'10% of the 2020-21 council budget will be spent tackling climate emergency'

Gregor Murray
Norreys ward councillor Gregor Murray Picture: Tony Johnson

WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL will be investing 10% of its budget into tackling the climate emergency – more than the 2.5%-5% recommended by the New Economics Foundation. 

That’s the verdict of Cllr Gregor Murray, the executive member for climate emergency, as he spoke during the budget debate held at Wokingham Borough Council on Thursday, February 20. 

He added that while 287 local authorities had declared an emergency, “few have declared a financial budget”. 

He added: “It sensibly brings together in one place all the projects and programmes that can impact on our carbon footprint giving us greater visibility and control over the work of the council in this crucial focus area.”

Cllr Murray then set out the vision for the next three years, which includes: 

£2 million for improving public rights of way

  • £2 million investment in the cycle network
  • £2.2 million for greenways
  • £18 million for clean energy generation
  • £6 million for park and ride schemes 
  • £13 million to tackle congestion

“We are investing in increasing biodiversity and I have asked for a particular focus on increasing the bee population,” Cllr Murray said. 

He also pledged to work towards the launch of the green banks. 

To ensure that everything could be measured towards the zero carbon emission target, he said the council would work with “the experts in Reading University” … “and are fully committed to ensuring that we get the maximum return on our carbon investment”. 

“This budget is a bold statement of intent from Wokingham Borough Council,” Cllr Murray concluded. “It sets us apart as true leaders in this climate emergency. We are putting our money where our mouth is.”

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Everything affects the climate, you plank.

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