Settle Town Council agreed in November 2019 to make the Council carbon neutral by 2030. A Climate Change & Biodiversity Policy along with an Action Plan has been approved by the Council. The Policy and Action Plan was launched in May 2021 at the Green Cafe meeting of the Settle and area Action Climate Emergency (ACE).
Settle Town Council is a relatively small organisation with a turnover of around £150k. However, it is important that all organisations, locally and nationally, make their contribution to reducing carbon emissions and enhancing the biodiversity of their organisation if carbon reduction targets are to be met. The Stern Review (2006) and the Dasgupta Review (2021) both highlight the imperative of tackling climate change and the loss of biodiversity to secure the well-being (economic and health) of current and future generations.
Settle Town Council is responsible for the following:
- Play Areas at Bond Lane, Commercial Street, Townhead and Falcon Park
- Allotments – Brockholes Lane and Cammock Lane
- War memorial
- Pinfold picnic area
- Millennium garden
- Streetlights (171)
- Castlebergh Crag
- Community Cemetery & Garden of Rest
- Settle Market and the Market Charter
- Small grants to community or organisations
- Cleaning of Whitefriars public conveniences
The Action Plan to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint address the following areas:
- Complete a carbon footprint audit of the Council’s activities to provide a baseline
- Regular monitoring of air quality
- Specific carbon reduction measures
- Reduce and share transport
- Provision of freshwater fountain in the Market Square
- Charge points for cars and bikes
- Contractor specifications
- Upgrade street lighting to LED
- Adopt electronic communication and payment practices to reduce travel, paper and postage
- Influence and support others to adopt low carbon practices
Given that the Council is a land manager, it has scope to contribute towards improving and enhancing biodiversity of those areas. A significant area is Castlebergh Crag, and the Council has a Castleberg Crag Development Plan to both improve the recreational and nature value of the area. The plans include hedge planting to encourage wildlife, leaving verges undisturbed, additional area given over to wildlife with no public access, bird and bat boxes, tree planting as part of a school collaboration for pupils to plant a birthday tree and leaving tree thinnings as dead wood to encourage wildlife. For further details please visit www.settletowncouncil.gov.uk/castlebergh_crag_28250.aspx
In other locations such as The Pinfold, conservation strips at the perimeter will be used. At the far end of the Community Cemetery and Garden of Rest, the community group “Roots” will plant trees and shrubs to create wildlife habitat. Allotment holders will be encouraged to minimise use of herbicides and pesticides. Efficient use of water on allotments will be encouraged through a ban on hose pipes, weed suppressant material must be permeable and the unlimited use of water butts to collect rainwater.
For the full Climate Change & Biodiversity Policy and Action Plan, please visit: www.settletowncouncil.gov.uk/documents_27215.aspx
The Council is committed to their Climate Change & Biodiversity Policy and Plan and would like to invite local businesses and the people of Settle to join them in taking action to mitigate climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
Councillor Robert Bellfield, Chair of Settle Town Council’s Climate Change & Biodiversity Steering Group