Councillor Deirdre Costigan, cabinet member for climate action discusses the council’s commitment to tackling climate change on a local level.
Councillor Costigan said: “When people talk about the climate emergency it’s not just about floods and droughts in far away places. It’s about people in our own country living in leaky, inefficient homes that are expensive to heat, especially in the face of rising energy bills. It’s about about tons of food dumped every day while record numbers use food banks. And its about children in our borough struggling to breath because we live in a city still far too reliant on polluting car journeys to get around.
“This is why here in Ealing we made tackling the climate emergency one of the top priorities in our manifesto. And we’ve now put our money where our mouth is. Within days of the election, we’ve agreed a big investment package – 23m pounds in total – that will kick started the delivery of our promises to residents.
“We are investing £5million in improving our pavements, tracks and roads to make them safer and support cycling, walking, running and scooting, with a further £1m to be spent to rapidly expand the number of bike hangers available to residents – delivered exactly to where communities want them.
“We are going to slash waiting lists and cut costs for these hangers from £6 to just 70p per month, meaning storing your bike will cost just a sixth of a car parking permit.
“We are delivering on our promise to invest almost half a million pounds to rapidly expand our Schools Streets programme, building on the success of the 15 we’ve already installed to ensure young people can cycle, walk and scoot to school safely.
“Green spaces and biodiversity matter to us, which is why we are investing £3million in planting 50,000 trees and working to increase the tree canopy to 25%, to help make our streets and open spaces beautiful and resilient. In local parks we are expanding our wildflower meadows and changing the way we manage our land to help boost pollinating plants and insects, vital to the local ecosystem.
“Because tackling the climate crisis is also about building a better borough for our residents. After all, local streets, parks awash with flowers, trees and wildlife, cleaner air, less traffic more cycling are all things than can genuinely help improve the physical and mental wellbeing of local people. Not to mention supporting businesses and boosting the green economy.
“Of course, tackling the climate emergency is only possible with the hard work of local communities, residents and volunteers.
“We intend to strengthen our partnerships to deliver even more success in the future – from our work with the brilliant LAGERCAN litter picking group, to pioneering rewilding projects with the Ealing Wildlife Group.
“The climate crisis is a huge challenge, but here in Ealing we are meeting it head on.
“From tackling air pollution, encouraging walking, cycling and scooting, and improving biodiversity, to achieving net zero for carbon emissions by 2030, we have put the money and the plans in place to deliver for residents.”