COUNCIL bosses are set to kickstart action on tackling climate change this week as they bid to bid to reduce carbon emissions in the borough.

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) leader councillor John Halsall is spearheading calls for the move after first outlining his plans to reduce the borough’s impact on the environment in May.

READ MORE: Popular fast-food delivery service coming soon

Cllr Halsall told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “A climate emergency is the council committing to a large amount of work.

“We cannot achieve carbon neutrality on our own, we don’t have the levers. They are global. But we can do some things to affect the situation.

“We are a big employer and we take decisions which influence all aspects of the borough so we need to optimise our contribution.”

Councillors from across parties will vote on whether to commit to plans to achieve a ‘carbon neutral Wokingham Borough by 2030’ at a meeting on Thursday, July 18.

The leader told the LDRS the challenge would include involving local schools and businesses and ‘everybody who lives in the borough’.

Actions planned by WBC include taking recycling levels up to 60 per cent from 40 per cent and ensuring as little use of landfill waste removal as possible, improving air quality in Twyford and Wokingham towns, eliminating single-use plastics and more.

READ ALSO: Missing girl found safe and well

Another project the authority is working on is urban greening, something Cllr Halsall hopes will have a big impact in years to come.

He continued: “I didn’t know until recently that one of the most effective ways of reducing NOx levels was planting.

“We are looking at not only urban greening but planting throughout the borough.

“The more additions we can make to greenery we can make, the higher the possibility of carbon neutrality.

“I think everything we do at the council will relate to climate emergency as it relates to the budget.”

After becoming leader of the council in May, one of Cllr Halsall’s first moves was to create a ‘climate emergency’ post filled by Cllr Gregor Murray.

Cllr Murray’s role is to oversee the strategy for making Wokingham Borough carbon neutral by 2030.

Family pays tribute to murdered son

Commenting on Cllr Halsall’s motion, Labour councillor Andy Croy said: “Can anybody do enough about climate change?

“We will look at it as a group but clearly we support everything that can be done to protect the land from climate change.

“There seems to be a point with the Tories at the moment that they are doing as much as possible to influence the election campaign over the next 10 months.

“It is just a bit of showboating really. No one wants the planet to fry. The executive member should just get on with it.”

Liberal Democrats councillor Clive Jones welcomed the move but said more needed to be done about air quality in the borough having called for 50mph speed limits on the M4 in the past.

He said: “I think it (the motion) is generally a good idea because there are lots of councils across the country which are saying let’s do something by 2050, so a 2030 target is good.

“We need to be serious about it – we certainly need to look at air quality.

“What I would like the council to do now is take this up with Highways England to get the speed limit reduced to 50mph between junctions 10-12.”

NOW READ: Council set for climate change showdown

Councillors will vote on the motion on Thursday, July 18.