A massive £1m climate change fund has been created by Somerset County Council, which it says is one of the biggest single investments of its kind in the country.
The £1m pot will be available for parish and town councils to bid for green initiatives in their own areas as the County Council seeks to act on its decision to sign the national Climate Change Emergency Declaration which aims to make Somerset carbon neutral by 2030.
“This is bold, it is innovative, and it will drive the ability to parish and town councils who know their patches so well to spend the money in ways that will have the greatest impact,” said Council Leader David Fothergill.
“As a Council we can only do so much, but with parishes and town councils as our partners we can help individuals and communities change their own behaviours and that is the great prize that will make the biggest difference.”
The announcement came at the latest Full Council meeting and there was a further boost that more funding would be found to support climate change initiatives.
Council officers have been tasked with finding further funds as the Council, along with other local authorities, work to produce a strategy to support climate change work – that strategy is expected to be published in early summer.
Over the past few months, major consultations got underway in the shape of drop-in events and surveys with partners, businesses, interested parties and residents of all ages across Somerset, with the results helping to develop the strategy.
Everyone with an interest can give their views and help shape the strategy through two online surveys that have already seen thousands of people get involved.
An online questionnaire open is until 25th February and can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Somerset-Climate-Change-Survey-2019