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Striving towards a Carbon Neutral Hedon

Hedon Town Council aims to respond to the ‘climate crisis’ reduce its carbon footprint and eventually become ‘carbon neutral’. This is a report by the Chair of the Climate Change Working Group…

In February 2020 Hedon Town Council agreed to set up a Working Group of councillors to respond to the ‘climate crisis’ and look at how the council could reduce its carbon footprint and eventually become ‘carbon neutral’. 

Councillor Steve Gallant is the Chair of the Climate Change Working Group and he has reported on its progress, including the setting of a target of Hedon Town Council becoming ‘Carbon Neutral’ by 2030.

The whole of South Holderness is a high risk flooding area, and climate change is increasing the risk of severe flooding, with rising sea levels and more extreme weather events. That means we need major investment in flood prevention but it also means we should do whatever we can to slow the climate change driving this risk.

Reducing our Carbon footprint is not just something that the Government needs to tackle,  local government must take steps too. Hedon Town Council has set a target of being Carbon neutral by 2030.

Some steps are straightforward: Switching to clean energy suppliers; installing smart meters; reducing energy usage and using LED light bulbs; reducing our paper usage by doing far more online. But we’ll also be looking to switch to electric powered tools and vehicles when we renew them. The Town Hall central heating will also need to be renewed in the next few years for a more fuel efficient system.

We’ll also be looking to install solar energy panels on Council property where appropriate and that may include in carparks, where panels can be installed above parking spaces to give shade as well as generate renewable energy.

No doubt many residents will be looking to switch to electric or hybrid cars as new petrol/diesel sales are to end in 2030. So we are trying to get a number of recharging points installed in Hedon’s car parks, especially near those homes that don’t have drives or garages to charge on their own property. As the number of electric cars increase we will add to the charging points.

We’re lucky that Hedon has plenty of trees. But as and when they have to be removed we have a policy of replanting and have recently secured grants for additional planting. The Council has also supported the Community Orchard group with land and financial help.

The Council will also look at ways to help local residents and businesses reduce their carbon footprints. East Riding is conducting a review of its own Climate Change policies which we’re eagerly waiting for, to see how we can help implement ideas in our own area.

Councillor Steve Gallant – Chair of the Climate Change Working Group – January 2021.

Definition Notes:

Climate crisis – the devastating consequences of climate change. Rising temperatures are fueling environmental degradation, natural disasters, weather extremes, food and water insecurity, economic disruption, conflict, and terrorism. Sea levels are rising, the Arctic is melting, coral reefs are dying, oceans are acidifying, and forests are burning. – United Nations.

Carbon neutral activity – an activity that does not cause an increase in the overall amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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