Tackling the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

Cleaning up the River Calder

In 2023 we were successful in passing a unanimous motion to clean up the River Calder and its tributaries. We would engage local residents in a discussion as to how to clean up the river with a view to Calderdale recognising the rights of the river, and put pressure on Yorkshire Water to stop discharging sewage into the river.

 

Litter

Litter is a problem on the rise in Calderdale. Often bins are left overflowing. Not many people are prosecuted for littering and there is little by way of any public campaign to keep our streets clean.

We would introduce a litter champion scheme and aim to use Ward Forum Grants to provide anyone with the tools to help clean up their street.

We would organise more community clean-ups with residents and seek to provide free tips in parts of the Borough with real problems

Tackling Rats and Vermin

Sadly, there are increasing reports of rats and other vermin linked to fly-tipping and waste problems. We would review the Council’s pest control service to ensure it is able to deal with this public health issue.

Calderdale Energy Company and faster action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

We believe in protecting the environment so we would set the Council a tough target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. We would also invest in community energy schemes and seek to set up our own energy company to supply energy produced in Calderdale to residents living in Calderdale

Divestment from Fossil fuels

Shortly after declaring a climate emergency Calderdale Council became the landlords to a petrol station. We would introduce a policy of not investing in fossil fuels. We would also cease the exploitation of our local woodland for biomass fuels that add to climate change.

Real-time monitoring of air pollution

Poverty in health means that the poorest in our Borough die on average 10 years earlier than the richest parts of our Borough. Many of the poorest areas are those most affected by air polluting. That is why we would upgrade our capacity to monitor air pollution in Calderdale to provide residents of real-time information and warnings when pollution levels were high.

Opposition to fracking

We are opposed to fracking within Calderdale and will do everything we legally can to try and oppose any attempts to frack within Calderdale. We believe we should be transitioning to low-carbon energy production, not seeking new ways to extract even more fossil fuels from the ground.

Ban single-use plastic by the Council

Single-use plastic items such as cups, straws and plastic bags contribute to polluting our environment. Plastics take hundreds of years to break down and find their ways into our seas and Oceans. We think the Council should lead by example and stop using these materials in favour of more sustainable alternatives.

Back in to the top 10 in the country for recycling

Under a Liberal Democrat Council leader in 2012-13 Calderdale reached the top 10 Council’s in the country for recycling. Since then, our recycling rates have dropped. A primary cause for this is the failings in the current collection service that result from when it was retendered. When this contract expires, we would seek major improvements. Reviewing the wheelie bin and recycling containers. Improving the level of recycling collections and reliability. We would also seek to ensure our food waste goes back to being composted and bio digestion rather than being sent to an incinerator.

Tackling Derelict Sites & Enforcing Planning

Calderdale Council has taken a lax approach to using its legal powers to ensure owners of derelict sites and properties tidy up their sites. We would develop a new policy to ensure a pro-active use of the Council’s legal right under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act to force the site owners to tidy up the Halifax Road and Burnley Road derelict sites.

We would also ensure the Council’s planning department actively enforces conditions of planning permissions.

Insulation and affordable warmth

We believe in fighting poverty and protecting the environment. We would push public health spending towards providing insulation for people living in cold homes. Cold homes result in premature deaths and a lack of insulation contributes to forcing people into poverty that has an adverse effect on their physical and mental health. We would launch a major affordable warmth scheme.

Passivhaus and Sustainable building

The Liberal Democrat administration in York has just secure one of the largest Passivhaus schemes in the country. We would follow the example of other well-run Liberal Democrat administrations and seek to bring forward new sustainable housing schemes in Calderdale.