IN FEBRUARY 2020 Hedon Town Council set up a Working Group of councillors to respond to the climate emergency. Councillor Steve Gallant is the Chair of the Climate Working Group. Here he outlines the group’s remit and priorities. Priorities include working with partners to develop local flood plans, reduce the council’s own carbon footprint, and encourage tree planting in industrial green buffer zones.

“South West Holderness is at long term and increasing risk from rising sea levels and flood events as a result of climate change…

Last year the Town Council passed a resolution recognizing the Climate Crisis and accepting responsibility to do what we can to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint, but also to do what we can to help local residents and businesses as well.

South West Holderness is at long term and increasing risk from rising sea levels and flood events as a result of climate change, so we all have a vested interest to do what we can to delay and reduce the impact.

Councillor Steve Gallant

Obviously, the Town Council on its own, can no more stop rising sea levels than Canute could stop the tide coming in. So, we need to work with East Riding, the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and local landowners to make a difference.

The East Riding Council (ERYC) published its own Climate Plans in January 2021. It is not as ambitious as some would wish, but the Town Council is keen to engage with ERYC’s plans. There is a new cabinet member in place to manage the Climate Response, Councillor Chris Matthews, so we are seeking a meeting to make sure South Holderness is at the forefront of East Riding’s plans. This could include solar panels on car parks, more charging points for electric vehicles etc.

One suggestion is to develop Local Flood Plans. Given we are the most at risk of flooding at high tide when we have heavy rainfall, we are planning to be part of developing a plan with Yorkshire Water and ERYC via the Council’s Emergency Planning Committee.

The Town Council is also assessing its own carbon footprint so we can prioritise which areas need investment in future budgets to reduce carbon, whether it is replacing our old boilers and lighting fixtures, switching to electric vehicles and tools, reducing paper and other consumption by the council. Our aim is to be Carbon Neutral by 2030.

ERYC has given permission for two huge industrial developments on the west and south of Hedon. The Council is committed to working with both the Yorkshire Energy Park and Associated British Ports to ensure that the other parts of the land not being developed are landscaped to protect wildlife and add as many trees as possible, which would assist flood prevention and suck up carbon from the atmosphere. That would help those businesses achieve their own carbon reduction targets and provide a pleasant amenity buffer between Hedon and the industrial developments.

Going green is not an expensive luxury, its now a necessity to protect the very area we live in.

Cllr Steve Gallant – Chair of Hedon Town Council’s Climate Working Group. June 2021.

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