£1m boost for green initiatives in Somerset

Somerset County Council has created a sizeable £1 million climate change fund, thought to be the biggest single investment of its kind in the country.

The £1 million funding pot will be available for parish and town councils to bid for green initiatives in their own patch as the authority acts on its decision to sign the national Climate Change Emergency Declaration which aims to make Somerset carbon neutral by 2030 – with a commitment to find more in the following years.

A motion to plant a tree for every baby born in Somerset next year was also agreed by councillors. Council workers have been tasked with finding further funds as the council, along with other local authorities, works to produce a strategy to support climate change work – that strategy is expected to be published in early summer.

David Fothergill, council leader, said: “This is bold, it is innovative, and it will drive the ability to parish and town councils who know their patches so well to spend the money in ways that will have the greatest impact. As a council we can only do so much, but with parishes and town councils as our partners we can help individuals and communities change their own behaviours and that is the great prize that will make the biggest difference.”