Council acts on climate emergency after ten-month delay

After a long delay, Waltham Forest Council has committed £1.5million to fight climate change
By Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor

Council leaders outside the Town Hall (credit: LDRS)
Council leaders outside the Town Hall (credit: LDRS)

After an almost year-long delay, Waltham Forest Council is finally acting on recommendations made by its “Climate Emergency Commission”.

The commission met for the last time in November last year and made 29 recommendations to help the council reach its target of net-zero emissions by 2030.

After a delay that deputy leader Clyde Loakes admitted was frustrating, yesterday the council’s leadership committed £1.5million to fight climate change.

The money will be spent doubling the borough’s electric vehicle charging points and installing 150 new bike hangars and four “cycle hubs” outside stations. 

Cllr Loakes insisted at yesterday’s cabinet meeting that, while the delay was frustrating, the council has already “pioneered” the green agenda.

He added: “This cannot only be a council response, or environmental department response, it has to be a people’s response.”

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The projects approved today include installing more than 400 electric vehicle charging points by May 2022 at a cost of £450,000.

To encourage cycling, £450,000 will go on 150 new bike hangars and four new secure bike storage ‘hubs’ at Blackhorse Road, Higham Park and Chingford stations.

Some of the £300,000 budgeted for School Streets appears to have already been spent, with two of the five promised schemes already in place as of 4th October.

Less detail was provided on the £150,000 for two new ‘consolidation hubs’ for ZED, a delivery service that uses electric-assisted bicycles and tricycles.

No mention at all was made of where the 15 new ‘parklets’ will be placed, at a cost of £10,000 each.

Waltham Forest’s children’s activity centre in Epping Forest, Suntrap, will also be rebranded as a “young peoples’ climate campus” at a cost of £51,800.

According to the Climate Emergency Commission’s report, in 2018 30% of the borough’s emissions come from transport.

None of the projects announced concerned the reduction of emissions from homes, which make up about 50% of the borough’s emissions.

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