For the rest of this year we plan to increase and expand our work in a cost effective and sustainable manner and we thought it would be useful to outline some of the plans we have that we can in mind that are in line with our priority areas.
In total were planning to spend £640k this year to support the work we do to make Wrexham a Clean Green Environment.
- We have a lot of buildings throughout Wrexham including schools and housing estate offices. More buildings will have the latest technology installed to ensure minimum energy consumption and maximum carbon savings.
- This year we’ll be looking at spending approximately £67,000 installing Building Management Systems (BMS) into some of our schools to monitor and effectively manage services such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning. This will include a programme of 10 schools, of which 3 are our large high schools, deriving a wealth of benefits in terms of reducing our carbon emissions from the heating of our buildings.
- Schools will also benefit from lighting upgrades, we have programmed for 4 primary schools and 1 large high school to have a full LED lighting scheme installed, at a cost of more than £150,000.
- Within our large depot on Ruthin road we will be looking at the potential to install a battery storage system to link with their existing Solar PV installation – which could cost around £200,000.
- The Environment Depot at Abbey road will look to have Solar PV installed to support the expansion of the number of electric vehicle charging points for the ever expanding electric fleet.
- We will be spending £55,000 on the newly refurbished Crown Buildings, will have a large PV system installed, which will support the reduction in carbon emissions from the building.
Transport and Mobility
- We already have quite a few electric vehicles and we’re continuing to install EV charging points at more of our premises to make sure we can keep them all charged and effective. Over the coming months we will be using Welsh Government grant funding (of £35,000) to increase the number of publicly accessible charging points, with installation in our more rural locations, for example we will be installing a charging point in Holt car park, which will support the move to electric vehicles in our outlining villages, and ensure charging facilities for visitors.
- We’re now increasing the number of electric vehicles we’re using and have just taken delivery of several replacement vehicles to be used by our Environment Department and we’re awaiting the first electric refuse collection vehicles in Wales. The Environment fleet is one of the largest in our organisation and can be seen on our roads every day so this is a huge step towards reducing our carbon.
- We have been able to access Welsh Government funding of £300,000 to support the increase in charging infrastructure in our Council depots and support our move to an electric fleet, by ensuring we have the charging facilities available to allow the vehicles to charge with ease.
- We own lots of land and associated buildings across the county borough and making sure we ensure it’s of high quality and is offering the best environment for the ecology of the area is important.
- Trees are an important and widespread asset in all our communities and we will continue to expand tree planting and replacing trees with equal or better specimens as trees come to the end of their natural life. We’ll also plant more woodland areas and support groups and organisations who want to set up their own community gardens.
- By doing this we’ll be offsetting any carbon we do produce and begin to see change.
Procurement (how we get our goods and services)
- This is perhaps the most central part of our plans but the one that will not be seen by the public – buying goods and services from food for school meals and refuse vehicles to paper and ink. It all has to be produced and developed and we’ll be changing the way we look at contracts to take into account the value the bidders can bring to support our carbon neutral targets.
- Becoming carbon neutral to reduce our impact on climate change
Biodiversity is also very important and we have planted up an additional 9 areas with wildflowers – this is in addition to the planting that’s taken place on our roundabouts.
We intend to build up on these areas each year and to continue to help residents create their own wildflower areas.
Whilst all these plans are ambitious they’ll only be useful if we are able to measure their impact and we’ll be working with the Welsh Assembly Government to set our baselines so we can go forward fully armed to set achievable targets as we progress to being carbon neutral by 2030 reduce our impact on climate change.
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport and Climate Change Champion, said, “Recent news shows just how serious the situation is and we’re now in a position here in Wrexham to see serious and sustainable works taking place that can really make a difference. It’s now essential that our carbon neutral commitment is imbedded in every aspect of our work and it’s very encouraging to see this is beginning to happen.
“We don’t work alone though and it’s important to recognise the work our partners at the Public Services Board, Welsh Government and Economic Ambition Board do in making sure we do this in a joined up and managed way.”
“I’ll be updating the council later this year on how this important work is progressing.”
To further this important work we’re recruiting for a Climate Change and Carbon Reduction Manager who will ensure that everything we do we do in a carbon neutral manner and that it’s an integral part of our work from emptying bins to building schools.
If doing something about Climate Change right here in Wrexham is something you would like to do you can take a look at what we’re looking for in article below.