Environmental Sustainability Action Plan
It is a working document which is continually developing, assisted with input from a range of sources including third sector organisations and our local community.
Going beyond carbon, it now includes specific, measurable projects under the headings:
- Land use/agriculture/Biodiversity
- Housing and planning
- Business and Economic Development
The plan is divided into three sections:
- Changes to the council's own premises, people and services we deliver
- Use of our regulatory powers to promote action by others
- Actions to help us influence and encourage others to do things
An accessible version showing work in progress and completed actions is available below under the following sections:
Our aim is to achieve carbon neutrality for East Herts Council's own generated emissions by 2030 and do all that we can to assist in achieving carbon neutrality by the same year for the wider district.
The council wants to reduce reliance on cars to get around the district, improve air quality at pinch points, and increase our use of sustainable materials. It is committed to ensuring good quality housing with a sustainable travel infrastructure which will support the needs of its communities while maintaining the highest environmental standards.
As the Plan progresses, actions are carbon accounted, with proposed milestones, in order to track progress against achieving our 2030 goals.
|2.0||Use regulatory powers to promote action by others|
|2.1||Climate declaration - climate and sustainability friendly planning and building control regulations.
Seek to develop appropriate planning policy to further establish climate change and sustainability ambitions.
|2.1.2||Publish a Vehicle Parking Standards SPD||Production planning is underway for a new Vehicle Parking in New Development SPD (to replace the current Vehicle Parking Standards SPD) which will include requirements for vehicle charging points etc.
The provisional timetable plans for consultation in summer 21 with adoption in late 2021/ early 2022.
|2.1.3||Publish a Biodiversity SPD.||Draft to go to September committee with a consultation in the autumn, ready for adoption in late 2021/early 2022|
|2.1.4||Publish a revised District Plan||A District Plan review is due to start in the autumn 2021, with a ‘call for sites’.|
|2.2||Develop sustainability advice geared towards listed buildings / conservation areas||East Herts has over 4000 Listed Buildings.
Meeting held with planning colleagues and all associated current guideline documentation now reviewed. Developing opportunities to expand sustainability focus within this existing documentation or develop new.
|2.4||Utilise s106 to maximise interventions in order to facilitate the Council's sustainability ambitions.||Further work on potential opportunities from s106 contributions underway.|
|2.4.1||Understanding the sign off process and ensuring sustainability gains in relation to the abitions of the climate change Action Plan are facilitated in future agreements||All proposed planning permissions where s106 is triggered are now notified to Environmental Sustainability. The sign off process and stakeholders for the different types of allocations are known and work is underway to embed environmental sustainability personnel and factors more closely into the decision making process, potentially through the development of a check list.|
|2.4.2||Invetigate 'unallocated' sums with a view to working with recipients to provide guidance and encouragement to ensure use of funds is related as far as possible to sustainability ambitions of the Council.||Further work on potential opportunities from s106 contributions underway.|
|2.4.3||Produce 'shopping list' for actions which can be assisted and achieved through s106 agreements i.e. village hall improvements and echarging||Yet to commence|
|2.4.4||Work with HCC Transport to review existing funds/projects and future allocations to ensure faciliatation of the Council's climate and sustainability ambitions with a joined up approach.||Initial meeting held with HCC Transport Planning member|
|2.5||Maximise environmental sustainability through the Harlow Gilston Garden Town Development||-|
|2.5.1||Identify and meet Harlow Gilston sustainability leads and develop co-ordinated action.||East Herts influence is predominantly around planning. Meeting held with Planning and legal colleauges around forwarding the sustainability agenda and wording development guidlelines.|
|2.6.1||Work with HCC on introducing enforcement measures in relation to anti-idling.||In contact with HCC. Potential for a county-wide campaign coming through HCCSP. East Herts have conducted their own research into the legalities and possibilities.|
|2.7||Faciliate move to increased use of e-taxis through promotion of Herts 2025 EV Taxi Scheme.||MHCLG has confirmed an ERDF scheme final go ahead and project is being led by Electric Blue with support from Herts Local Authorities. We will be working with Electric Blue to promote the scheme to the East Herts licensed taxi trade.|
|2.7.1||Install rapid e-chargers in support of move to more e-taxis.||Installation planning underway|
|2.7.2||Review and update taxi vehicle policies to further strengthen incentives/requirements for low emission taxis||Currently being investigated by HCCSP transport group.|
|2.8||Work to utilise regulatory powers to facilitate improved domestic energy efficiency measures.||Housing now reengaged with taking these campaigns forward.|
|2.8.1||Consider promoting improved EPC ratings through HMO licensing powers and policies.||Housing now reengaged with taking these campaigns forward.|
|3.0||Influence and encourage others to do things|
|3.1||Provide and promote energy efficiency grants/support||Looking to develop further domestic energy assistance schemes in the future and are examining a range of options including grants, loans and Government funding opportunities. Local enquiries have levelled off.|
|3.3||Enhance biodiversity infrastructure across the District||-|
|3.3.1||Work with community to explore and action tree planting||Looking to work with Town & Parish Councils to identify sites suitable for tree planting/enhancement either as stand alone projects or as part of the Queens Canopy initiative. Some interest has already been expressed by a number of Parish/Town Councils.|
|220.127.116.11||Investigate options to sign up to Queen's Canopy Project once officially launched in May.||We’ve marking the launch on 24th May via a Council staff volunteering day, which will see us plant 288 Native Shrubs and 336 Trees at Northgate End in Bishop’s Stortford, creating a ‘wet woodland’ in the heart of the town, accessible to everyone. Contact with HCC (who are holding a database of trees planted) also established and work underway to publish further information to Parish/Town Councils and community groups.|
|18.104.22.168||Consider opportunities to establish an 'adopt a tree pit' scheme.||Yet to commence. Will involve working with Highways and residents regarding adopting a tree outside their property.|
|3.3.2||Enable volunteers to come together on joint initiatives (information, co-ordination and training)||Website monthly get involved calendar suggests opportunities. Also direct to CROW, HMWT and other partners as appropriate.|
|22.214.171.124||Consider opportunities to establish community wildlife areas, for example, adjacent to play areas||High-level discussions held with CMS.
Checking opportunities with Wellbeing team.
|126.96.36.199||Work with Parish Councils to promote local biodiversity action.||First Town & Parish Council Engagement Event in June raised issue for more indepth co-ordination and encouragement of activity.|
|188.8.131.52||Work with HCC to ensure appropriate management of highways verges for biodiversity.||Some verges are now not mowed where safety permits. Further work to be informed by the HCCSP biodiversity audit.|
|3.4||Establish improved dialogue with rural and farming community||-|
|3.4.1||Establish and run a Rural Round Table bringing together key stakeholders in the farming and land holding/owning community.||First Rural Round Table held. Hertfordshire Agiricultural Society also engaged.|
Call on National Government for more powers and resources
|3.5.2||Work with local MPs to promote the case for investment in sustainability interventions in East Herts||Officers met with two local MPs. Future meetings to be organised in due course.|
|3.6||Climate Declaration - Work with partners - District, County and Region||Herfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership (HCCSP) Biodiveristy, Transport and Water plans to be integrated into East Herts Action Plan once completed and agreed by HCCSP|
|3.7||Run EV roadshows and demonstrations - at least one a year||Planning to hold event(s) in conjunction with/in advance of COP26 in November. Budget, volunteers and ideas in development.|
|3.8||Run two climate change film festivals (Hertford and Stortford)||Planning to hold an event in conjunction with COP26 in November. Budget, volunteers and ideas identified.|
|3.10||Incentivise the public to make more use of the council e-car pool||Scheme is now open for use by Covid marshalls in East Herts.|
|3.11||Hold a Schools Climate Conference||Hertfordshire Agricultural Society's grant application was unsuccesful. Other options under consideration, perhaps merge with/publicise other conferences or integrate with COP events. The intention is to target Year 11/12 students. Now Covid restrictions are lifting, development of ideas can recommence.|
|3.12||Work with Bishop's Stortford BID and other business groups to promote sustainability||Meeting with Bishop Stortford BID Manager in September 21 to discuss possibilities.|
|3.13||Create East Herts awards scheme to encourage local organisations, neighbourhoods and individuals to implement sustainable activities||Liaising with Comms in relation to progressing action via working with local B.Stort' newspaper.|
|3.14||Actively implement and encourage waste minimisation initiatives||International Compost Awareness Week, Love Parks (Keep Britain Tidy) and Latic Free July promoted via our Get Involved calendar. East Herts' Master Composting initiative has also now commenced with a call for volunteers. July's Environmental and Climate Forum will cover Waste and Recycling in July.|
|3.16||PARISH COUNCILS AND VILLAGE HALLS - explore creation of rural EV charging hub network based on parish owned sites||Positive responses from 5 parish councils/village halls received so far. Further engagement to take place at East Herts-wide Town and Parish Council meeting in June.|
|3.17||Work with Parish Councils and Village Halls on sustainability initiatives||To be progressed in line with available s106 and 'sustainable shopping list' for village halls as well as generally engaging on the topic at the East-Herts wide meeting|
|3.17.1||Explore creation of 'sustainable shopping list' for village hall equipment upgrades where s106 funding exists.||Existing s106 funding identified for village hall improvement. Creation of a sustainability oriented shopping list will assist the orientation of that spend.|
|3.20||Smart approach to publicity||Clean Air Day social media messaging was developed by East Herts and shared with other Local Authorities in Hertfordshire. 26 anti-idling signs were also installed in Car Parks across the district for Clean Air Day.
Within the Council a shedule of sustainability blogs has now also beem created.
Continuing to work across teams such that campaigns developed in other departments, such as Love Parks and Plastic Free July are also promoted via our sustainability channels.
|3.20.1||Review and expand web site pages on environmental sustainability, climate change and energy efficiency to provide enhanced advice and encourage behaviour change to promote positive climate action||Ongoing|
|3.20.2||Use social media more effectively to encourage behaviour change||The Clean Air Day social media campaign showed some improvements in likes, shares and comments compared to other recent campaigns. Learnings from the Behaviour Change session during the May Forum will also be carried forward.|
|3.20.3||Pursue possibilities to use digital signage in towns with this facility for behaviour change promotion in relation to water, idling et al.||Taken from suggestion at Environmental Sustainability and Climate Forum. Work with Business Development section for sign locations. Look at joint initiatives with Water Companies. Review frequency of water consumption data KPI metrics. Explore other opportunities for data reporting.|
|3.20.4||Investigate use of database collected during brown bin change communications.||The next round of East Herts resident communications will take place in early 2022. Preparation to capture Opt In information is underway.|
|3.21||Review heat recovery initiatives in the domestic sector.||Project is under initial development|
|3.32||Promote COP26||See actions above. Specific COP26 activity in East Herts is being investigated.|
We’re making good progress on the Action Plan. As each action completes we’ll update you here.