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A SUSTAINABLE, HEALTHY AND PROTECTED ENVIRONMENT

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The Council's approach to environmental matters is set out in its ENVIRONMENT STRATEGY (though such matters are an important component of many of the council's plans and strategies).

It has been produced following a wide ranging consultation exercise and the Council is grateful for the contributions that have been made.

The strategy acknowledges that the Council operates as part of a wider community.

It is intended to review and amend the Strategy on an annual basis. Consequently, there will be opportunities for further consultation and involvement on a continuing basis.

The Strategy is divided into 10 sections:-
CORPORATE MATTERS Relating to the Council's own activities
INFORMATION & EDUCATION of groups and individuals within the district
THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT protecting the area's natural assets
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT protecting and enhancing the setting in which people live and work
THE ECONOMY encouraging sustainable development
TRANSPORT emphasising energy efficiency and pollution reduction
WASTE reduction and recycling initiatives
POLLUTION protection of the environment
ENERGY MANAGEMENT in all buildings in the district
PURCHASING environment-friendly council policies


CORPORATE MATTERS.

The Council will ensure that the environment is central to all aspects of its activities by:-

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  1. Including environmental impacts in reports and strategies.
  2. Including environmental criteria in contracts.
  3. Reviewing work areas for environmental impact.


INFORMATION AND EDUCATION.

The Council will inform and communicate the Environment Strategy to individuals and groups in the district by:-

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  1. Arranging information, training, and seminars for staff and Councillors.
  2. Supporting local environmental initiatives.
  3. Establishing regular liaison with environmental groups.
  4. Producing information leaflets.


THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.

The Council will protect and encourage the management of valuable natural assets and encourage Biodiversity in the district by:-

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  1. Preparing a nature conservation and landscape enhancement strategy by mid 1998.
  2. Preparing and implementing a programme of environmental improvements.
  3. Banning the use of peat.


BUILT ENVIRONMENT.

The Council will, with the powers available, ensure that the Built Environment from towns to individual buildings, provides a setting in which the community can live, work and play, by:-

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  1. Using grant assistance to reduce unfit buildings, bring into use empty properties and restore and repair Listed buildings.
  2. Encouraging and promoting improved design guidelines for new buildings.
  3. Providing advice to builders on renewable building materials and the use of environmentally friendly products.
  4. Investigating the feasibility and implications of using local construction materials.


THE ECONOMY.

The Council will encourage new economic activities and policies that lead in the direction of sustainability and discourage those that are contrary to it, by:-

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  1. Encouraging the environmental improvements of industrial estates.
  2. Providing information to local businesses on new green technologies as areas for potential business.
  3. Introducing awards for "Best Environmental Initiative" for local businesses.
  4. Establishing an energy advice source by mid 1997.
  5. Supporting the Green Business Club and encouraging local companies to have environmental strategies.


TRANSPORT.

The Council will encourage initiatives which reduce the need to travel and use more energy efficient and pollution free methods of transport, by:-

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  1. Promoting and extending the provision of cycle routes and providing cycle racks in Council owned Car Parks.
  2. Reviewing the use of transport by Council staff and Councillors.
  3. Working closely with the County Council on sustainable transport policies and encouraging rail transport and pedestrian improvements.


WASTE.

The Council will encourage the reduction, reuse or recycling of waste wherever possible, by working with the community and using educational and enforcement measures, by:-

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  1. Encouraging and promoting recycling and waste minimisation initiatives in the community and industry.
  2. Encouraging home composting amongst individuals and the community.
  3. Examining the use of resources by the Council through the Waste Minimisation Group.
  4. Actively discouraging litter and illegal tipping.

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Children watching a drama on recycling at school

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POLLUTION.

The Council will seek to protect the environment using enforcement powers and educational methods encouraging greater public involvement, by:-

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  1. Monitoring and seeking to reduce, where appropriate, atmospheric pollution.
  2. Promoting smoke free and no smoking policies in work places and public places.
  3. Monitoring noise levels and taking appropriate preventative or enforcement measures.
  4. Identifying contaminated land and requiring any appropriate remedial action.

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ENERGY MANAGEMENT.

The Council will seek to reduce energy consumption in all Council owned buildings and houses and promote energy efficiency in all sectors, by:-

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  1. Monitoring and controlling energy in Council buildings and reducing 1995 consumption levels by 10% by April 1999.
  2. Training all staff and tenants with new central heating on energy conservation measures.
  3. Improving the energy efficiency of the Council's housing stock to an average level of NHER 6.8 by the year 2004.
  4. Promoting home energy efficiency with public and private householders, including the use of grants.
  5. Encouraging developers to consider energy efficiency in the design of new buildings.


PURCHASING.

The Council will ensure that materials, packaging products and services purchased by the Council are environmentally friendly, safe and sustainable, by:-

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  1. Including environmental criteria in the Council's Purchasing Policy.
  2. Establishing an "approved" list of suppliers and contractors who comply with an agreed environmental code.
  3. Purchasing goods and services locally wherever possible.


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