Haywards Heath Response to the Climate Change
Haywards Heath Town Council is very conscious of the issues around climate change and has been proactive in looking at ways the Council delivers services, promotes and develops new initiatives within the Town and how it can act as a signposting/supporting body for residents, local businesses and voluntary organisations. We were very proud to become the first Town Council to create an Environment Working Group in July 2018, which reports into the Council’s Environment and General Purposes Committee which looks at Environment issues.
The culmination of the Working Group’s commitment to this work, was made by a Climate Pledge being made by Full Council in September 2019, which is supported by an Environment Matrix and a set of Environmental Policies/Projects that will be delivered by the Council over the next eighteen months.
The Town Council has worked with local green focused experts to achieve the Environment Matrix for Haywards Heath so that it outlines what we are actually able to deliver and achieve with our resources to protect our environment and to outline what we are unable to currently achieve as the scope is so vast. We also commit to review and update this Matrix which acts as a background document directing the Environment policy.
The policies adopted by the Council leads the direction of its work under the headings of Planting, Weed Control Processes, Policy Development and Neighbourhood Planning, Best Practice of Council services, premises and land, the production of a Carbon Offset and Bio Diversity Strategy, Communication and Signposting, Retail and Food Waste, Transport and Air Quality.
It is important to re-emphasise that the Council cannot cover everything or have all the information available for the bigger picture so this is where the Matrix is crucial as it contains high level information and direction for residents.
What can we currently do in Haywards Heath?
The Council runs campaigns on grass verge parking, milk bottle top recycling, plant pot recycling, a programme of litter picks and has planted a large number of trees across the Town including 36 trees along South Road, the Town's main shopping area. The big ticket project is the purchase of land which will accommodate a large tree planting scheme. To this end, discussions have begun with a company called Carbon Footprint, who provide trees for free, paid for by large and small companies who contribute finance to pay for the trees against their carbon footprint.
The Council has committed to reviews all of its services to ensure they fit into the Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan and its business plan Destination Haywards Heath, which drives the Council’s strategic aims for the development of the Town.