While work to combat climate change needs to be progressed on a national and international level, as a local authority, Bracknell Forest Council also has a very important role to help tackle climate change across a number of key areas and local services. We’ve been aware of the issue for many years and it is important not to lose sight of what we’re doing already to help protect our planet.

We have developed plans with our partners and local communities to progressively address the causes and the impact of climate change. We have been working hard as part of a waste disposal partnership, re3, to change the way we manage waste in the borough, encouraging people to reduce, reuse and recycle more waste. Through this partnership, a number of recent changes have been introduced to improve the way we manage waste. This includes extending the range of items that can be recycled due to enhancements to recycling facilities, enabling plastic to be processed cost-effectively and to a very high standard. We’ve also introduced ‘re3Grow’ compost which is created from residents’ recycled garden waste.

Our highways team continues to secure sustainable travel routes and facilities to encourage walking and cycling so to reduce our carbon emissions. We are providing a number of road improvement schemes which aim to improve journey times, reduce congestion and improve air quality. Greenway schemes are included to ensure environmental benefits through measures such as tree planting, hedgerow creation and creating wildlife habitats. The enhancement of existing open spaces as well as providing new, large open spaces also help improve air quality in the borough.

Bracknell Forest Council has taken steps to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions through a number of programmes, including replacing old heating systems, installing solar panels, placing solar canopies over town centre car parks and increasing electric car charging points.

These are just a few examples of the actions we are taking, but we are not complacent; there is always more that can be done, so we will be communicating to residents a lot more in the coming weeks and months about how we can do even more and be a force for change for our future generations.

By Paul Bettison, Bracknell Forest Council leader