What is the Council doing about climate change?
Dover District Council (DDC) has acknowledged the serious impact of climate change globally and declared a Climate Change Emergency, having already confirmed support for the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy, Kent Environment Strategy and Kent Fuel Poverty Strategy, and signed the Emissions Reduction Pledge 2020.
A cross party Climate Change Member Group has been established, to oversee the implementation of Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.The Action Plan sets out actions to reduce emissions from Council activity, operations and what influence the Council can bring to improve the environment and future sustainability of the district.
Council action to support the climate change agenda includes:
Assets & Estate
- Solar Panels have been installed on the Dover Museum Store at Whitfield Court.
- Around 2750 streetlight units have been replaced with energy saving LED's within the district. Inefficient streetlights at Burgoyne Heights have been replaced with 64 LED streetlights.
- The Danes and Marke Wood Pavilions, the Grand Shaft, Deal Pier Office, Dolphin House Communal Stairwell and Council owned and controlled public conveniences have had internal lighting upgraded to LED.
- Advertising screens on Council owned bus shelters are powered down 20% of the day (between 12am and 5am) to save energy.
- Electric ovens and hobs are being installed in the new kitchens at Dover Town Hall to reduce the carbon emissions from catering equipment. Lighting is being upgraded to LED fittings throughout with the main venue benefitting from automatic lighting control system (presence/ absence detection).
- Dover District Leisure Centre has been ranked Kent’s best leisure centre for energy efficiency, carbon footprint and energy consumption. The centre has a highly efficient combined heat and power plant, 70 solar panels on the roof, electric vehicle charging points, facilities to promote cycling and sustainable travel plans.
- Insulation/heating grants for fuel poor/vulnerable households - helping residents achieve affordable warmth whilst at the same time reducing the household's carbon footprint and therefore improving the energy efficiency of the district’s housing stock.
- Bomford Place named residential project regional winner (Southeast) by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The affordable housing project is designed and built with high levels of insulation, natural ventilation, and double-aspect windows to make the most of natural light to minimise the energy needed for heating and lighting.
- Solar Together Kent is a group-buying scheme that brings households together to get high-quality solar panels at a competitive price, to help deliver the district's and Kent's vision of carbon net-zero.
- The Corporate Plan that sets out the vision and clear direction for all services delivered by the Council, acknowledges its leadership role ‘in delivering a better environment for everyone and helping to inspire individuals, businesses and other organisations to commit to act to reduce the District’s carbon footprint. Climate change is therefore embedded in each of the key themes.’
- Annual Emissions are published on the Council’s website and reported in the Council’s Performance Report
- It is a requirement that any impacts on the climate or environment are detailed in all Cabinet Reports.
- The Council’s Taxi licensing policy offers a 25% reduction in the licence fee for any vehicle that is electric, hybrid or LPG converted.
- Sir Roger Manwoods School was one of the successful applicants to the Green Initiatives Grant Programme (part of The Open Legacy Fund provided by the Royal & Ancient). The fund launched by the R & A, Dover District Council, Kent County Council and Sandwich Council has helped a local school improve its carbon emissions by 30 tonnes per year due to the installation of 345 solar panels. See press release.
- Kent REVs Up for Cleaner Air provides businesses with the opportunity to try an electric van. The aim is that organisations will see the benefits and easing of owning an electric vehicle and be encouraged to invest post trial.
- Dover DC is finalising the updated AQ Action Plan to be published for consultation early 2023 – will include measures to improve AQ across the district.
- DDC has worked with the Kent & Medway Air Quality Partnership to develop an interactive education tool for children, parents and teachers to learn about air quality, its effects and how to reduce air pollution. The Environmental Protection Team will be promoting this in 2023.
Local Development Plan
- The Council’s Local Plan includes policies to help adapt to climate change and preserve the environment, whilst helping to deliver improvements to infrastructure.
- DDC Planning Committee granted permission for a 24MW solar farm with battery storage on land in Guston near Dover. The development is set to help avoid 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted each year and is capable of providing sustainable energy to power around 7,000 homes.
- The Council operates an employee Cycle to Work Scheme, and access to new ‘eco-friendly’ electric or hybrid cars through the Salary Sacrifice Low Emission Car Scheme.
- The Civic car, a pool car and the Environmental Protection team vans are now all electric. 8 electric charging points installed on the Council’s estate to provide charging for fleet vehicles.
- DDC has been working with operator Stagecoach and Aylesham Parish Council to introduce two Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) minibuses. Residents living in Aylesham and surrounding villages that are not currently served by a regular bus service can reach Whitfield and link to other buses for onward journeys by booking a bus at the touch of a button or phoning the operator. Buses will run 7am-7pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on Saturdays – a single flat fare will cost £3.50.
- Click2cycle is now available in the Dover area, thanks to a £100,000 grant from the Kent County Council Highway Innovation Fund. The bikes can be unlocked from one cycle hub and returned to any of the others, including hubs in Folkestone
- The construction of Dover Fastrack, Kent’s first zero-emissions bus route is underway. It is a rapid bus transit connecting Whitfield with Dover town and Dover Priory railway station. The project’s strong focus is on carbon reduction, more than 10,000 new trees, shrubs, and hedgerows will be planted to provide enhanced wildlife habitat in the area.
- 53 electric vehicle charging points are installed at 18 locations in Dover, Deal and Sandwich, (DDC-owned public car parks and on-street). 12 electric vehicle charging points have been installed in the private market sales development in Dover for resident use and a further 2 accessible for public use. 9 electric vehicle charging points are included in the new developments at Napchester Road and Foxborough Close.