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Consultation on Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy begins next week

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WILTSHIRE Council is giving residents, businesses and local groups in the county the opportunity to have their say on its Climate Strategy, which will help to shape the next five years of the council’s fight against climate change. 

From Wednesday 1st September to 11.59pm on Sunday 17 October, people can comment on the draft strategy, which covers seven delivery themes: transport; built environment; waste; green economy; energy generation, storage and distribution; natural environment, food and farming; and carbon neutral council. 

At the same time, the council will also be consulting on its Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) Strategy, Our Natural Environment Plan, which looks at the future for Wiltshire’s natural environmental assets and how the council can help protect and enhance them for the benefit of people and biodiversity. 

‘Blue infrastructure’ means water courses such as rivers, lakes, canals, ponds and wetlands, while ‘green infrastructure’ covers plant life such as fields, forests, hedgerows and parks, and the GBI Strategy will set a clear vision, goals and principles to help mitigate against the effects of climate change, maintain and improve biodiversity, and help to provide improved access to the countryside. 

People can share their views on both draft strategies by taking the online surveys during the engagement period, and there will also be a series of joint online and in-person events covering both strategies that people can join to find out more and ask questions. To join these events, people must sign up online in advance. 

The full schedule of engagement events is as follows: 

• 9 September, 6pm, online launch event with Claire Perry O’Neill 

• 15 September, 10.30am to 11.30am, first engagement webinar 

• 30 September, 7pm to 8pm, second engagement webinar. 

Libraries drop-in sessions are on • 14 September, 10am to 12 noon, Salisbury Library; • 23 September, 10am to 12 noon, Devizes Library; • 27 September, 10am to 12 noon, Chippenham Library; • 7 October, 10am to 12 noon, Trowbridge Library. 

Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said, “As a rural county, Wiltshire is on the frontline of climate change impacts, and this affects us all. However, we can – and are – doing all we can to fight it, and that’s why we’re bringing forward this Climate Strategy for people to have their say on. 

“At the same time, we’re also asking for people’s views on Our Natural Environment Plan, which will help to protect Wiltshire’s valuable biodiversity for years to come. The two strategies are intrinsically linked, which is why we’re asking for views on both at the same time. 

“Since Wiltshire Council acknowledged a climate emergency in February 2019 and resolved ways to seek to make the council carbon neutral by 2030, significant strides forward have been made as an authority.  

“But we can all do more across Wiltshire to reduce carbon emissions, and this will mean making changes to the way we all live our lives and how our businesses operate. 

“When the engagement begins on these two important strategies on 1 September, I’d urge as many people as possible to get involved, attend the events and have their say.” 

For more information and to sign up for the online events, people should see: www. wiltshire.gov.uk/climate. For more information about the GBI Strategy, people should see: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/planning-bio-green-blue-infrastructure 

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