Uttlesford councillors hope to reduce emissions and fuel poverty with new plan

Uttlesford District Council's offices in Saffron Walden

Uttlesford District Council's cabinet has agreed to adopt its Climate Change Action Plan - Credit: Will Durrant

Uttlesford's leaders have agreed on how they should spend a £2.16 million package to combat climate change.

Uttlesford District Council leaders want to help low-income families retrofit their homes in a bid to curb domestic emissions and alleviate fuel poverty.

The council's cabinet also agreed to design an active travel network for cyclists and pedestrians, and combat the council's own emissions.

Councillor Louise Pepper presented the policy at a meeting yesterday (January 11).

Cllr Pepper said: "The 2020s must be the decisive decade on action against climate change."

Councillor Louise Pepper, Residents for Uttlesford

Councillor Louise Pepper, who is responsible for the environment and green issues - Credit: Uttlesford District Council

She said that the policy can be broken down into three key challenges - to reduce the council's own emissions, to make it easier for residents to make eco-friendly choices, and to improve biodiversity.

Cllr Pepper added: "Sixty-two percent of future reduction in emissions will rely on individual choices and behaviours.

"While Uttlesford District Council is not required to take responsibility for emissions beyond our control, we can play our part."

The plan includes 37 "actions".

Most Read

The council hopes to work with low-income families to retrofit its own housing stock by replacing oil boilers and installing heat pumps, solar panels or external wall insulation.

The action plan reads: "In encouraging retrofit programmes in Uttlesford, it helps support the 'green economy', and in doing so, will play a part in expanding the local supply chain which in turn encourage the private able-to-pay market to decarbonise their homes."

Cllr Pepper said £4,000 has been spent producing a biodiversity map which will be used to protect wildlife from housing or industrial development.

Road vehicles owned by the council are expected to be replaced with low-carbon options by 2032.

The report was criticised at a November council meeting for having too many action points.

Cllr Pepper also faced criticism for spending £10,000 out of a three-year £1m budget for climate change between April and November 2021.

The report reveals that £60,500 has now been committed or spent.

External funding worth £1.16m has been secured for specific projects on top of the original budget.

The plan can now be implemented as it has been adopted by the cabinet.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter