Ashfield District Council hits back after scoring zero per cent for climate change action

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Ashfield District Council has responded after being given a zero per cent rating for climate change action by the group Climate Emergency UK.

Both Ashfield and Bassetlaw District Council score zero in the study – but both authorities have issued statements outlining measures they are taking to address the crisis, with Ashfield saying it was given the rating because it was updating policies at the time it was assessed.

All councils across the country were graded on their climate action plans last year with Climate Emergency UK assessing authorities across nine key sectors.

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Councils were then given a percentage on how well they are meeting their targets and addressing each individual area.

Ashfield District Council says it was updating its policy at the time of the gradingAshfield District Council says it was updating its policy at the time of the grading
Ashfield District Council says it was updating its policy at the time of the grading

All Nottinghamshire authorities have now been given their grading with Nottingham City Council topping the pile with a 76 per cent grading, including full marks on both its target setting and measuring element and the education and skills bracket.

This was well above the 50 per cent average for single-tier councils across the country.

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Nottinghamshire County Council was graded 20 per cent for its current climate action, half the 40 per cent average for county authorities nationwide.

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And most Nottinghamshire district and borough councils were broadly in line with the 43 per cent national average for this time of authority.

But both Bassetlaw and Ashfield were among 37 authorities nationwide to be given the zero per cent grading.

Ashfield District Council has responded to the ranking by saying Climate Emergency UK ‘didn’t score our plan’ as it was ‘in the process of updating it’.

A council spokesperson said the authority is currently working on three new climate documents which will commit the authority to becoming net-zero ‘in line with Government targets’ of 2050.

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These documents, the council states, will be ‘available in the near future’ once they have been approved by both the cabinet and full council.

The spokesperson added: “The council has made considerable progress in reducing its emissions through multiple different projects.

“This includes installing solar PV on many council-owned buildings, switching to a green energy tariff, operating smarter working practices in its offices and launching a climate change officer working group to drive reductions in emissions.”

The spokesperson added that council emissions have already reduced by 25 per cent since 2015-16.