A Priority for the Lib Dems in Somerset: A Greener, More Sustainable Somerset

Climate change is the starkest challenge of our, and the next generation’s, lifetimes. 

*I am campaigning to save Pawlett Hams natural habitat

The implementation of our change to combat the climate emergency has to be now and it needs to be profound.

This Liberal Democrat-run council has led the way on the climate emergency, which is something we can all be proud of. But there is still more that can be done.

The 1st of April was the first anniversary of Somerset Council. We pledged a greener more sustainable Somerset. Here is what we have done in our first year:

More active travel routes
More active travel routes have been opened for ‘walking and wheeling’ and a Government grant of £1.5 million has been secured for additional routes in Somerset.

Recycling Somerset!
On recycling Somerset was ranked 28 out of 228 local authorities in the latest available figures, 2021/22. 97.2% was recycled in the UK into new products and packaging, and of the 5,771 tonnes of plastic collected, 99.4% was processed in the UK. Somerset’s collection crews make more than 350,000 collections every week.

De-carbonising Council Buildings
Many existing Council-owned buildings are being de-carbonised including Libraries and office buildings, helping us reduce energy consumption and therefore cost.

Local Nature Recovery Strategy
A new Local Nature Recovery Strategy has been launched with full funding from Defra. This will map the locations of our most precious habitats and wildlife and identify places most suitable for nature restoration work. The survey is open until the end of April 2024, and can be
found here.

Somerset Tree Strategy
We launched our ten-year Somerset Tree Strategy, again funded by Defra, aiming to increase our tree cover from current 8% to at least the national average of 13%.

Biodiversity Net Gain rules in planning
We are also implementing the new Biodiversity Net Gain rules so that planning applications for new developments must leave nature better off than before and create new habitats and green spaces.

Sustainable Public Transport
On public transport we have a new contractor for the Park & Ride in Taunton, we have saved many bus routes across Somerset using the BSIP funds, we have run a successful ‘Bus It’ campaign and we have recently seen a massive investment in Somerset by First Bus company to bring the first electric buses to the county.

Fixybus celebrate its first anniversary
Our focus on repair and reuse as well as recycling has seen the Fixybus celebrate its first anniversary and Community Action Groups launched in Shepton Mallet.

Blue Anchor Coastal Defence work
The Blue Anchor Coastal Defence work has been delivered under budget using rock armour to protect this part of the 60+ mile coastline. The B3191 remains closed to vehicles following a landslip near Watchet but has recently opened again for pedestrians and will open for cyclists.

Electric Vehicle Recharging Points
Additional electric vehicle recharging points have been installed in Taunton and in Dunster to add to those installed by our predecessor councils.

Strawberry Line
The work on the Strawberry Line has continued with paths built by local contractors joining communities, bringing health benefits and increased safety away from busy roads.

8,000 glass eels
We’ve worked with the Environment Agency to introduce an extra 8,000 glass eels into Chard reservoir to boost the reducing numbers of European eels.

First Net Zero School
School building has moved into a new age of sustainability with the construction of our first net zero school, Orchard Grove near Taunton.

#EarthDay2024 #Earthday #HappyEarthDay #Somerset #Bridgwater #Burnham #Highbridge #NorthPetherton

*Related story: Locals oppose Hinkley Point C plans for saltmarsh in Pawlett

Leave a Comment