This section covers our declarations of Health & Well-Being and Climate Emergency, detailing our action plans and aspirations inherently for the future. The health and well-being of our community is currently the most vital matter, with concerns in regards to human economic and social, plus environmental vulnerability and disadvantage. The Town Council has no direct statutory role in health and well-being, nevertheless, we believe that every organisation and individual has its part to play in helping to create a sustainable world.
As of June 2019, Lowestoft Town Council has declared a Climate Emergency, entailing that the Town Council is actively looking at ways to reduce our environmental footprint. With this goal in mind, the Council has formed a Climate Emergency Committee to look at ways to help reduce the climate impact, carbon footprint and to provide environmental benefits to Lowestoft.
As part of the Climate Emergency declaration, the Town Council are regarding the following actions:
1. Exploring and researching measures to better climate impacts and optimise beneficial natural environments
2. Recommend responses on any significant policy consultations directly affecting Lowestoft
3. Consider climate emergency action by local groups which might assist the Council's climate emergency activities
4. Looking at means of assessing measures of current performance to establish the level of success of the Council's policy
5. Ensuring suitable risk management is in place to safeguard against adverse environmental impacts from Town Council activities or on Town Council assets
6. Ensuring items no longer used by the Councils are appropriately disposed of
7. Developing the Neighbourhood Plan taking account of the climate emergency
8. Contract arrangements include appropriate environmental measures and safeguards
9. Water and energy use is as efficient and environmentally friendly as is reasonably possible and using renewable energy sources where possible
10. Supporting alternatives to car use including walking, cycling, and public transport
11. Encouraging the use of land for nature including increasing tree cover
12. How best to support its declaration of carbon neutrality
As well as looking at the Climate Emergency Lowestoft Town Council has put in place a Sustainability Strategy and a Health and Wellbeing strategy. You can read the Sustainability Strategy Here and the Health and Wellbeing Strategy Here.
Paralleling with our Climate Emergency Declaration, the Town Council has declared a health emergency in recognition of the major ongoing concern of health within our community. Part of this is raising the physical and mental health, and well-being standard so that individuals can benefit from and contribute positively to society. We believe that there is widespread understanding and recognition that a problem exists, the recent pandemic highlighting and exacerbating this, not least owing to the particular vulnerability of the obese and those with mental ill-health.
As part of our initial work on this, our actions will include:
1. Progressing our Sustainability Strategy as there are strong links between health and well-being, climate change and other sustainability issues
2. Supporting turning any Government/NHS health and well-being initiatives into local benefit
3. Planting an orchard tree for every other tree planted (which helps biodiversity and the environment too)
4. Exploring opportunities to enhance and expand our allotments
5. Rapidly progressing the improvement of our parks, open spaces and linked facilities for the enjoyment of all
6. Working with partners and promoting health and well-being initiatives
7. Prioritising support and promotion of transport which is not reliant on fossil fuel and which encourages exercise and independence, including cycling, walking and running
8. Taking account of health and well-being as part of our decisions on planning and development
9. Progressing local economic opportunities, including progressing our own planned recruitment of staff at the earliest opportunity
10. Progressing outdoor shopping and entertainment opportunities, including an outdoor market and cultural/event space in parks
11. Exploring opportunities to enhance the community benefit of our community halls and leisure facilities, including through related sports clubs
12. Providing grants to food banks and other food initiatives and organisations supporting health and well-being, with the emphasis being on the provision of nutritious and healthy food and an active and positive lifestyle
13. Progressing water fountains in our parks to provide a free quality drink for those enjoying the outdoors
14. Encouraging buying and eating local produce
15. Supporting education on food, nutrition, cooking and active lifestyles
16. Supporting the reduction in pollution
The following organisations and areas include useful links to help with your climate change action:
Businesses: Green Suffolk is offering free advice to businesses that are aiming to become greener and sustainable. Part of Suffolk County Councils, Creating the Greenest County initiative, they are working towards a greener future by supporting businesses and communities.
The Carbon Trust provides guidance, webinars, and reports on how businesses can be corporately sustainable, future energy systems, and how to reduce your carbon footprint.
Cycling: Cycling UK has gathered a varied list of community cycling groups and clubs around Suffolk, with maps, routes, and resources, encouraging cycling around the county.
Electric Vehicles: Zap Map has created a useful map showing all of the charging points in and the surrounding areas of Lowestoft
Food Waste: The Food Savvy Website is packed with lots of useful advice to help individuals reduce food waste. With Savvy developed tips, recipes, and activities for everyone to get involved with.
Friends of the Earth: Passionate about the planet? The Friends of the Earth organisation is focused on making the environment a better place. With the communities help to prevent mass extinction on millions of species across the globe and the UK
Keep It Clear: In association with Anglian Water, the Keep It Clear campaign provides information on what is and is not suitable to go down our drains. With regular updates and support, find out how you can keep our waters clear.
Recycling: Suffolk Recycling offers a variety of advice on how to recycle properly, recycle center locations, preventing and reporting fly-tipping, and learning resources for schools and communities to get involved.
Woodland Trust: The Woodland Trust has launched a tree planting scheme to encourage local schools and communities to plant trees in their areas, the Trust supplying free trees in November and March for schools and communities.
A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that come from the production, use and end-of-life of a product and/or service. The gas most commonly emitted by humans, carbon dioxide and others gases, including methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases, trap heat in the atmosphere and are the biggest contributors to causing global warming. Typically, the bulk of an individual’s carbon footprint will come from humans lifestyle choices, including transportation, housing and food.
The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) has constructed a questionnaire to help you estimate your carbon footprint, offering advice, and a goal scheme for you to achieve, and reducing your carbon footprint. The planet is in crisis - from climate change to the pollution in our oceans and devastation of our forests. It's up to all of us to fix it and reduce our carbon usage, by reducing our consumption, using clean energy, or offsetting our emissions, we're investing in our long-term financial security and future.
Anglian Water is re-launching its Pollution Watch campaign with a call out to all to help us in protecting and preserving the environment across our region. The aim of the campaign is to enable them to act fast should the worst happen, or better still prevent the effect of pollution in the first place.
They would like everyone to be their eyes (and nose) and let them know if you see something that isn’t right. We need to act fast!
How to spot pollution?
The aim of the Pollution Watch campaign is to create awareness and encourage everyone to report sewage pollution so that Anglian Water can attend quickly and reduce any environmental impact.
They are asking anyone who spots this kind of pollution to take these three simple steps
• Act Fast
• Provide key details - time, location, and conditions in the surrounding area
• Take photos (where possible)
You can let Anglian Water know by calling them at any time on 0345 714 5145, messaging them on their social media channels, or reporting it to them online at anglianwater.co.uk/tell-us
We need to ensure that our activity does not contribute to environmental pollution. Anglian Water has multiple programmes of work to prevent spills, ongoing maintenance to regularly check and repair pumps and pipes and their Keep It Clear programme, which encourages people not to flush items or pour food, fats, oils, and greases down sinks. This kind of waste blocks pipes and systems and 80 percent of pollution incidents are caused by these avoidable blockages. Pollution Watch is an additional way of monitoring our region and it’s just one activity in Anglian Water's Pollutions Incident Reduction Plan that outlines their commitments to reducing pollutions.