Council action to combat climate change in Lewes

Lewes District Councill will be pushing for green energy tariffs
Lewes District Councill will be pushing for green energy tariffs

Lewes council leaders have given the go ahead for a wide range of measures intended to reduce the authority’s impact on climate change. 

The actions, which include a push for green electricity tariffs and changes to staff travel, were approved at a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Monday (July 1).

The measures had been put forward as recommendations by the council’s Climate Change Action Group – a group of councillors tasked with looking at ways the authority could mitigate its impact on the environment.

In a statement released after the meeting, Conservative council leader and cabinet member for environment Isabelle Linington said: “The action group included a cross-party group of councillors who have done a terrific job looking at all aspects of the council’s operation. 

“This obviously included travel and how we can better utilise technology to reduce the number of journeys between various sites and the reduction of CO2 when travel is unavoidable.”

The approved measures will see council staff encouraged to use virtual meetings to avoid travelling between different council buildings and to car share or travel by train if this is unavoidable.

Senior officers will also seek commitments from bus companies about not allowing engines to idle when waiting in traffic or picking up passengers within the district.

Cabinet members also approved spending up to £5,000 to install a water fountain at Lewes Skate Park.

Elsewhere, the council will look to ensure smart meters are included as standard in its social housing and will seek to encourage its leisure contractor Wave to install electric car chargers at their sites. 

Wave will also be encouraged to look at switching to a green electricity tariff, something the council will also do. 

More information on the costs of this switch are to follow in future, council papers say.  

Cabinet members also agreed to request the council’s scrutiny committee form a group to monitor the progress of these recommendations.