Climate Change Campaigners Bring Debate to Central Bedfordshire Council

Climate Change was brought to a meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council on Thursday, 20 February. Four members of the public asked questions on climate change.

Miss Palmer thought CBC's climate change plan last year was a step in the right direction but asked for consideration of an ecologocical crisis, too, and requested that the council do less mowing of grass verges. Mrs French asked for budgetary expenditure to be measured so we can find out what our carbon use is now. Mr Wise produced a bucket with a whip in it along with a verbal report of example of planting over 1,000 trees in the past 8 years. Mr Sandford passed on Andrew Selous, MP's concern that modern built houses will need modifying in the future when gas fired heating is phased out. Councillor Dixon responded. WATCH THE VIDEO

Councillor Caroline Maudlin (top picture) introduced a motion calling for money to be spent on tree-planting, “CBC allocates the additional New Homes Bonus above that expected for 2020/21 and amounting to some £1.68 million, to a specific reserve, in support of the upcoming climate change plan, for the planting of trees, hedging and the like, across Central Bedfordshire.” There was an amendment proposed to this motion by Councillor Wye, but after discussion, the amendment failed. Council Leader James Jamieson pointed out that CBC already were implementing measures such as retro-fitting council houses and installing LED lighting. WATCH THE VIDEO.

What are the Current Levels of Woodland within CBC ?

The canopy cover of Central Bedfordshire has been assessed as 14.5% - compared with the England average of 17%  ( data from I-tree , CBC canopy Cover Assessment) . But within the  area there is great variation – from  8% in Tithe Ward in Houghton Regis to  24% in Ampthill .

Areas of actual woodland cover is also variable – from around 17% across the Greensand Ridge but more typically between 5% and 7% across the farmed arable vale landscapes.

Concerted effort by the Forest of Marston Vale has increased woodland cover within the project area from 3%  to 9% - which has led to a noticeable change in the landscape.

How local authorities can reduce emissions and manage climate risk Committee on Climate Change I May 2012 (pdf - download)

The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan - HM Gov (pdf- download)

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