Work so far
Progress since formally recognising the climate emergency:
- November 2022: The council’s communities team launched the small grant scheme Field to Fork, providing grants of up to £2,000 to community farms, allotments, and gardens to support them in increasing their engagement with local people in their grow-to-eat projects, helping people stay active and connected whilst benefiting from good quality food grown locally.
- November 2022: At its offices in Melton, the council hosted the Greenprint Forum’s conference Climate Resilient Communities, to share knowledge and best practice, stimulate discussion, and facilitate connections between community groups and stakeholders aspiring towards climate resilience in their communities.
- November 2022: A new planning document, the East Suffolk Cycling and Walking Strategy 2022 (arcgis.com) , has been officially adopted by East Suffolk Council which sets out to create safe, coherent, direct, comfortable and attractive cycling, walking and wheeling environments that lead to improvements in health and wellbeing, facilitate greater social interaction and play, encourage more environmentally sustainable lifestyles, reduce road congestion and support economic growth. In order to create these environments, the strategy identifies cycling and walking infrastructure recommendations across East Suffolk, including in the Broads Authority Area. Cycling and Walking Strategy adopted » East Suffolk Council
- October 2022: Following significant improvements in air quality at the junction of Lime Kiln Quay Road, Thoroughfare and St John’s Street, the Air Quality Management Area at this location in Woodbridge has been revoked. The Woodbridge AQMA was established in 2006 after high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were detected at the junction of Lime Kiln Quay Road, Thoroughfare and St John’s Street. Since this time, NO2 concentrations within the AQMA have decreased and since 2014, have been consistently below the national objective levels. As a result, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) requested that the AQMA be revoked. Significant improvements in air quality at Woodbridge junction » East Suffolk Council
- September 2022: The council lends its support to the regional campaign Food Savvy which offers a range of practical advice and information on how to save food and money. Households urged to get Food Savvy and plan ahead to save money and avoid waste » East Suffolk Council
- July 2022: At the beginning of June 2022, the conversion of the council’s fleet of vehicles to run on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) instead of diesel commenced. The council has purchased 23 trucks with the latest Euro VI engines, as permanent replacements for the existing 14 hire vehicles, with a further nine others due to reach the end of their working life in 2023. The fuel, which is certified palm-oil free, is a sustainable and renewable alternative to diesel and has the potential to achieve significant reductions to the greenhouse gas emissions arising from the council’s fleet operations. Efficient, clean and super green refuse lorries hit the streets
- June 2022: The Community Partnership for Kesgrave, Rushmere, Carlford and the Fynn Valley recently completed the Green Communities Project – a series of four small scale environmental projects that could potentially be replicated elsewhere. Each of the projects involved working in Partnership to achieve it’s goals, along with funding from the Community Partnership under its ‘Environmental Care’ priority. The project has produced a Green Communities Toolkit which showcases real life examples of projects as a starting point and inspiration to other communities that wish to contribute to greener communities but are unsure how to proceed.
- May 2022: New Lead Officer for the Environment & Climate Change appointed to take a strategic role in developing the council’s environmental policies and initiatives and their contribution to national, regional and local goals.
- April 2022: New Sustainable Development Supplementary Guidance Note adopted providing developers and homeowners with guidance on a range of topics including energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, sustainable transport and use of materials, to support the implementation of the Council’s adopted Local Plan policies. The new SPD is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. Supplementary Planning Documents and other guidance » East Suffolk Council
- April 2022: East Suffolk Council launches Clean for the Queen to encourage residents and organisations to get involved in the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations by helping to tidy up the environment we live in. East Suffolk encouraged to ‘Clean for the Queen’ » East Suffolk Council
- April 2022: East Suffolk Council announces resumption of its policy of reduced mowing of seclected sites during the growing season to benefit biodiversity including pollinators Wild spaces return to East Suffolk » East Suffolk Council
- March 2022: East Suffolk Council launches a public consultation to inform a policy review on fireworks displays on land owned by the council. New consultation seeks views on firework displays » East Suffolk Council
- March 2022: the Council lends it support to the Suffolk-wide campaign ‘Glass – It’s Better in The Bank’, a 12-week campaign aimed at encouraging effective recycling of glass bottles and jars. Campaign urges households to recycle glass properly » East Suffolk Council
- February 2022: 200 young oak trees are distributed to parish councils across the district as part of the Treebilee campaign. East Suffolk Council distributes oak trees for ‘Treebilee’ celebrations » East Suffolk Council
- November 2021: To show its support for Treebilee, the project launched by HRH Prince Charles to promote tree planting to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in 2022, ESC has announced the purchase of 200 oak trees to be donated to Parish and Town Councils in the district Planting trees for the Queen’s Jubilee » East Suffolk Council . This initiative also contributes to our vison to continue to build environmentally sustainable communities.
- November 2021: The Greenprint Forum held a virtual forum on the theme of sustainable and nature-friendly farming to share best practice, knowledge and experience from farmers involved in successful and innovative approaches locally and regionally to inform and inspire others. Past events.
- November 2021: Consultation launched on new draft Sustainable Development Supplementary Guidance Note to provide guidance on a range of topics including energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, sustainable transport and use of materials, to support the implementation of the Council’s adopted Local Plan policies. Once adopted it will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. Have your say on the draft Sustainable Construction SPD.
- November 2021: Consultation launched on new draft East Suffolk Cycling and Walking Strategy identifies potential cycling and walking infrastructure opportunities across the district. Have your say on the draft East Suffolk Cycling and Walking Strategy
- September 2021: Cabinet approved the commencement of the transition of the Council’s fleet of vehicles from using diesel to cleaner, certified palm oil-free hydrotreated vegetable oil fuel. The fuel is a sustainable and renewable alternative to diesel and has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions arising from the council’s fleet operations by 90% once the entire fleet has made the transition. Council to run on eco-friendly fuel » East Suffolk Council
- June 2021: Launch of a small grants scheme, Nature First, on behalf of the Greenprint Forum, to support community-led projects that enhance and promote biodiversity in East Suffolk Nature First Small Grants Scheme. During 2021, over £8,000 has been awarded to a total of 11 grass-roots projects.
- June 2021: The council adopted a new Air Quality Strategy as an integrated part of the Council’s decision making, meaning that air quality will be a major consideration on a local and strategic level going forward AQ Strategy 2021.
- May 2021: Planning permission secured for the redevelopment by the council of the former Deben High School site including the development of new housing stock designed following Passivhaus principles. The scheme has been designed as a pedestrian-led environment with vehicle movement kept to a minimum, maximising green space and enhancing biodiversity. The inclusion of “play streets” brings further emphasis to the pedestrianised nature of the site, creating a safe and welcoming spaces for residents to walk, meet and socialise. Plans for Former Deben High School Site, Felixstowe » East Suffolk Council
- March 2021: The first new Quiet Lanes in Suffolk were designated this month in Snape (in East Suffolk) and Glemsford, as part of a scheme championed by the East Suffolk Greenprint Forum and co-funded by East Suffolk Council. Suffolk launches Quiet Lanes for residents to enjoy as lockdown eases.
- March 2021: Preliminary consultation launched on new Sustainable Development Supplementary Guidance Note to provide guidance on a range of topics including energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, sustainable transport and use of materials, to support the implementation of the Council’s adopted Local Plan policies. Have your say on planning proposals.
- March 2021: Under a new policy, to provide essential spaces for wildlife, some older and less frequently used sections of all cemeteries and closed churchyards managed by ESC will be left to grow and become ‘wild spaces’ for the benefit of conservation. New policy will encourage biodiversity.
- March 2021: The Greenprint Forum held a virtual forum on the theme of Nature First to share knowledge about local and regional initiatives to help biodiversity and wildlife and inspire others to take grass roots action. Past events.
- March 2021: The Council’s policy of reduced mowing to promote wildflower growth and encourage biodiversity has been expanded to a further 60 public open spaces and verges for 2021, making a total of 100 such Conservation Areas. The Council has reviewed its policy on herbicide spraying to further encourage and protect local wildlife, as a result of which, such spraying has already been reduced by 45% across council-owned land and further trials will now be carried out using foam control on unwanted weeds, especially on pavements, to reduce it further: Wildlife to benefit from more wild spaces.
- February 2021: As part of a successful consortium bid with the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership, the Council received a shared of a £3million grant from the Government’s Green Homes Grant to Suffolk authorities to provide energy efficiency measures for owner occupiers of properties with poor energy performance ratings. The projects to benefit: are external wall insulation of 150 park homes in East Suffolk, 100 park homes in West Suffolk, and 70 Flagship Group properties; insulation and air source heat pumps on 100 homes in Babergh and Mid Suffolk; and internal wall insulation for 10 properties through Leiston Net Zero/EDF. An extra £3m for warmer, greener Suffolk homes.
- November 2020: The Environmental Guidance Note has been produced to offer clear, concise information on a range of key environmental issues relating to the building industry, assisting those seeking to mitigate the contribution of construction to climate change and its impact on the environment by offering support and advice. It was endorsed by the Council on 25 November 2020.
- November 2020: Launch of a Small Grants Scheme for projects including those to develop active sustainable travel by the Community Partnership covering Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Surrounding Villages.
- November 2020: Launch of a Small Grants Scheme for environmental projects by the Community Partnership covering Kesgrave, Rushmere St Andrew, Marlesham, Carlford and the Fynn Valley.
- November 2020: The Environment Task group expressed its support for the Local Energy Bill, championed by Peter Aldous MP
- October 2020: Supporting a Zero Carbon Communities pilot project now running in Hollesley with Groundwork and Suffolk Climate Change Partnership with objective creating a net zero plan for Hollesley and developing a process applicable for other communities seeking to go Zero Carbon. The project was highlighted at a recent online event held as a fringe event during the Community Partnerships Virtual Forum which included a panel discussion on the role of zero carbon communities post-Covid which can be watched here.
- October 2020: Consultations launched on three draft planning documents relevant to environmental matters: a Draft Walking and Cycling Strategy; a Draft Statement of Community Involvement; and a Draft Recreational Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy.
- September 2020: Supported a successful bid for funding led by the voluntary group Quiet Lanes Suffolk, which secured £235,000 from Suffolk County Council’s Suffolk 2020 Fund towards an ambitious project planned for 2021, to significantly expand the network of Quiet Lanes in Suffolk, to preserve the tranquillity of suitable rural lanes in the county and embolden residents and visitors to make use of them by active and sustainable modes of travel. East Suffolk Council had already allocated £40,000 to enhance the delivery of the project in our district, building on a mandate to pursue the project secured at the Greenprint Forum’s Travel Forum held on World Environment Day in June 2019.
- September 2020: commenced works at East Suffolk House to create an outdoor space to accommodate and promote biodiversity incorporating bird boxes, hedgehog shelters and insect hotels.
- August 2020: Further replacements of diesel-fuelled vehicles with electric vehicles to the council’s fleet. Alongside this, the council has installed electric vehicle charging points at some of its sites including leisure centres and one of its public car parks.
- Summer 2020: established first 40 new Conservation Areas – where verges and public open spaces are managed in a way more sympathetic to nature to encourage wildflowers, benefit pollinators and promote biodiversity.
- May 2020: Launch of new Housing Enabling Strategy to ensure the building of more environmentally friendly homes to be built in East Suffolk.
- March 2020: Town and parish councils in East Suffolk are being encouraged to plant trees in their communities. Any town or parish council, or community group, wishing to plant trees is encouraged to contact their district councillor to determine whether there is any East Suffolk-owned land which would be suitable for planting. If land is not suitable for tree planting, it may be possible for the land to be allocated for rewilding or to become a wildflower meadow. Tree planting schemes can be supported through East Suffolk councillors’ individual Enabling Communities Budgets, with trees available through third party organisations.
- February 2020: A public Climate Change Forum was held on 3 February 2020, at Riverside, co-hosted by the East Suffolk Greenprint Forum and the Environment Task Group.
- November 2019: Launch of the East Suffolk Sustainable Business Toolkit to enable businesses to understand their own environmental impact and prioritise positive action.
- November 2019: Review of a report from Groundwork Suffolk on the council's work to reduce its carbon emissions. The report recognised the steps the council has already taken to reduce carbon emissions by just under 23% over the last three years, including moving to its new energy efficient buildings in Lowestoft, which benefits from solar PV at our Melton offices, which are heated by air-sourced heat pumps, and installing solar PV at the recently refurbished Deben Leisure Centre and Leiston Leisure Centre. The report identifies areas that the council will need to focus on to achieve its ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.