New Nottinghamhsire County Council jobs at authority to deliver on climate emergency

Nottinghamshire County Council will change part of its staffing structure and hire four new staff members as it looks to deliver on net-zero and climate emergency plans.

By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 8:31 am

The authority declared its climate emergency in May.

The transport and environment committee was created and given the lead on the project, with the authority planning to achieve carbon neutrality in all its activities by the end of this decade.

Now the committee is due to approve two new job roles to help deliver the target, while internal changes will be made to ‘make a step-change in environmental performance’.

County Hall, Nottinghamshire Council's headquarters in West Bridgford.

Documents due before the committee in January state a budget of £200,000 per year will be provided to progress with the net-zero plans, which will come into effect from April.

Should the funding be approved in February’s 2022/23 budget, the cash will be provided to ‘supplement current climate change activities’ being undertaken within the authority.

The council states it will need a senior responsible officer to take the lead, proposing the existing service director for place and communities, Derek Higton, takes on the role.

A new post named head of climate change will also be created to work across the organisation delivering net-zero plans, while two climate change project managers will also be appointed.

All three posts will be full-time equivalent, while a fourth, part-time ‘business support’ post will also be created.

The committee is recommended to approve the new staffing structure when it meets on January 5.

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A report states: “To provide a real focus to our climate change work a senior responsible officer needs to be identified, and it is proposed the existing service director for place and communities takes on that role.

“A new post of group manager/head of climate change is created to work across the organisation and with partners on the promotion and delivery of our net-zero aspirations and manage the activities which need to be corralled together.

“Two climate change/net zero project managers will be appointed to drive forward projects and provide support to staff working on relevant initiatives.”

Measures to be taken by the council to deliver on the climate emergency declaration include planting 250,000 trees and creating at least 250 hectares of woodland over the next five years.

The authority has also commissioned a greenhouse gas report to ‘pinpoint’ where carbon emissions are greatest across its buildings and services.

Once completed, the council will put together a targeted plan to reduce its emissions. Larger-scale projects will be created entirely carbon neutral.

The authority says it is also due to transfer its electricity supply to a green tariff, aimed at providing energy exclusively from renewables and avoiding fossil fuels.

Coun Mike Adams, the council’s new climate champion, previously said: “We were already working towards carbon neutrality in our buildings, but the climate emergency declaration provided a clear signal of our commitment to Nottinghamshire’s environment.

“I’m going to be rolling my sleeves up to ensure we meet our promise to become carbon neutral by 2030 – it’s an opportunity we can’t miss.

“Our climate emergency declaration promised we would secure net-zero emissions in all our activities, but we want to go further and contribute to carbon neutrality across the UK.”