Gloucestershire councillors secure budget amendments

Changes were passed through the efforts of Green councillors in Gloucestershire, helping the council meet environmental commitments.

Gloucestershire Green councillors

Left to right: Chloe Turner, Beki Hoyland, Cate Cody, Chris McFarling

Cllr Cate Cody

A ‘tip-shop’ will be created at one of the Gloucestershire household recycling centres, enabling residents to pass on unwanted items rather than throwing them into the tip thanks to a Green Party amendment to the Gloucestershire County Council budget.  

The shop will enable unwanted but repairable items to be saved from the tip and reused, reducing the number of items sent to the incinerator or landfill, helping to reduce carbon emissions and giving residents the chance to upcycle items and avoid buying new products.

The amendment means that £120,000 will be available to set up a shop, helping the Council meet its commitment to reducing waste and increase recycling rates. 

Bristol, Thornbury and Newport already have similar facilities. Cllr Chloe Turner (Green, Minchinhampton) said: “Many of these ventures are financially independent, employing people and generating enough income to donate some profits to charity. It’s great that we in Gloucestershire now have a chance to catch up.”  

Cllr Beki Hoyland (Green, Blakeney and Bream) said she is “excited about the tip shop that will create opportunities to re-use materials, repair and re-home a wide variety of items, preventing them from ending up in the waste system. 

“This project will bring benefits to the local community through jobs, apprenticeships and increasing practical skills as well as offering the option to buy items that will have a positive impact on our own carbon footprint.” 

A second Green amendment to the budget also won £45,000 to hire a project officer to establish biodiversity projects on GCC land, ensuring that the council meets its new duties under the Environment Act regarding the protection and promotion of nature. The new officer will also work closely with the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership and the council’s other partners in the Climate Leadership Group.  

The county council budget – agreed on 16 February – already contained positive environmental initiatives to help meet the ambition of net zero by 2045 for the county. Cllr Chris McFarling (Green, Sedbury) commented: “Taking on these Green initiatives will help the Council to achieve critical biodiversity targets and increase public participation in conservation activities, alongside the other projects already in the budget.”

Cllr Cate Cody (Leader of the GCC Green group, Tewkesbury), who proposed the amendments, said: “We are pleased that this budget starts to reflect the vision of a Greener Gloucestershire and will help us all enjoy today while considering future generations and our natural environment. The nature and climate emergencies are inextricably linked and biodiversity gains improve the quality of services. 

“Nature is an asset and supports our wellbeing together with our economy. Most importantly, natural solutions can mitigate climate change at scale. The more biodiverse our county, the more resilient it will be.”