Climate change and its repercussions is an acknowledged global problem. Wiltshire Council will be doing all it can to tackle this issue locally.
In February 2019, at a meeting of full council, Wiltshire Council resolved to:
- Acknowledge that there is a climate emergency
- Seek to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030
The full motion is available to download and read. You can also catch-up with the discussion that was held at full council via the webcast.
In July 2019 Wiltshire Council's cabinet also pledged to make Wiltshire Council carbon neutral by 2030.
Business and community support and involvement will be vital and ways are being looked at to ensure they play an active role in helping the carbon neutral target be achieved.
What's being done?
Initially, the council will be looking at a major increase in renewable energy generation on council buildings. We will also review our fleet to establish which vehicles can be electric when they are replaced. Business and community support and involvement will be vital and we are looking at ways we can ensure to play an active role in helping to achieve the carbon neutral target.
Wiltshire Council's Environment Select Committee has also established a task group of councillors to look at some of the main issues.
The cabinet is being supported by the Global Warming and Climate Emergency Task Group, chaired by Cllr Graham Wright and made up of eight councillors. The areas they will be exploring are:
- Renewable energy generation, energy use and efficiency
- Transport and air quality
- Land use
- Business and industry
The council will be looking to see if more can be done at its main hubs and other buildings to ensure the organisation is leading the way locally in tackling this global problem.
This page will regularly be kept up-to-date with progress on all the relevant programmes of work and how you can help support us.
Friends of the Earth recognition – we are named most climate-friendly council in England and Wales
In October 2019 Wiltshire Council was been named the most climate-friendly council in England and Wales by Friends of the Earth.
The green group assessed councils in different categories including renewable energy, public transport, lift-sharing, energy efficiency at home, waste recycling, and tree cover to find an overall winner – with Wiltshire coming out on top with an overall score of 92%.
Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth chief executive, said: “All local authorities, even the best performing, need to ramp up what they are doing. We know we are facing a climate and ecological emergency that threatens our existence and the natural world. If we want to change things for the better, let's start at home.
“Doing things right now about climate change isn’t just good news for future generations and people most vulnerable to an erratic climate, it’s good for everyone. Creating cleaner and greener places to live means healthier, happier lives. It’s why local authorities need to take the lead by adopting ambitious local climate action plans, and who better to help them than communities.”
Our weekly solar power generation
A number of our buildings generate solar power. The buildings are Amesbury Salt Store, Bradbury House, Bradbury Manor, Corsham Campus, County Hall, Durrington Swimming Pool, Swindon and Wiltshire History Centre, Kennett House, Longford Primary School, Monkton Park offices, Oxenwood Education Centre, Large and Small Pewsey Library, Nadder Community Campus, Castledown Units (2B, 3A, 3B, 3D, 4A, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E), Westbury Leisure Centre, Royal Wootton Bassett Salt Store.
Please see below for the amount of solar energy generated at those buildings last week:
Latest news releases
Any carbon and climate emergency related news stories released by Wiltshire Council will be available here
Wiltshire Council, recently named the most climate friendly council area in England and Wales, will invest more than £5m to tackle emissions from its own buildings, as it aims for the council and county to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Proposals were agreed by the council’s Cabinet (on 8 October), which will see Wiltshire Council target 138 of its buildings and aim to cut their carbon emissions by investing around £5.18m in phase one of a programme of work which will also help reduce the cost of running the buildings in the long-term – this could see gross annual savings of around £500,000.
To achieve this; automatic controls for lighting, heating and cooling will be installed wherever possible. Standard energy-reducing technologies will be also installed where feasible across the council’s estate. This includes solutions such as upgrading to LED lighting or improving insulation.
The council will also replace the remaining energy used within its buildings with energy generated from a renewable source as much as possible. Therefore, this programme will see the installation of solar panels at every site where there is a viable business case. In addition, it will look at installing other renewable energy generation technologies such as hydroelectric solutions and biomass boilers where appropriate.
Investigation will also be carried out into canopy-based solar panels, with Salisbury Park and Ride sites identified as a possible location to try them out. If introduced, this would create solar energy on the sites which could also supply electricity on a commercial basis to nearby third parties. A detailed business case will be drawn up on this.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said: “What I hope is clear from all the work we are doing is just how seriously we are taking this issue. We are investing money, time and resources into doing all we can to tackle this global issue in Wiltshire.
“Looking closely at our own buildings and making them as efficient as possible is in our control and will have positive repercussions for the environment while making valuable long-term savings in the process – it’s a win-win.”
Other work the council is doing to reduce carbon emissions includes:
• Securing all the electricity on its corporate contract from a green tariff with effect from 1st April 2020 , which means that 100% of the council’s electricity will be matched by the supplier with a certified renewable energy source
• Ensuring our response to climate change is enhanced within the Core Strategy – the council’s key planning and development document
• Drafting the fourth Local Transport Plan to reflect the target to reduce carbon emissions and develop policies to make further improvements
• Continuing to monitor air quality in Wiltshire through its updated Air Quality Strategy which will soon be formally reported to Full Council
• Ensuring the Household Waste Management Strategy continues to focus on reducing the carbon impact of its operations, for example in 2008/9 the council landfilled more than 56% of its waste, by 2018/19 this figure was less than 16%
• Working with Swindon and Wiltshire Local Economic Partnership to engage with businesses and industry in Wiltshire to reduce carbon emissions
• Arranging a series of environmentally-themed area board meetings to take place later this year to engage with communities and local residents.
The council recently topped the table of most climate-friendly councils following research by Friends of the Earth which looked at a range of issues relevant to climate change to assess how councils are performing.
The first steps will be to look at a major increase in renewable energy generation on council buildings and reviewing the council fleet to establish which vehicles can be electric when they are replaced. Wiltshire Council’s Environment Select Committee has also established a task group of councillors to look at some of the main issues.
Wiltshire Council will start by looking to see if more can be done at its main hubs and other buildings to ensure the organisation is leading the way locally in tackling this global problem.
Richard Clewer, deputy leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “We want to show leadership because we take the issue of climate change very seriously. We need to show that we can generate our own energy needs renewably to help lead the way in Wiltshire.
“Locally we can’t do this alone; we will need to work with other organisations, stakeholders, communities and groups. However, if we, as an organisation can lead the way given the size we are, then we hope that communities will be keen to work with us to ensure that Wiltshire is seen as a positive example of how to tackle this issue.”
Cllr Graham Wright, chairman of the Global Warming and Climate Emergency Task Group, said: “If counties like Wiltshire don’t start to put changes into place now, then collectively we won’t be able to make a positive difference.
“We are under no illusion of the monumental scale of this issue. What we have in our favour though is a growing awareness and recognition from the public that, globally, this serious issue should be high on everyone’s agenda.”
Wiltshire Council’s cabinet is being supported by the Global Warming and Climate Emergency Task Group, chaired by Cllr Graham Wright and made up of eight councillors. It has met twice so far to scope the areas that they want to focus on.
The areas they will be exploring are:
• Renewable energy generation, energy use and efficiency
• Transport and air quality
• Land use
• Business and industry