The public are being urged to have their say on the creation of Somerset’s first Climate Emergency Strategy.
All four district councils and Somerset County Council declared or recognised climate and ecological emergencies in 2019, agreeing to work together to produce a joint Climate Emergency Strategy.
Residents, businesses, groups and anyone with an interest now have a chance to discuss the initial thoughts set out in a ‘framework’ document that identifies ways for Somerset to work towards being carbon neutral by 2030 and adapt to predicted climate change impacts.
Drop in events are taking place in each District Council area in January and February, starting with Somerset West and Taunton.
The event being run by the Somerset Climate Action Network (Somerset CAN), will take place between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 18 January at The Glass Box, in Taunton Library, Paul Street.
It will include a pop-up café, a family craft and conversation area, and workshops to open up discussion and explore in more depth the Councils’ approach to the climate emergency.
Speakers for the Taunton event include Sally Lowndes from the Onion Collective who will talk about plans to establish an innovative new bio-recycling industry on the old paper mill site at Watchet; and ecologist, natural history presenter and writer Mike Dilger who will host a talk entitled: ’Sustainability starts in your own back garden’.
Members of The Castle School Eco Group will also be at The Glass Box taking part in conversations and activities.
There will be numerous opportunities to have your say, from completing a survey on one of the available tablets, conducting a short interview on camera, leaving comments on the infographic boards and answering questions on the consultation tree.
Cllr Peter Pilkington, Executive Member for Climate Change at SWT said: “Somerset’s councils are working together on this which is a mark of how important we all consider the issue to be. These events are an important first step in shaping that strategy and we want to encourage anyone with an interest to come along and get involved. This is the start of a very important conversation and we want as many voices as possible to be heard.”
Other events will be held on Saturdays, between 10am and 4pm at the following venues:
8 February, Sedgemoor District Council. The Sedgemoor Room, Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater, TA6 3AR.
15 February, Mendip District Council. The Council Chamber, Mendip District Council Offices, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT.
22 February, South Somerset District Council. Vicarage Street Methodist Church, Vicarage Street, Yeovil, BA20 1JB.
Stewart Crocker from Somerset CAN said: “Somerset Climate Action Network is very pleased to be involved in these events, it is exactly how our new organisation wants to help Somerset reach net zero carbon by 2030. These events are a key way that all parts of our community can start to feed into the process being developed by our local councils. A net-zero carbon Somerset by 2030 is an exciting goal.”
An online survey is also available to complete between 6 January and 18 March. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Somerset-Climate-Change-Survey-2019
In addition, an online survey for 11 to 18 year olds can be completed by going to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Somerset-Climate-Change-Survey-2019-Young-People