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Bedford Borough Council Labour Group SUSTAINABILITY MANIFESTO

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Bedford Borough Council Labour Group SUSTAINABILITY MANIFESTO Powered By Docstoc
					Labour Group - Bedford Borough Council
Sustainability Manifesto
September 2007




          Bedford Borough Council
               Labour Group

    SUSTAINABILITY MANIFESTO
         September 2007


Version 1 – 10 Sep. 07

                                  Page 1 of 7
Labour Group - Bedford Borough Council
Sustainability Manifesto
September 2007




Introduction:
Combating climate change has been recognised by all as the key
challenge facing us, locally, nationally and internationally. Recent
high profile events such as Live Earth are indicative of this.

At a corporate level Bedford Borough Council has committed itself
to more sustainable use of energy and resources (see ‘Corporate
Plan 2007-2009’ – Protecting and Improving the Environment –
Objective 6A).

The Borough Council set up an Executive Sustainability
Committee in 2006. So far it has put in progress a Climate Change
Strategy, signed up to the Nottingham Declaration, pursued using
bio fuels in DSD vehicles and received a variety of reports on work
in progress (e.g. sensors for Riverside House, cover for Kempston
Pool etc). As the Mayor has noted he is happy to receive ideas on
improving the Borough Council’s and Bedford’s sustainability.

This report responds to that call. In the Labour Group’s opinion
much more must be done. The aim of this report is to push
Bedford Borough Council into being a beacon for sustainability.

Our suggestions are grouped into the following categories: internal
actions and policies (such as planning, environment & street
services); partnership working with other public bodies or private
sector organisations, and; publicity and campaigning.

There may well be financial costs and additional staff time if these
actions are implemented but in our opinion it is a cost worth paying
if the Council is serious about sustainability.


                                                               Cllr Dave Lewis
                                                        Labour Group Leader
                                                on behalf of the Labour Group
                                                               September 2007



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Labour Group - Bedford Borough Council
Sustainability Manifesto
September 2007



Suggested Actions –
1. Internal Actions & Policies:
       Internal audit of ‘greenness’ within Town Hall and other Council
       buildings is needed. The Energy Champions made recommendations
       to the Sustainability Committee’s July meeting mainly to do with
       minimising waste and increasing facilities to recycle; these actions
       should be expanded.

       Procurement – the Council’s Procurement Policy has clear guidance on
       sustainable procurement. But what has this meant in practice, has it
       made a difference to goods and services procured? What opportunities
       are available for joint-procurement with other public sector bodies?

       Sustainable Development Action Plans – all service areas have
       SDAPs, how are these monitored? What progress has been made?
       What public focus and actions are contained within the SDAPs?

       What is the Council’s carbon footprint? Bedford Borough Council
       should establish a commitment to reduce this by 4% each year with the
       ultimate aim of becoming a Carbon Zero Council (see LGIU campaign
       and www.carbontrust.co.uk).

       ‘Stop picking up litter’ for a day - Manchester City Council has for one
       day a year, for the past three years, suspended street cleaning
       services to successfully show to everyone the importance of keeping
       the streets clean all year round. Manchester City Council’s annual
       ‘Own Your Streets’ day is part of the 100 Days Campaign;

       Similarly as part of a range of measures to increase public awareness
       about the levels of litter dropping East Lothian Council in Scotland
       suspended street cleaning services on the high street in one town for
       four days earlier this year. The council has since found a marked
       reduction in litter dropping.

       Monitor business travel by employees – a pool car-sharing
       arrangement could be put in place for essential car users. Develop a
       Council Green Travel Plan – look at issues such as discounted or free
       parking fees for less polluting cars, or for people who regularly car
       share.

       Encourage staff to make use of the government’s cycle to work
       scheme, see: www.cyclescheme.co.uk . Provide more secure cycle
       storage facilities in the Borough and develop more safe cycle routes.
       Create greater incentives for staff who cycle to work regularly including
       a mileage allowance for cycling and sufficient shower facilities.


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Labour Group - Bedford Borough Council
Sustainability Manifesto
September 2007

       Use one of the town centre redevelopments as a landmark/beacon
       example of sustainability (going beyond BREEAM requirements). For
       example an integrated CHP or similar within bus station development –
       energy could be supplied (by joint venture company – Council plus St.
       Modwen plus EDF etc) to local businesses. This would follow the
       Woking example (see:
       http://www.woking.gov.uk/html/queensaward/W-17.pdf)

       Develop PV cells at a council facility, link to national grid.

       Develop a CHP at one of the Borough’s leisure facilities (Robinson
       Pool is mooted in papers to Sustainability Committee’s – July meeting).

       Appoint a Members’ Sustainability Champion to promote issues with
       elected members (recycling, reuse, car-sharing etc). A member has
       been appointed to liaise with members’ on recycling but this remit
       should be broadened.

       A Climate Change Officer should be appointed with sufficient
       budgetary and corporate responsibility.

       Encourage staff to use climate change calculator to assess own carbon
       footprints and offer advice on simple measures how to reduce.

       Fair Trade – Council committed Bedford to be a Fair trade town in
       September 2004 – what is happening?

       Increase tree planting across the Borough. Develop a ‘Bedford Copse
       Programme’ aimed at reducing particulates. Plant vegetation from local
       sustainable sources. Promote the use of locally produced native
       species in Borough-owned parks and open spaces.

       Encourage greater use of local neighbourhood shopping parades, the
       investment in Church Lane is welcome but methods and support for
       other NSPs is needed to ensure they continue to thrive and offer a real
       local and sustainable alternative.


2. Partnership Working:
       Develop a hydro-power source along weirs and water mills etc (see
       Exec decision 449).

       Develop the Choose2Reuse campaign locally, this a campaign to get
       people to reuse furniture and other items donated to charity shops,
       Furniture Link etc see: http://www.choose2reuse.org.uk. Along
       similar lines is the www.freecycle.org organisation which looks for
       new homes for a wide range of items that would otherwise be put in
       landfill.

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Labour Group - Bedford Borough Council
Sustainability Manifesto
September 2007

       Introduce recycling bins (e.g. paper, glass, plastic and cans) alongside
       refuse bins across the Borough.

       Develop a system similar to the German ‘Pfandflasche’ system, where
       a small deposit is levied on plastic and glass bottles, this is refunded
       when bottles are returned. This allows for bottles to be reused rather
       than recycled which results in less energy being used.

       Deliver free energy saving light bulbs to all Bedford households in
       conjunction with a suitable energy company (under the Energy
       Efficiency Commitment), or focus on social housing working with BPHA
       etc.

       Work with car sharing organisations to develop more car sharing
       schemes, see: http://www.streetcar.co.uk/what_is_streetcar.aspx.
       Bassetlaw Council provide contact number on lampposts for people
       interested in car sharing. In Milton Keynes a car share scheme has
       been developed which allows users free parking, see:
       www.transportmk.com

       Develop a network of young energy champions, building on the
       following examples:

               The Royal Society of Arts and Tesco have launched a
               Carbonator'- an online CO2 calculator aimed at children aged
               '
               7-14 to raise awareness of climate change. The Carbonator has
               been designed as the junior version of the forthcoming
               Government online calculator which will be launched later this
               month, and will be available at www.carboncontrol.org.uk

               The Royal Geographical Society, with the Institute of British
               Geographers, has launched a new website for 11-18 year olds
               linking to the geography curriculum. It provides a wealth of
               resources including interactive features, images, and
               downloads, and has been developed in partnership with schools
               to engage and inspire teachers and students to understand
               climate    change.   More     details   are    available   at
               http://www.yourclimateyourlife.org.uk

       Utilise the government’s Eco-towns challenge for the new housing build
       within the Borough see:
       http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1511894

       Investigate Micro-CHP for Borough households, potential for a
       partnership arrangement with Powergen see: www.whispergen.com

       Parish, town councils and community centres and groups: The Rural
       Grants capital programme could be used for best practice sustainable
       schemes.
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Labour Group - Bedford Borough Council
Sustainability Manifesto
September 2007



       Develop a network of community champions for sustainability. Roll out
       the event in Castle (T&C 13 July) to all wards.


3. Publicity and Campaigning:
       Provide a One Stop Shop for energy advice in the town centre (High
       Street or 7A St. Paul’s Square) and online; every edition of Bedford
       News to carry energy saving tips and examples of good practice. More
       open days should be organised, for example a ‘Swaffham’ type
       windmill in Priory Park.

       Lobby local supermarkets re excess waste and packaging; develop a
       ‘Bedford Says No to Waste’ scheme (similar to a scheme being run by
       Asda). Packaging legislation is driven by the Packaging & Packaging
       Waste Directive (94/62/EC) - '  The Packaging Directive' – which is
       concerned with minimising the creation of packaging waste material
       and promotes energy recovery, re-use and recycling of packaging. In
       the UK this is implemented through the Producer Responsibility
       Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 and the Packaging
       (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003 (as amended).

       Lobby local supermarkets re biodegradable bags, alongside a bag
       reduction scheme. Bags are sold at a low cost with the profits are
       challenged to local environmental groups

       Highlight buying local produce (and consequent reduction in food air
       miles and packaging) at Charter & Gourmet Food markets.

       Website challenge (on Council’s website) to cut your carbon emissions
       by 20% (the Energy Saving Trust has been running this campaign for
       sometime and offers advice on how to do it, see:
       www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

       Bedford Pledge cards – delivered to all households, staff, businesses
       containing simple measures that all could take part in, such as:
              Use washing machine at 30 degrees instead of 40 to save 40%
              of energy.
              Set your boiler thermostat at 60 degrees.
              Turn off computer screen when not in use.
              Switch to low-energy light bulbs.
              Cut food into smaller pieces to cook more quickly
              Households throwaway £424 of food a year, producing methane
              in landfill - 20 times worse than carbon. Compost food waste.
              We each use 150 litres of water a day. In the 1970s it was 100
              litres; A brick in your toilet cistern saves 20 litres a day.
              In Britain 100,000 litres of rain falls on a roof - get a subsidised
              water butt from the council to collect it.

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Labour Group - Bedford Borough Council
Sustainability Manifesto
September 2007

                                   s
               Drink tap water. It' clean and takes 300 times less energy to
               provide than bottled water.
               Under-inflated tyres increase fuel use by 3%.
               If we replaced old fridges with A-rated models it would save
               3million tonnes of Co2 a year.
               Hire DIY tools rather than buying to save carbon from making
               them.
               Do a home energy check, see: www.est.org.uk

       Introduce an annual awards scheme for the most innovative
       contributions to energy saving within the Borough – categories for
       individuals, buildings (new and old), schools and businesses.

       Support the campaign for a Feed-in-Tariff to create incentives for
       people installing sustainable energy facilities. For example by
       supporting Alan Simpson MP private members bill (Carbon Reduction
       & Warm Homes Bill).

       Distribute more widely information on how to contribute less carbon
       emissions by simple changes to how you drive, see:
       http://www.dft.gov.uk/ActOnCO2, for example:
          o Pump up to cut down on CO2 - under-inflated tyres mean more
              CO2 so make sure your tyres are pumped up correctly
                   t
          o Don'over rev the engine - change up a gear a little earlier when
              you can
          o Less clutter in your car means less CO2 - the less weight you
              carry in your car, the easier it is for your engine and the less fuel
              it uses




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