will now go to next week’s full Council meeting with a recommendation that it should be adopted and implemented.