It’s been repeated many times, climate change is likely to be the biggest threat to mankind that we face. It is no longer simply an environmental issue. It is mainstream. According to The New Economic Foundation, two thirds of Britons agree we are in trouble. We all need to do what we can…

While we wait for more action from Government, South Lakeland District Council has already made a bold decision to declare a climate emergency which was unanimously supported and endorsed by council at the beginning of last year.

We made a commitment to work with communities and businesses to find ways to reduce the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss; scrutinising policies, behaviour and expectations internally and with partners locally and nationally where practicable.

To date, South Lakeland District Council has:

Adopted a climate change policy and a biodiversity policy.

Approved a council plan commitment to reduce our carbon footprint.

Fitted PV panels to council owned buildings, where feasible.

Commissioned an energy audit of SLDC owned buildings.

Introduced the Fill-up scheme, offering free water refills.

Provided financial support to enable the delivery of environmental projects.

Financed a business leader event around sustainability issues.

Continued to encourage ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ message around refuse and waste

Worked with landowners to maximise tree planting.

Made an intention to be a ‘single use plastic free environment at SLDC’.

Hired a dedicated sustainability coordinator.

Promoted safe cycling and walking as an alternative to travelling by car.

Continued to promote and support the handyperson scheme, LEAP and Cold to Cosy scheme to help residents improve energy efficiency.

There are many challenges and we understand that we are unable to provide every answer or every solution. However, where we have influence we will; where we can inform, we do and when we can implement, we have and commit to continue to.

This is only the beginning. We want to make a difference and you can help us. We have an ambitious set of actions that we want to discuss, and recent data about Cumbria's carbon footprint. It’s about what we can to do together that will make the difference.

With this in mind, Giles Archibald and I want to meet with you again for more Climate Conversations later this month and early March. All from 6pm-8pm.

27 February, Main Hall at Victoria Hall, Grange-over-Sands

4 March, Supper Room at Coronation Hall, Ulverston

11 March, Assembly Room at Kendal Town Hall

17 March, Millennium Room at Marchesi Centre, Windermere

Cllr Dyan Jones. Climate Emergency and Localism, portfolio holder, South Lakeland District Council