Swanage Town Council launches plan to tackle climate change

An Environment Policy Action Plan for the town has been formulated by Swanage Town Council in response to its declared climate and ecological crisis.

The blueprint aims to help the council reach the goal of being carbon neutral by 2030 and residents are being asked for their views on the plan.

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An open meeting for residents has been organised for Wednesday 27th January at 7 pm via Zoom, where the Mayor, Mike Bonfield will introduce the council’s ideas. There will also be a presentation by Culvin Milmer, Swanage Town Council’s visitor services manager and environment lead.

Everyone is being encouraged to Zoom in to find out more about what is in the action plan and to explore how they can get involved and help contribute to making a difference.

North beach landslip

The cliff at Swanage’s North Beach is prone to erosion

Declared a climate and ecological crisis

In September 2019, Swanage Town Council voted unanimously in favour of declaring a climate and ecological crisis and this led to a working party being established to draw up ways to become carbon neutral by 2030.

While the pandemic has meant that many things have had to be put on a back burner, the importance of the strategy has been acknowledged and work has been going on behind the scenes to come up with the plan.

The action plan includes ideas to manage the town council in an environmentally sustainable manner, look after the natural environment and promote sustainable tourism in the town.

Storm Alex leaves debris on road
Gerald Dimarco

Storm Alex in October 2020 left debris on the seafront in Swanage

“Serious acceleration of climate change”

Swanage Town Mayor, councillor Mike Bonfield said:

“The council acknowledges that the scientific evidence points to the serious acceleration of climate change caused by human activity. This has led to the present world climate and ecological crisis.”

The meeting, organised by the environment group, Sustainable Swanage, will be an opportunity to discuss with others how to support the plan individually or through their business or work, so it is part of a wider environment action plan for the area.

The meeting will last no more than one hour and will include 20 minutes of smaller group discussions.

Swanage tree planting

Sustainable Swanage recently worked in partnership with Dorset Council to plant trees alongside one of the main roads into Swanage

“We all have a role to play”

Sarah Spurling from Sustainable Swanage said:

“This is an informal meeting, and you can take part or simply listen and find out more. There is no pressure to contribute and we welcome people with little or no knowledge of the issues as well as people with wider experience.

“There is the option to stay on for an extra half an hour in the ‘virtual pub’ to continue the discussion, in a looser format if you wish.

“Local councils have an important leadership role to play in tackling climate change, but real change can only be achieved by working with communities, organisations and individuals and we all have a role to play. By working together, I really hope we can achieve the positive change required to secure our future for the next generation.

“Please share the meeting details with family and friends and help spread the word.”

Fallen tree blocks Darkie Lane in Swanage
Karen Jackson

Strong winds in December 2020 brought this tree down in Darkie Lane in Swanage

Register your attendance

Sustainable Swanage is asking people who want to come along to the meeting to register in advance. They will then be sent a link to the Zoom meeting. Follow this link to register

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