Council ranks poorly on climate but wins £1.4million in eco grants

Olympian Louis Smith

Climate Emergency UK say they scored councils’ published policies on climate change action regarding such things as whether the actions were costed, were assigned to specific teams, and whether the authority had a clear goal.

Maidstone scored 72 per cent – top in the county and was the sixth highest scoring council in the UK.

But Tunbridge Wells scored just 50 per cent.

While this is higher than the national average of 40 per cent, it was the lowest of all Kent’s districts other than Dartford, which scored zero per cent for having no action plan in place.

Isaac Beevor, from Climate Emergency UK said: “Councils may be doing good things which aren’t reflected in their action plan.

“Next year we will be assessing all councils on what they are actually doing.”

However, the news comes just as TWBC has just been handed £1.4million in funding from the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

The money, which is to fund decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures, will be used for a number of projects. These include developing plans for the Council’s least energy efficient buildings.

In particular, the Weald Leisure Centre in Cranbrook is to get an eco upgrade of  air source heat pumps, better insulation, LED lighting and solar panels.

Cllr Jane March (above), who has just taken over the role as the Cabinet’s Head of Environment following the resignation of former cabinet member Cllr Matt Bailey last month, told the Times: “There has been progress been made in how we are tackling climate change and our commitment to the net zero target has not changed.

“There is still work to be done and initiatives like the recent award of grant funding to help develop decarbonisation plans for the Council’s buildings are going to be a great help.”

She added: “I am sure the improvements at the Weald Leisure Centre will also be welcomed by residents who use the centre.”

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