We are taking the Climate Emergency Declaration seriously

We are taking positive steps towards reducing our carbon footprint after declaring a Climate Emergency earlier this year.

What have we done?

Following the declaration, we formed a Climate Emergency Working Party which meets monthly.

Over recent months the cross-party working group has been driving positive changes the authority and people of Kirklees can make so the borough can become a greener place.

Since the declaration of a climate emergency we took immediate action to put the following measures in place:

• Disclosing Kirklees’ district climate emissions in an open and transparent way.
• A business case for a Huddersfield Heat Network is being made.
• In 2019-20, the council will invest in 27 electric vans, 20 full electric cars and 50 hybrid cars to replace diesel vehicles.
• The council will encourage more woodland and green infrastructure via the White Rose Forest Partnership.
• An engagement campaign will begin soon to encourage council staff to make a positive difference to the environment.
• We will work with partners to establish a Kirklees Climate Commission.
• Developing a Kirklees Youth Summit with a climate emergency focus.
• Supporting the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s pledge for the Leeds City Region to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2038.

Kirklees Council has been committed to the greener agenda for a number of years. Some of this ongoing work includes:

• 60 per cent of street lighting in Kirklees (6,380 lights) has been converted to environmentally-friendly LEDs. This has reduced electricity use by 3,025,378kwh – the equivalent of running 18,116 televisions for four hours every day for a year.
• Kirklees Council refers local businesses to the Leeds City Region Resource Efficiency Fund. Over 170 Kirklees businesses have been engaged with, 76 have had free assessments and almost £214,000 of grants have been awarded. 609 tonnes of carbon dioxide savings have been made.
• In the last six years, over 1,000 council properties have had wall insulation and almost 2,000 have received loft insulation. This has saved 1,543 and 241 tonnes of carbon respectively. Over 600 council houses have been fitted with solar panels in the same period.
• Kirklees is a partner in the Leeds City Region’s Better Homes Yorkshire energy efficiency scheme. Since 2015 over 130 private houses in Kirklees have benefitted from free or low cost energy efficiency measures.
• The council has reviewed its planning policy so, where appropriate, permission is granted on the condition that charging points for electric vehicles are provided in new residential and commercial developments.
• Kirklees Council has a target to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2020-21. The council is now developing targets beyond 2020-21 to align with the new proposed national target of ‘net zero’ by 2050. A report on this will be presented to Full Council later this year.

Cllr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Greener Kirklees, said:

“The devastating impact human beings are having on the planet must change immediately. By declaring a climate emergency, we have recognised the severity and urgency of this global issue.
It’s up to us as the local authority to take a lead on this and to do everything in our power to take the urgent and vital measures needed.
That’s why we’ve established a working group which looks at what we can do better and how we can encourage others to do the same, not just in the Council, but across Kirklees. We’ve already made some fantastic steps towards a greener Kirklees but this is just the start and there’s plenty to come.
It’s also important that as a region we come together to tackle this issue because we all have a part to play. It is not too late to tackle the causes and worst effects of climate change. Changing the way we work, travel, eat, use energy and deal with waste can make all of our lives better.”

 

18 comments

  • If Kirklees really is sincere about this then it should sort out a better recycling policy as part of this initiative, all that rubbish rotting in landfill and producing methane etc does not help. Get a clear recycling policy and communicate it clearly to the residents of Kirklees. Plus why only look at a heating network for Huddersfield? Don’t Dewsbury Batley, Heckmondwike etc. matter. Stop being Huddersfield focused, be Kirklees focussed.

    • Valerie Stygall

      Kirklees sits on a very busy transport network and a few electric or hybrid service vehicles, while a step in the right direction, is nowhere near enough. When will buses and trains in the region be 100% electric? Kirklees needs to work towards this with its transport partners. And what about rubbish collection and recycling trucks?

  • William Hargreaves

    I concur with Ian Proctor. Half my recyclable plastic (yogurt pots, margarine tubs et c) would be recycled by neighbouring local authorities but Kirklees burn it, although they use a euphemism to make it sound more positive than that. It’s just not good enough. Please make Kirklees equal to the best local authorities.

  • Could we please get glass recycling in Huddersfield? It hurts my soul to throw away perfectly fine glass bottles. Could we get recycling bins throughout the city, not just in New Street?

  • You could start by emptying green recycling bins on time. Most Hepworth bins have not been emptied for over a week.. Been reported but no action taken and no explanation.

  • Making electric car charging points a condition of planning permission is very sensible but why doesn’t the same apply to solar panels? Surely every new building (both public and private, residential and commercial) should have solar panels fitted as standard.

  • Charles Firbank

    Let’s not wait for Central Government to get their building regulations act in order because we’ll be waiting years, Kirklees should be encouraging developers to build environmentally friendly homes. New homes should be thermally efficient if not passive. They should be fitted with solar PV and Thermal as standard, which would reduce the carbon footprint and save millions of Pounds. As a planning Authority Kirklees should be insisting on this. I personally know of a new development in Scholes where the wall and floor insulation kept blowing away therefore the builder hasn’t insulated the properties to the low standards required. We can and should be doing better by just doing the basics right.
    Why doesn’t the Authority encourage the use of wind power for domestic homes and perhaps even small solar farms like those in Wales and Germany. Several small solar farms, perhaps only 1 acre in size and out of general view so as not to detract the beauty of our Greenbelt, could make a significant impact on reducing the areas carbon footprint.Solar panels don’t have to be sited on a permanent structure, thus possibly minimising the complexities of current Planning Regulations?

    There is such a lot we could do but regulation and “red tape” put people off from doing the right thing.

    I have to agree with the recycling comments, come on Kirklees, let’s get the easy things right and then progress further and show Central Government what the North of England can achieve.

  • Is Kirklees implementing a clean air zone, as is Leeds? Why doesn’t the Local Authority insist that all new builds granted planning permission have solar PV panels? Kirklees should require that any proposal brought to the Council includes an evaluation of carbon emissions so that elected members are fully aware of the impact on the climate of any decisions they take.

  • Dr Michael Coyle

    One way to reduce emissions would be to remove the bus stops that protrude out into the road and force all traffic behind the bus to stop and wait. Their engines are idling and when the bus moves off the vehicles accelerate and work their way up through the gears. All this does is create poor fuel consumption and high emissions. The impact upon air quality should have been thought through before building the protruding bus stops. Come on Kirklees Council, get these bus stops sorted, so as to reduce emissions and make the traffic more free flowing.

  • Geoff and Susan Horsman

    So much more can be done to recycle with the green bins. We try to recycle as much as possible but the restrictions mean our large green bin is only half full and our small grey one just abouts last the 2 weeks between collections. We also make our own compost reducing the grey bin contents.

  • Lindsay Irving (Mr)

    Would it be possible to increase the different types of plastic you recycle. I did suggest years ago setting up link to your site that people could text in with specific named items that if necessary reasearch could be undertaken by you and the request and answer put on that site. How about the the site being run by students under supervision perhaps as part of their collection of credits in a recognised scheme?

  • How does building 4000 houses in Thornhill Lees / Ravensthorpe fit with this. The roads there are already choked re gridlock traffic & exhausted emissions already Riverside will NOT help any ecp plan!!!

  • Why hasn’t the Council followed Leeds and taken steps towards a clean air zone? Why doesn’t the Council place a requirement for all planning applications for buildings to include solar PV generation? If Kirklees required all business for consideration at Council meetings to include an assessment of the carbon increase/reduction resulting, elected members could assess the impact of their decisions on the climate.

  • Michelle Mortimer

    Totally agree Ian – my building unbelievably had the recycling bins removed some time ago!!!! (I seem to be a one man band trying to take what plastic people thoughtlessly shove in the bin home to recycle but fear it is a helpless task!).

  • Christine Pattinson

    Agree. be kirklees focused! Everyone of us is responsible for the serious state of our world!! We all need to take action, individually and within communities. In the grounds in which my council flat is, we are planning (on a small scale) to create an area of flowers which will attract bees and butterflies, using the existing wild flowers. As hedgehogs are on the brink of extinction we plan to provide a safe haven for them and other small animals using existing twigs and logs etc. Also, we intend composting garden waste properly to be used in the flower beds. yes, only a few changes but a cliche perhaps, every little help.

  • HEY Kirklees. DO NOT PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK JUST YET!
    You are PATHETIC at recycling rates compared to the rest of the UK.
    WAKE UP!

  • What have we done?

    Following the declaration, we formed a Climate Emergency Working Party which has just wasted a lot of energy NOT PUTTING ANYTHING IN PLACE.
    TALKING ABOUT IT BUT NOT DOING ANYTHING.
    WASTE OF ENERGY.

    I’ve read this, and actually, very, very little has been done.

    A lot of HOT AIR has been spewed within the community and within this blog, IT IS SHAMEFUL.

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