Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Agreement formed to protect communities from climate change

Minister and local government have agreed on a strategy to protect homes, roads and parks from the effects of climate change.

The agreement between Defra, the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the Local Government Association (LGA) has called for protection of vital public services and emergency planning for social care after signing a joint agreement to adapt the country to climate change.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “Local councils are responsible for the services we use on a daily basis, from the condition of the roads, state of our parks and providing social care – so it’s vitally important that they are prepared for climate change so these services will remain unaffected.

“This agreement sets out the areas where action is needed, so councils can prioritise and commit resources in the best possible way. We will be working closely with the Local Government Association as we plan the National Adaptation Programme that will ensure the country is climate ready.”

The parties met at a Climate Summit hosted by the LGA in response to the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2012, and assesses what more would need to be done to prepare councils and public services for climate change. The findings of the Summit will inform the National Adaptation Programme, which will be published by the Government next year.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, Communities Minister Andrew Stunell and Local Government Association Chair Sir Merrick Cockell signed the agreement, signalling the importance of councils and central government working together to protect key services such as, health, economic development and public spaces such as parks, from the affects of climate change.

LGA Chairman Sir Merrick Cockell added: “Local authorities have built up a wealth of experience and expertise at combating the challenges brought by Mother Nature. Weather conditions and climate threats differ throughout the country.

“This is why it is key that local authorities are given maximum flexibility to develop their own ideas and strategies. Centrally imposed targets often miss the point and, at a time when councils have had their budgets cut by 28 per cent, risk being unaffordable.

“To support councils the LGA is developing a new initiative, Climate Local, to drive and champion council-led action on climate change in a way which will ensure local authorities can get the best results and value for money with the resources they have available.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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