Hednesford Town Council is calling on residents concerned about climate change to join forces and pioneer moves to protect the town.

The council declared a climate emergency at its meeting in June to formally recognise the environmental crisis. It has become one of a growing number of local authorities across the UK to lead its community to cut carbon emissions.

Councillors have outlined a number steps to be put in place in the coming weeks, months and years. This includes becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Now they want to hear from interested parties to help forge a way forward and find the best ways of working together for the best possible outcomes.

The council will launch a carbon audit and road map to plan the best way to achieve its goal. The first members of the task force include councillors Paul Woodhead, Mandy Dunnett and local resident Sandra Wright.

Council chairman Paul Woodhead said: “This is our chance to make a significant, positive impact on addressing the causes of the changing climate in our community. We want to hear from people who are committed to learning and the challenge ahead and keen to help the community make the changes needed to address this crisis to get in touch and help in a working group.”

The move follows national calls to take action following a UN report warning that 11 years remain to prevent irreversible damage from climate change.

The council has placed on record its recognition that urgent action is needed and that as an organisation, it has to play an active role.

It now hopes to spread an environmentally responsible message among various community groups and to make sure all initiatives discussed by the council will also take their impact on natural resources into account.

Anyone interested in becoming part of a climate emergency task force should contact the council on 01543 424872 or email Cllr Paul Woodhead on paul.woodhead@hednesford-tc.gov.uk.

Housing, transport, businesses and renewable energy will all be investigated to ensure the carbon impact of our community is neutralised by 2030.

Cllr Mandy Dunnett added: “By declaring a climate emergency we are working to undertake several initiatives directly and with the community to help curb the effects of changing climate . Our government also needs to put resources in place to enable councils to help reduce their own carbon emissions but also lead our communities in a concerted effort. The effects of climate change are being felt locally and globally. Recent high temperatures and flash flooding in Hednesford and record temperatures gripping Europe, widespread drought in South America, and ever-decreasing ice coverage in Greenland. Here in Hednesford we can take action and it is imperative as a local council not only that we take that action but that we lead the way in showing it can be done.”

Local resident Sandra Wright added: “The environment is where we live, it needs care and attention to keep it healthy. In the fast paced bustle of daily life sometimes we do not see how we gradually change it and the impact it has on our environment. We all need to be mindful and do our bit, from how we shop and dispose of the waste, to larger issues like how we travel and how industry produces products and waste. Hednesford Council along with all of us in the community, can be a leader and an example for others to follow in the pursuit of a clean and healthy environment.”

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