Chesterfield Borough Council accused of not taking ‘real action’ over climate crisis

Chesterfield Borough Council is urged to take ‘real action’ over the environmental crisis, as an independent report rates its climate change plan well below those of neighbouring authorities.

By Christina Massey
Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 4:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 4:38 pm

Climate Emergency UK has given every authority in the country a percentage score for the effectiveness of its environmental strategy and Chesterfield has been awarded just 25 per cent compared to the national average of 43 per cent.

It was also significantly behind fellow Derbyshire authorities, which scored as follows –

South Derbyshire District Council 70 per cent Derbyshire Dales District Council 51 per cent Bolsover District Council 42 per cent North East Derbyshire District Council 34 per cent

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Lib Dem Councillor Maggie Kellman

Lib Dem Councillor Maggie Kellman commented: “This report confirms the lack of targeted action with measurable outcomes.

“Their Climate Action Plan is heavy with statements of intent, rather than commitments of what will be done when.”

She accused the Labour-run council of not taking environmental action ‘seriously’, adding: “When the current Labour-run council modernised its vehicle fleet only a tiny number of the 140 vehicles were electric.

“In 2016 they scrapped the role of sustainability officer – presumably because they thought it was so unimportant.”

She continued: “Nearly three years have passed since Chesterfield Borough Council declared a climate emergency.

“It’s time to end the greenwash and take real action now.”

A spokesperson for Chesterfield Borough Council said: “We don’t believe this is reflective of the importance we place on climate change and they have failed take account many of our key actions including investing around £13.7 million into improving energy efficiency of council homes, the integration of climate focussed policies within our local plan including improved water efficiencies and EV charging capability amongst others and the inclusion of climate assessments within the decision making process.

“We are aware of some limitations within our plan but the work we have done to update our plan was completed after the assessment date so was not considered.”

They continued: “The action plan assessed was written in 2019 at the start of our journey to net-zero, the actions within it set the processes in place to make significant change and we are currently drafting our next Climate Action Plan, which will cover the period 2023-30, this will be more robust and focussed on tackling the major sources of emissions in Chesterfield.”