BERKSHIRE authorities will join forces to combat climate change and improve the local environment.

The Public Protection Partnership (PPP), which was set up by Bracknell Forest Council (BFC), Wokingham Borough Council (WOBC) and West Berkshire Council (WBC) to regulate environmental health across the area, bowed to growing pressure from councillors and residents to take action on the issue.

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Representatives from each council met on Tuesday, June 11, to discuss the Partnership’s priorities for the coming year.

An item concerning climate change was not originally on the list of priorities for the PPP, but manager Sean Murphy moved to include the issue.

This means the Partnership removed a priority relating to ‘eCrime’, which involves tackling consumer and business harm from online trading, to make way for the eco-friendly point.

Mr Murphy said: “Different local authorities have different local issues.

“There are issues that are relevant in West Berkshire that are not in Bracknell, and issues in Bracknell that are not relevant in Wokingham.

“One that has come up in two authorities is the whole issue of climate change and environmental protection.”

West Berkshire Council is set to declare a climate emergency in July.

Wokingham Borough Council’s new leader John Halsall set up a ‘climate emergency’ department as one of his first actions in charge of the authority, pledging the council would go carbon neutral by 2030.

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WBC councillor James Cole welcomed the new priority, saying: “I think it is a great idea but I’m going to be wanting a bit more detail on this. We need to be proactive.”

A document presented to the councillors showed the new climate change and environmental protection priority would mean focusing on monitoring air pollution, petroleum inspections, engaging in transport policy, checking energy efficiencies of buildings, controlling taxi emissions and more.

Bracknell member John Porter added: “I’m all for this but I hope it doesn’t deflect from our other priorities at the PPP.”

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Mr Murphy replied: “The main goal of this committee is to protect vulnerable people in all its forms.

“What we are hoping to put before you is a blend of these things – this is an evolving document.”