NHDC set to discuss new environment panel following climate emergency motion

NHDC proposals to form a new climate panel will see councillor Steve Jarvis co-chair. Picture: North

NHDC proposals to form a new climate panel will see councillor Steve Jarvis co-chair. Picture: North Herts District Council/Georgia Barrow - Credit: Archant

North Herts councillors are to consider setting up a new ‘cabinet panel’ dedicated to the environment – just weeks after declaring a climate emergency.

The plans are set to be discussed by the cabinet on Thursday next week, where councillors will consider setting up the advisory cabinet panel.

According to the proposals, the panel's nine members would consider environmental and climate ideas, act as a sounding board on community ideas and projects and contribute to the review of the climate change strategy.

They would also maintain links with relevant external bodies and consider any relevant government or agency consultations, with their views and recommendations feeding directly into the cabinet.

Should the proposals go ahead, the meetings of the panel would be chaired alternately by the executive member for environment and leisure, Councillor Steve Jarvis, and the executive member for recycling and waste management - Councillor Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg.

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Mr Jarvis told this newspaper: "It is important that the council does more to cut carbon emissions and to help people across the district to do them same.

"The environment cabinet panel will enable the council to listen to a wide range of views on this and other important environmental issues, such as plastic waste and air quality.

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"Engaging with local people and listening to their views is an area where the council needs to do better, so I hope that the cabinet panel will help with this as well."

Last month, councillors backed a motion to declare a climate emergency in the district - recognising an international report suggesting there were just 12 years to act on climate change - during a full council meeting.

The vote saw 44 councillors agreeing to the motion, and one abstention.

The creation of the panel would build on measures backed at the meeting, which include asking the Secretary of State to make it easier to take local action on climate change and drawing up an action plan to achieve zero target emissions by 2030.

The cabinet meeting where climate panel plans will be discussed is set to be held at the council offices in Letchworth's Gernon Road at 7.30pm on Thursday, June 27

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