Cllr Jayne Sharratt explains the Council’s need to prioritise Carbon Reduction.
I’m Jayne Sharratt, the Labour Councillor for Rusthall ward, as well as the portfolio holder for Carbon Reduction and Sustainability. I’ve just had a t-shirt made with the slogan Carbon Reduction Now on it – that’s the key message, and my main purpose is to make sure we take action to do just that.
There is no more vital challenge today than ensuring we have a liveable planet to pass on to future generations. We are lucky in the Borough of Tunbridge Wells to live in a beautiful environment with so many amenities, it’s hard to believe that that could ever be otherwise; but we need to protect our communities from the extreme impacts of the climate emergency by acting now. Change is always challenging, but Tunbridge Wells Borough Council took an important step in acknowledging the crisis in 2019 when it declared a climate emergency, produced a carbon descent plan and established a Climate Emergency Advisory Panel (CEAP). My job is to make sure we have the right strategy , approach and resources to significantly reduce our carbon emissions as soon as possible.
I hope that residents will find we are all talking about climate change and protecting our environment more, and that sustainability will be built into every decision we make. I want us to hold workshops and consultations with the public to discuss and shape our borough wide strategy on carbon reduction and sustainability. It’s vital that we start treating the crisis like a crisis, but alongside that we have a responsibility to leave nobody behind and include the whole community in finding solutions to the challenges we all face. I hope they will see the delivery of real projects too, like the Weald Sports Centre, which is currently being decarbonised.
We’re at a tipping point really – if we don’t make changes now to reduce carbon emissions, protect biodiversity and live in more sustainable ways, future generations will certainly suffer. That’s why carbon reduction is rightly one of our Focus on Five – it’s not an option to do nothing – what could be more important than protecting our children’s futures?