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What we are doing

How Lancaster City Council is helping to tackle climate change

Top of the Leaderboard 

Lancaster City Council is celebrating after topping a leaderboard for district councils in an assessment of the actions being taken to achieve net zero.

Climate Emergency UK created the scorecards by assessing seven areas: buildings and heating; transport; governance and finance; planning; biodiversity; collaboration and engagement, and waste reduction and food. 

The district council average is 29% and only four district councils scored over 50%, with Lancaster the only district council to score over 60%.

The full results of the Climate Emergency UK scorecard can be found at councilclimatescorecards.uk.


How the council is tackling climate change -FAQ


Developing a Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP) together

Get involved in developing a Local Area Energy Plan (LEAP) which will identify the most cost-effective pathway for our district to reach net zero and help us deliver local benefits. 

We know a lot of the energy we use is further damaging the planet, but we need significant investment to have a just energy transition. What would a future look like where we all had clean, just, resilient supply and affordable energy? What level of investment is needed to make this happen? How can this energy transition help to support community wealth building in our district? Find out more about the LAEP and to get involved.  This work is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.


More on what we are doing

Planning and land use

Planning Policy Climate Emergency Review of the Local Plan

Climate change is without a doubt one of the most serious issues faced by the world today and it is vital that we take action if we are to avoid devastating consequences in the future. At the same time new homes and employment sites are needed for future generations to live and work, so how do we balance these competing priorities? We’re in the process of reviewing our Local Plan, which allocates land for new housing and employment. The review is looking at what additional polices it may need to include to address climate change. 

Coastal Protection and Flood Defences

The effects of climate change could be devastating to vulnerable coastal and marine areas as well as to the function and structure of their ecosystems. We have a dedicated team who continue to deal with coastal protection management, watercourse, flood risk and environmental management..

Solar Farms

We are working on a proposal to build a new solar farm at Burrow Beck

Exploring the potential for heat networks 

We've started work on a study to look at the feasibility of whether decarbonised heat networks could support residents and businesses.

Buildings and heating
Council office buildings

The council is to spend around £1million on improving the energy efficiency of its buildings as part of ambitious plans to make its services net zero carbon by 2030.  

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre Decarbonisation Project 

Lancaster is home to the first fully decarbonised leisure centre in the UK. The council recently fully decarbonised its Salt Ayre Leisure Centre. Salt Ayre Leisure Centre is winner of the 2022 APSE Service Awards: Best Decarbonisation Initiative.

Council housing stock

We received a special commendation at the 20/21 National Energy Efficiency Awards (Local Authority of the Year Category) for the works we’re carrying out on our housing stock to tackle fuel poverty and climate change. The works include the installation of new boilers and solar panels along with other energy saving measures and advice. We aim to bring all our properties up to at least EPC Band C by 2030. The commendation has also been awarded for the valuable advice and support provided by our Home Improvement Agency to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of vulnerable households too.  Thanks go to Green Rose Community Interest Company for nominating us for the award. 


Transport
Changes to waste and recycling collections to reduce our carbon footprint

Changes to waste and recycling collection day are helping to reduce our carbon footprint as part of ongoing work to tackle the climate emergency. The introduction of route optimisation is maximising the efficiency of our collection vehicles and sees crews using more direct, cost effective and environmentally friendly routes to pick up your waste and recycling.

Around 60% of the emissions produced by our diesel vehicles are generated from just 26 refuse collection vehicles so their replacement will go a long way in our journey to net zero.  The new refuse vehicles are in addition to the electric pool cars being used by staff as part of their duties, and the 14 electric vans (including the one below) that were purchased earlier this year for our repairs and maintenance department, 

Lancaster City Council's Fleet Electrification Programme

The council has reviewed its fleet replacement programme and begun to roll out a programme of electrification. It has around 160 vehicles in the fleet, ranging from refuse collection vans to tractors. 

The wagon is the first of its kind in Lancashire to be used by a local authority to deliver a waste collection service.  The vehicle will be joined by a second wagon of the same type and model later this year and replace the two conventional diesel wagons currently used for Lancaster City Council’s Business Waste Collection Service.  View the latest news (7 April 2022).

Electric car sharing scheme / electric vehicle charging points

We’re committed to helping people to convert to zero emission vehicles, reducing transport related emissions and promoting more sustainable forms of transport.  A key element to achieving these aims is creating new infrastructure to make it easier for people to use electric vehicles. With no tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles make a significant contribution to improving air quality.  Electric car charging points have been installed in nine of our car parks, with plans for more in the future. There is a full list of where the charging points are located. We've teamed up with Co-Wheels Car Club to launch an all-electric car share club in the Lancaster district. It's part of our ambitious plans to become net zero carbon by 2030. Find out more: www.co-wheels.org.uk/lancaster.

  • 06.01.2023 -  Co Wheels car club. welcomes new vehicles and more locations. Fully electric vehicles are now available to hire in Lancaster city centre and Morecambe town centre (close to the promenade) and more recently in Carnforth. As an added incentive, you can get membership for just £1, plus £40 driving credit and no monthly fees, when you join using the promo code LANCASTER40. 
Take up of electric taxis

The council wins government £54,576 funding  to encourage take up of electric taxis through behaviour and awareness campaign and a discounted leasing scheme. Development of local taxi policy which will support the uptake of electric vehicles. 


Biodiversity

Following the Council's Climate Emergency Declaration, Cabinet passed that glyphosate would no longer be used by the Grounds Maintenance team due to their potential effects on the environment and the health of humans and animals. This means we have changed the way that we do ground maintenance. View our video here.

You might have heard about peat-free gardening. Peat is a really important part of our environments providing, among other things, habitats and water management. It is also a critical carbon store. Much of the public landscaping that you see across the district from gardens at Williamson Park to the planters in the City Centre are all taken care of by the Grounds Maintenance team. We are working hard to stop the use of the peat. We are 100% peat free for our purchased compost and soil amendments.

In 2021 we launched our new grassland management strategy to increase biodiversity and provide more food for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Since the 1930s, England has lost 97% of its grasslands, with more than 500 species having disappeared, and more could yet follow, including hedgehogs and house sparrows. The new strategy will help increase biodiversity, improve the workload planning of staff, and will help meet the council’s climate change commitments. Reduced grass cutting in some areas, along with the creation of wildflower corridors, is already starting to bear fruit with an abundance of colour and native species beginning to spring up.

Million Trees Project

The council has launched a new tree warden scheme to plant, promote and protect local trees and to support the millions tree project.


Collaboration and engagement

The council has joined the Countryside Climate Network, which has been established to promote the voice of the countryside in the climate change debate. More details here (4 September 2020).

New Programme to engage the public in climate decision-making

Avoiding the worst effects of climate change will be the biggest challenge in human history. Local authorities and partnerships will play a key role both in getting the UK to net zero and ensuring their areas are ready for changing conditions. To do this in a way that is effective and fair, they will need to engage the public. We were successful to join a new programme that uses a combination of training, mentoring, peer-learning and hands-on support to assist us in engaging their local communities. Press release here (22 March 2022). The LCE Programme will work with us deliver high-quality public engagement projects on climate policy. You can view our progress here.

Life survey in partnership with residents, Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Lancaster University Beyond Imagination Team

Residents in the Lancaster district are more concerned about climate change than those in Blackburn with Darwen and are, therefore, they say, more likely to always do environmentally friendly activities such as recycling, composting and not driving for short distances. You can view details here.


Waste reduction and food

The Council is working to refuse, reduce and recycle single use plastic. As a general rule our meetings and events we do not provide or use single use plastic. When single use plastic is required we only supply biodegradable products or are recyclable. At Williamson Park we encourage you to enjoy your drink in house, but if you need to take it away all of our products are vegware and biodegradable. Whenever we have events on council land, we provide additionally recycling provision to help encourage as much recycling as possible.

Addressing the climate emergency also includes understanding our food system and having a food strategy. The Council is a key partner in the local food partnership (Food Futures) who are working on delivering the community food strategy, which is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  You can read more about this.

The Council has produced a guidance note. for events on land owned by Lancaster City Council, which state single-use plastics cups must not be used at the event, to use paper drinking vessels instead.

Flooding & Coast

Our Future Coast, a project where we are engaging with the community to codesign nature based solutions to promote salt marsh regeneration. Salt marsh is such a valuable ecosystem in many ways, apart from being a unique habitat for many rare species of flora and fauna it also provides a fantastic natural flood defence, as well as a significant carbon sink. As part of the project we will also be looking at sediment monitoring methods, biodiversity, and carbon storage. Find out more at www.lancaster.gov.uk/ofc 

Other

Air quality

More details on how we monitor, assess and coordinate control over local air pollution here.  Also view details above one how we are aiming to reduce air quality.

Get involved and keep informed

This is a space for you to share ideas, discuss important topics and contribute to the future of your district.  You can also sign up to Voice Your Views to receive updates on what we are doing in tackling climate change. 

 

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