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Climate Change Newsletter Edition 9

Re:fit Programme

What is the Re:fit programme?

The Re:fit programme is an initiative for public bodies who would like to implement measures to improve energy efficiency. This is part of the Net Zero Strategy by the UK Government to target energy efficiency improvements of domestic and non-domestic properties across the UK. The programme helps by enabling public bodies to implement retrofit projects and achieve financial savings and performance improvements.

Benefits of the Re:fit programme

The programme’s overall aim is to help to improve energy efficiency in buildings through different measures such as insulation, low energy lighting, upgraded heating systems, and installation of building mounted renewables. In installing these measures, we can reduce energy costs, and improve building operation performance, while boosting local investment through local job creation and reducing the council’s overall CO2 emissions.

Re:fit in Flintshire

Over the next 2 financial years, Flintshire County Council has committed to a £1.5 million investment in this programme which will see energy efficiency and renewable energy schemes carried out across a variety of its buildings including public buildings, schools and visitor centres. This investment is anticipated to be returned within 7 years due to the savings made from energy use and increase in renewable energy generation. We will keep you updated with progress on this work.

Did you know?

Local authority’s direct emissions only make up 2% of their local area’s emissions. However, the local authority has influence over 33% of their local area’s emissions due to its influence as an employer, a social landlord, a procurer of goods and services, etc. Engaging and informing residents is an important part of this. We have a webpage that aims to help residents reduce their own emissions through different actions ranging from food, energy, land, transport and waste. At the bottom of the page is a pledge button where you can add a pledge on how you will reduce your carbon emissions. Small steps help to combat climate change.

                                                     Why not make a pledge today?

Have you followed our Facebook page yet? Flintshire County Council now have an official Facebook page to keep residents updated on the different services that the council provide. Among other important updates, the Climate Change Team will be posting with information on climate change, events and the work that the council are doing to decarbonise. Make sure to go follow the page if this is something that would be of interest to you.

Employee Carbon Training

The Climate Change team have recently been conducting in-house accredited carbon literacy training for Elected Members and Senior officers through the Carbon Literacy Project. Carbon literacy training helps to give an awareness of climate change, the impacts of everyday actions and how to use that knowledge to create a positive shift both within the workplace and at home. 

E-learn modules for climate change and biodiversity are currently under development as part of regional commissions, and this will help to engage the wider staff on the impacts of climate change and how they can personally take action in work and home.

Food Growing in Flintshire

How many allotment sites are in Flintshire?

Flintshire’s Valuation & Estates team directly manage 6 allotment sites which include 45 full sized plots and 16 half sized plots. With five in Flint and one in Dobshill. These sites are located below:

  • Dobshill – The Meadows
  • Flint – Swinchaird Walk
  • Flint – Henry Taylor Street
  • Flint – Allt Goch
  • Flint – Maes Afon
  • Flint – Maes Gwyn – New 2024

There are more allotment sites spread out across the county which aren’t managed directly by Flintshire’s Valuation and Estates team and are leased out. These are located in:

  • Higher Kinnerton – Park Avenue
  • Hawarden – Aston Hall Lane
  • Saltney – Victoria Road

How do I get a Flintshire allotment?

To be able to use an allotment site, firstly you need to be a resident in the county of Flintshire.  If you see a site you would like to use, you can express your interest where you will be added to a waiting list. When a plot becomes available, the Flintshire Valuation and Estates team will contact you. The site must be used for growing vegetables, fruit and flowers.

If this is something you are interested in, the FCC website has additional information regarding the allotment sites and an online form which will position you on the waiting list.

Future Opportunities

FCC Valuation and Estates teamreview current availability and look at where demand is located. They are currently in the process of bringing online a new site at Maes Gwyn, Flint, with an extra 5 full sized plots coming online in 2024.

Why is growing your own food important?

By growing your own food there are personal benefits such as:

  • Eating fresher fruits and vegetables.
  • Increase in physical activity.
  • Lower costs.
  • Sense of achievement nurturing your own produce.

There are also environmental benefits - food that arrives on supermarket shelves often have high carbon footprints due to the transportation of the item, packaging, cold chain storage and preservatives. By growing your own food, it cuts all of those steps out and will help to reduce your carbon footprint.  

This Month!

Launch of School/Town & Community Council Toolkit

Flintshire has a significant number of Schools and Town & Community Councils within the county. Because of this, the Council’s climate change strategy identifies the action to “Support Schools and Town & Community Councils to reduce operation’s emissions and engage with our building users to encourage positive behaviour change”.

The Climate Change team have been busy developing a toolkit that brings together many elements that support Schools and Town & Community Councils to measure and understand their carbon emissions while also engaging learners and local communities to support and take action.

These toolkits work across many themes, however, there is a particular focus on behavioural improvements; helping to make better decisions and make the most of existing buildings and systems. The toolkit helps to calculate carbon footprints and set actions to reduce this footprint.

The toolkit is planned for launch online this month, and we are hoping that Schools and Town & Community Councils will get in touch where we can provide support.

Carbon Footprint: Measurement of carbon emissions a person, organisation or place emits, thus their contribution to global warming. This multiplies data from energy consumption, travel, waste and procurement by a relevant emission factor to give a final figure.

Tree Planting Season 2024

Growing a better tomorrow: Our tree planting initiative.

In 2018, Flintshire County Council launched their first Urban Tree and Woodland Plan. This plan set out a strategic vision for the planting of trees across the County particularly focussing on urban areas. The plan also set a goal of achieving an urban canopy cover of 18% by 2033.

To support delivery of the urban tree and woodland plan, Flintshire County Council has successfully obtained grant funding from Welsh Government again this year through the Local Places for Nature fund. This grant funding supports the access and natural environment team in creating greener connections through the County, with the vision of improving green spaces for people and nature.

Trees are emblematic of the natural world because of the critical role they play in mitigating climate change, habitat creation and increasing biodiversity. From a human perspective, trees have a positive effect on our mental and physical health, particularly in urban areas.

To achieve the target of 18% canopy cover by 2033, Flintshire County Council have spent the past year working with local councils, communities and schools to identify and agree a number of urban sites for tree planting.

Throughout the tree planting season (December 2023 – March 2024), the access and natural environment team have carried out new tree planting whilst also working hard to maintain our existing canopy cover by providing replacement planting where tree removal is necessary. Overall, the access and natural environment team have successfully planted 126 standard trees, 130 maiden trees and 4,168 whips across the county. These figures are across 28 different sites, with Flintshire County Council being committed to the development of a Flintshire Forest.

If your town or community is interested in tree planting, then please contact us to discuss it further Sites will be prioritised by potential level of benefit to the community and nature.

Tree planting