25/01/2024 - Permalink

Scrutiny committee to enhance Shropshire Council’s climate strategy

Related topics: Climate change / environment / Democracy

Members of Shropshire Council’s Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be supporting and enhancing the council’s climate strategy across all areas of the organisation.

Following the report of the River Water Quality Task and Finish Group to the Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November 2023, the committee reinforced today that they would like to set up a task and finish group to look specifically at climate change and environmental matters.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, the environment and transport, said:-

“Shropshire Council embraces its responsibility towards climate change, and has an excellent track record for innovation, collaboration and investment.

“We have secured grant funding totalling £4.3m to date. Shropshire already generates the 5th largest amount of solar power in the UK, and we are confident there is significant potential to increase this using a range of energy generation technologies.

“We are developing a number of demonstrator projects, such as those on biochar and hydrogen, which are recognised as being at the forefront of good practice in the UK; and we have established a really positive and constructive working relationship with community climate organisations in Shropshire, and maintain an active programme of carbon literacy training for council staff.

“There is still so much more to do, and establishing the task and finish group will support the climate team in enhancing understanding of the council’s climate strategy across the organisation, with a particular focus on reducing the council’s carbon emissions and encouraging service teams to consider climate issues as part of their everyday service planning.

“There is also a need to increase our resilience and adaptation to climate change, and the new task and finish group will assist us to work jointly with partners to work out how local services and infrastructure could be affected by extreme weather, and to build their resilience. I think the new group will be a valuable asset in our ongoing work to tackle climate change.”

Joyce Barrow, chair of Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said:-

“This is clearly an important topic for the council and residents. Whilst the council has made a good start in tackling climate change and environmental issues, we have to acknowledge that there is more we can achieve and, hopefully through the task and finish group, we can help to identify those areas and make a real difference.”

Meetings of the new climate change task and finish group, reporting to future Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings, will provide an opportunity for councillors to discuss key issues with an expert panel comprising Ian Nellins, senior officers and Shropshire Council’s climate change team.