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Help shape Watford’s response to climate emergency

A new survey is being launched to Watford residents today asking for their views on how to improve sustainability in the borough and in people’s own day to day activities and behaviours.

Results will be used to shape Watford Borough Council’s sustainability action plan which has an ambitious target for the borough and the council to be net zero carbon by 2030.

A key part of the plan looks at people power - harnessing the energy and drive of residents to make changes on a local level and this is what the survey is designed to explore. The council is also inviting residents to join its newly created sustainability forum - the first meeting takes place on 28 July at 7pm when the results of the survey will be shared. To register your interest, please email sustainability@watford.gov.uk

Sustainability Portfolio Holder Cllr Tim Williams said “Our goal is ambitious and will require us all to make big changes to the way we live, travel and work. We want to engage the Watford community and get their ideas for how we can make the improvements needed. We also want to understand better how the council can improve current initiatives, understand barriers to people acting more sustainably and gather new ideas to improve sustainability. I would urge everyone to please complete the survey”

The council has already been leading on a number of ambitious projects to reduce the carbon footprint of the borough. Earlier this year it introduced the very popular Beryl bike share scheme and the travel Watford app which helps people choose alternative modes of transport to the car. In July a new demand responsive bus will be introduced taking people on the short journeys they want to make around the town and making it easy to leave the car at home. New electric vehicle charging bays have been installed in six new locations in the town and the council has invested in a new Cycle Hub building to support and encourage more cycling.

Chair of the Sustainability Forum Cllr Ian Stotesbury said “"The challenge of climate change, sustainability and biodiversity loss is one of the biggest threats facing the world. Unless we take action we risk irreversible changes to our climate and our natural ecosystems, with disastrous results. This is why the council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and created a new Sustainability Strategy to help us deliver this ambitious target. We need Watford people to help us drive the changes”

Other new environmentally friendly initiatives have included plans to increase the town’s tree canopy, improved recycling of domestic waste and nature restoration projects like improving access to the River Colne. The council is also integrating climate change into planning policy and Watford’s draft Local Plan for Watford which has a focus on greener homes and buildings.

The survey takes about 12 minutes to complete can be found at www.watford.gov.uk/sustainablewatford. The deadline is 19 July 2020.