Driving net-zero in St Neots

Proposed by Green Councillor Daniel Laycock, the new Environment and Emergency committee will work toward the council reaching net-zero by 2030. The Huntingdonshire Greens report.

Cllr Daniel Laycock
Huntingdonshire Green Party

St Neots Town Council has established a new committee that will work on Environment and Emergency, following a vote at the full town council meeting last month.

Green Councillor Daniel Laycock proposed the committee to the first new council’s full meeting after May’s local elections. The Environment and Emergency Committee will work toward the town council reaching net-zero across its estate by the end of the decade.

In 2019, St Neots Town Council unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency to tackle the very real threat of the collapse of our ecosystem, biodiversity and plant. A working group was set up in the same year that worked with residents towards seeing the town become net-zero. 

Several projects on council-owned buildings have since happened, with a report by a local consultancy business on the council’s energy consumption across its estate. Since then, the working group on Climate Emergency has ceased to exist. St Neots Town Council elected Cllr Laycock as its Chair for Environment and Emergency for the civic year of 2022/23. 

Cllr Laycock said: “Since being elected in May, this has been one of my top priorities and I’m delighted to be elected to work on this exciting chapter for the Town Council. 

“The new committee will work on creating a climate action plan, looking at a variety of different areas, including biodiversity, and land use, by developing and advising the council on key deadlines, holding it to account."

The Town Council will be reviewing the council's operations and assets and considering where biodiversity improvements could be implemented and included with the Climate Action Plan, as well as helping to identify high-level strategic direction, opportunities, and goals that could reduce the Council's carbon footprint, and how these could be implemented practically. 

As the climate emergency is a local and global crisis, Daniel continued: “We will be identifying and leading on partnership working opportunities with other councils and organisations which further the council's environmental and carbon-neutral ambitions, but also exploring third-party funding opportunities which will help the council deliver on environmental projects while engaging with the wider community, by working collaboratively with businesses, groups, and organisations on the agreed Climate Action Plan, and promote the work we do in the press and other forms of communication." 

“By September we will be working toward setting our budget for the financial year ahead, which will be brought to the Full Council in October."