Essex: Climate change top priority for residents

Essex County Council

Essex County Council building - Credit: Archant

Climate change has been rated by Essex residents as one of the most important priorities after the coronavirus crisis.

When asked what factors need improving in their local areas, 72 percent of residents participating identified road and pavement repairs as a priority, while 50 percent of those taking part thought dealing with traffic congestion should be a priority.

Most participants identified Covid-19 as the most important issue facing Essex today.

But despite the immediate pressures of the pandemic, which a quarter said is the most important issue the county is currently facing, 18 percent indicated that climate change and the local environment should be prioritised.

The county has been praised for much of the work it has started to undertake including the creation of a climate change action commission and its tree planting project.

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But it has also been criticised for other policies – including promoting new road building such as the A120.

James Abbott, Green party councillor, said: “We are saying the county needs to get back to basics.

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“Climate change mirrors the national picture. Climate change chimes in national polls of what people think is important.

“Part of this is being linked with other issues  – species habitat and countryside .

“People are seeing the damage being done through unsustainable development.”

Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council told a meeting of the full council last week: “We’ve had some very very bad weather.

“It is coming into better weather and you’ll see the state of our roads improving as time goes on as it happens every year.

“Of course we are in the period of winter which we’re just coming out of.”

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