New Notts council roles approved to tackle climate emergency

Four new jobs will be created at Nottinghamshire County Council to deliver on its climate emergency declaration and carbon-neutral targets.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 2:33 pm

The authority declared its climate emergency in May, following similar actions by several other authorities in the county.

A transport and environment committee was created and given the lead on the project, with the authority planning to achieve carbon neutrality in all its activities by the end of this decade.

Many of the council’s ambitions to reach these targets are already under way, with several projects launched in November to coincide with the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Nottinghamshire Council plans to plant 250,000 trees and create at least 250 hectares of woodland over the next five years.

Now the council has taken a step forward to progressing the ambitions further, approving the new posts in what the committee’s chairman described as a ‘major investment’ to achieve the ambition.

Documents approved by the committee state £200,000 per year will be provided to progress with the net-zero plans, which will come into effect from April.

Should the funding be approved in February’s 2022-23 budget, the cash will be provided to ‘supplement current climate change activities’ being undertaken within the authority.

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The council states it will need a senior responsible officer to take the lead, proposing Derek Higton, service director for place and communities, takes on the role.

A new post named head of climate change will also be created to work across the organisation delivering net-zero plans, while two climate change project managers will also be appointed.

All three posts will be full-time equivalent, while a fourth, part-time business support post will also be created.

Mick Allen, council group manager for place commissioning, said: “This is a really interesting and exciting area for a lot of people, and working in an area trying to get to net-zero will give us a good pool of people for the posts.”

The committee was told every report and activity undertaken at the council will now require its own sustainability assessment and must address the climate emergency declaration.

It comes as part of a raft of plans unveiled by the council to reach its carbon neutrality target by 2030.

Other measures include planting 250,000 trees and creating at least 250 hectares of woodland over the next five years.

The authority has also commissioned a greenhouse gas report to ‘pinpoint’ where carbon emissions are greatest across its buildings and services.