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News MBC leading on biodiversity and tackling climate change


MBC leading on biodiversity and tackling climate change  image

Maidstone Borough Council is leading the way on environmental action through its Biodiversity and Climate Change Working Group.

The new task force is already delivering innovation and practical, measurable actions to achieve adaptation and resilience to climate change impacts for local communities and the natural world.

This week, MBC held its first working group meeting, which has been set-up following a Policy and Resources Committee meeting held in July, and after the Council declared its recognition of global climate and biodiversity emergencies in April 2019 with cross-party support.

When it met, the group focused on identifying meaningful action to address climate change and ecological decline and common ground for deliverable projects and ideas to take forward together.

Key action areas were agreed at the meeting including:

  1. Landscape restoration and re-connection, through a ‘Wildwood and Wetland Connect’ initiative, maximising environmental services delivered by woodland and wetland in terms of reduction in flood risk, boosting clean drinking-water resources, improvements in local air quality, locking-up carbon dioxide.
  2. Ensure new and existing development integrates the most up-to-date energy efficiency and renewable energy generation technology. This ambitious aim will be achieved through early engagement with planners, developers, housing providers and other stakeholders.
  3. To introduce cleaner and more resilient infrastructure - ensuring that drinking water, power and broadband supply networks and waste water disposal is resilient to severe weather impacts such as flash flooding and heatwave.
  4. To make the borough the friendliest place in the country for driving and marketing electric or hybrid vehicles and Maidstone a national leader on EV technology and by expanding ‘pollution busting’ street tree coverage and other natural and technological air conditioning innovations.

Recognising the size of challenge ahead and the need to put Maidstone residents at the forefront of this work, the group will request ideas from the public, parishes, community groups, businesses and other stakeholders to help understand the climate and ecological challenges facing everyone from across the borough – and come up with practical solutions.  It also agreed that expert witnesses will be interviewed to identify initiatives that could be implemented in and around Maidstone.

Cllr Tony Harwood, Chair of the Working Group said:

MBC is pleased to be moving this project ahead with a cross-party working group and to be evidencing real community leadership on the two greatest challenges facing mankind: the accelerating collapse in biodiversity – the variety of life on earth - and man-made climate change.  We fully understand that this is a huge local, national and international challenge and are not suggesting we can change things overnight but working together we are absolutely determined to take the tough and effective action needed to make our local communities and environment cleaner and more resilient.

“As a working group we are excited at the prospect of making a positive difference to the lives of people who live and work in the Borough and making our part of Kent more wildlife friendly. We would welcome ideas from our residents (of all ages and of all cultures), parishes, community groups, businesses and other partners.

Maidstone Borough Council formally declared a climate change and biodiversity emergency in April 2019 and proposed a target for carbon neutrality by 2030.  It is also supporting and urging even more ambition from Kent County Council’s emerging Energy and Low Emissions Strategy as well as the existing Kent Environment Strategy.


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