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Council shares update on decarbonisation strategy

TOWN and community councils have been updated on Bridgend County Borough Council’s decarbonisation strategy.

At a meeting of the Town and Community Council Forum on Monday 10 May, members heard how the local authority is supporting Welsh Government’s commitment to achieving a net zero carbon public sector in Wales by 2030. The areas of focus are energy, transport, buildings, procurement and open spaces.

This includes optimising the use of buildings, reducing energy use, designing new builds to the highest standards of energy efficiency, using open spaces to enhance biodiversity and tree planting, seeking out renewable energy opportunities, and buying better overall.

An emissions audit by the Carbon Trust will be used as a baseline to prepare a plan for full decarbonisation by 2030. A provisional estimate is that about 60% of the local authority’s emissions result from procurement, meaning work with suppliers and the supply chain will be crucial to ensure net zero can be achieved quickly.

Bridgend County Borough Council is already taking action by implementing multimillion pound energy efficient measures in its buildings, piloting the use of ultra-low emission vehicles and installing new low-energy street lights.

Councillor Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “A total of 99 per cent of emissions from within the boundaries of the county borough come from areas other than the public sector, and the local authority has a clear leadership role in influencing, driving and facilitating change right across the area.

“Aligning low-carbon strategies and sharing best practice with local partnership boards, other public sector organisations including our town and community councils, regional neighbours, communities, and business, is essential for tackling the full range of emissions, including those from goods and services procured.

“The shift to a low carbon system increases economic output and is part of the national recovery plans. The council’s strategy and action plan for carbon neutrality will therefore contribute to local economic prosperity.

“We cannot achieve our decarbonisation goal alone, and will engage widely with partners to share experience and knowledge, to help deliver on our aims. Our draft action plan will be shared for consultation so that residents, businesses, organisations and all stakeholders have an opportunity to help shape our work.

“It was extremely useful to have a constructive discussion with representatives of the town and community councils in attendance, and to hear their thoughts about ways in which action might be taken both individually and in partnership. 

“This will now be considered in closer detail, and options will be developed for taking this joint effort forward in the near future.