The final debate on my 10 point green action plan will take place tomorrow at Devon County Council’s full council meeting.
The action plan, in full below, has received a lukewarm response from council officers, who responded rather negatively to many of the points.
Devon County Council’s all conservative cabinet, who looked at the motion last month, have recommended that the action plan with officer comments are taken forward and debated by the council’s environment performance board, whose the next meeting is on Thursday 8 August.
I have been invited to address the board on that date.
At tomorrow’s full council there will be a debate and a final recommendation agreed before the motion is referred to the environment perfomance board.
My Green Action Plan is below
This council notes its resolution on declaring a climate emergency in Devon, in February.
This council notes also that officers launched the policy on wildflower verges earlier this month. Huge congratulations to the officers who helped bring this about.
The government has now declared a state of climate emergency across the UK, following the actions of Extinction Rebellion.
Climate change and other human activity is now causing species to decline at a rate unprecedented in human history, with three-quarters of land-based environments and two-thirds of the marine environment significantly altered.
Devon County Council, with its positive record on the environment is well placed to work with others to help mitigate the catastrophe coming our way.
Therefore, this council agrees to:
- Call on the government to offer all pollinators full legal protection from harm
- Write to all Devon outlets stocking bee harming pesticides, and urge them to permanently cancel their order with the suppliers
- Take action to phase out all glyphosate pesticides used in council weed spraying or any other council related activity, by December 2019 (there may be exceptional circumstances such as dealing with specific non native species, such as Japanese knotweed)
- Support Devon County Council tenant farmers in phasing out the use of inorganic fertilisers (such as nitrogen) by December 2023
- Support Devon County Council tenant farmers in setting aside 10 per cent of their land for wildlife and/or wildflower mixes for pollinators
- Work with community groups and non-government organisations such as Devon Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust to support Devon County Council tenant farmers to set aside five per cent of their land for tree planting
- Work with community groups and non-government organisations such as Devon Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust on supporting town and parish councils, schools and community groups to set aside land for tree planting
- Develop a policy on soil health good practice, with an emphasis on allowing land to recover and phasing out damaging chemicals, which are ultimately sterilising the land. This would include setting appropriate and reasonable targets for Devon County Council tenant farmers
- Work with South West Water on a campaign to save water across the county, with an emphasis on education about future water scarcity. Specifically target town and parish councils, community groups and schools to raise awareness of the importance of good water practice
- Support Devon Wildlife Trust’s campaign by calling on the Environment Secretary to allocate a further eight Marine Conservation Zones to Devon’s waters. Details can be found on the DWT website – https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/take-action/marine-conservation-zones
The recommendation from cabinet and appendix including the officer comments is below – https://democracy.devon.gov.uk/documents/s25937/Notices%20of%20Motion%20Briefing%20Paper%20CSO1914.pdf
The meeting takes place from 2.15pm tomorrow and will be webcast live here – – https://devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home
Motions are the last item on the agenda.
Pic: With Emily Stallworthy from Devon Wildlife Trust in October 2013 preparing on of three pilot wildflower verges in my ward