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Call for help to meet climate change demands in South Holland

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The Government needs to do more to help South Holland wean itself off a reliance on cars and HGVs as part of its climate agenda, according to a leading councillor.

While there’s a nationwide push to cut the use of vehicles to help reduce emissions and meet net zero targets, areas such as ours are more reliant than most on cars to get around and HGVs for our major employers.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones spoke at Tuesday’s district council cabinet meeting and called for practical support from the Government to help South Holland.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for environmental services, South Holland District Council. Photo supplied. (24754642)
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for environmental services, South Holland District Council. Photo supplied. (24754642)

He said: “We need to give a little bit of push back. Yes, OK, we hear that message, but what’s the alternative please?

“What are you going to do to help us - what are you going to do for the local population to help them get around?”

He added: “We hear those messages, we understand them, we support them but where’s the reality in all of that to help us go forward with this?”

His comments came as members of the cabinet gave their approval to a new climate change policy which is expected to see a new body set up to address issues across the whole of the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership ‘sub region’ with Boston and East Lindsey.

The policy will result in the South and East Lincolnshire Climate Action Network being established.

Although formed on behalf of the councils, it is expected to include business leaders and other outside bodies - with a first meeting due for June.

Coun Gambba-Jones also asked if the climate strategy was filtering down to services in the council and what it meant for cutting emissions in South Holland.

Sarah Baker, climate change and environment manager, said South Holland had got a bit of ‘catch up’ to do on Boston and East Lindsey, where carbon reduction is a corporate priority.

She said: “There’s no quick fix, it’s about every service area reviewing how they work and how that comes together. You are absolutely right, you can’t be doing things on a higher level if you haven’t get your own house in order.”

Coun Bryan Alcock asked for clarity on why South Holland has ‘disproportionately higher’ emissions, and added: “If you really want some ideas, make sure you consult with the younger generation. I can assure you, from a grandchild’s point of view they think we are in the Dark Ages.”

BRYAN ALCOCK. (54591437)
BRYAN ALCOCK. (54591437)

Coun Gambba-Jones said people would be disappointed by the fact that only 14 people responded to a consultation on the climate strategy. The district’s population is about 94,000. He said that the council did not publicise the consultation well enough - and was overly reliant on websites and technology.

He accepted that sending letters to residents was more expensive and less green but added: “If you want proper feedback and an accurate picture of how the population feel I think we to do a better job of communicating with local residents.”

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