Council pledges to make Southend carbon neutral in ten years

Senior councillors in Southend have pledged to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030 after declaring a climate emergency.

Member of Southend’s cabinet passed the proposal for a climate emergency during a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

As part of the declaration they promised the borough will become carbon neutral in just over ten years and will lobby the government to provide extra funding for green infrastructure.

Councillor Carole Mulroney, who oversees environment at the council, said that the council as an organisation will aim to be carbon neutral by as early as 2024 and work needs to begin as “a matter or urgency”.

Council leader Ian Gilbert said: “This is a massively serious matter, the council has already done a lot to reduce its own carbon emissions and goal of being carbon neutral as an organisation by 2024/25 is a big challenge but it is important that we show leadership.”

He added: “This will not be down to any one organisation, it needs everybody working together to make the changes we want to see happen.”

The declaration comes after the council promised to install almost 100 new electric vehicle charge points across the town and undertook a review of a tree planting policy that will look to improve the amount of green coverage across the town.

Over the past ten months, more than half of the local authorities across the UK have made similar declarations, including councils in Chelmsford, Colchester, Tendring and Braintree.

Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter