Stockport Council’s work on delivering projects that tackle climate change has been heralded at today’s GM Green Summit.
This is a demonstration of how Stockport has a plan in action; a new greenprint for the future.
The event, being held at the Lowry Theatre in Salford, saw Stockport feature prominently. Three key projects highlighted were:
• the council’s groundbreaking Schools Climate Assembly, now being adopted by other Local Authorities across the UK.
• Stockport’s key role in the Unlocking Clean Energy in Greater Manchester project which led to funding for 8 new solar PV installations on council buildings and schools – for which the council are already reaping the benefits in significant reductions in energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
• And the announcement of Stockport’s winning bid for funding for a future thinking climate adaptation and resilience building project looking at protecting communities from the effects of future climate change.
During the opening session of today’s summit, Ace and Blair, two students from Reddish Vale High School, championed our work to tackle period product waste and period inequality.
Ace and Blair brought their idea to Stockport Council through the Schools Climate Assembly project where they made the case for eco-friendly period products. After winning the youth debate, held in Stockport’s Town Hall, the students worked with the council to shape how grants and training were rolled out to education settings across the borough.
More than 3,000 pupils benefitted from the support in the first year; a simple switch from plastic to biodegradable period products will avoid creation of 33 million pieces of plastic waste in that group’s lifetime.
Stockport’s second feature shone a light on eight innovative solar panel projects that have been delivered as part of Unlocking Clean Energy in Greater Manchester, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
The fund has seen solar panels installed at the following eight sites in the borough:
• Grand Central Leisure Centre
• Ladybridge Primary School, Cheadle Hulme
• Westmorland Primary School, Brinnington
• Bramhall High School
• Stockport Sports Village, Woodley
• Banks Lane Junior/Infant School, Offerton
• Endeavour House (Totally Local Company depot), Bredbury
• Stockport Exchange Multi Storey car park
Stockport were able to gain the funding because they were ready with plans for decarbonising their buildings, so could move quickly to secure additional funding.
The largest scheme will see 222,100 kWh of renewable energy generated for the leisure centre annually, which is enough to supply the equivalent of 75 average household’s electricity, according to OfGen figures.
Collectively, the four schools will save around £100,000 on their energy bills each year.
The final feature highlighted Stockport’s work to become climate resilient and announced a successful bid for $125,000 funding via the GM R4C Programme, sponsored by Zurich’s charitable body, for adaptation planning and engagement.
Edgeley will be the focus of this work due to its proximity to the MDC development along with accompanying opportunities for adapting to climate change focussing on surface flooding and urban heat effect.
Cllr Mark Roberts, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment, said: “These projects are incredibly important for our climate action now plan and are a great example of how climate action can pay dividends now and in the future.
“Young people really understand the need for dealing with climate change and the opportunity to show them the difference a small change to a building at their schools and leisure sites can make is really important.
“As a council, it is imperative that we show residents that we are doing what we can – and our communities, schools and our estate are a great example of where we are stepping up to the mark and striving to get decarbonisation efforts really progressing.
“We’re also really pleased to have won the opportunity to take part in this exciting GM R4C program in Edgeley and to work with local residents to understand how Stockport communities can plan for future climate change in a just, fair and inclusive way as we learn to cope with the effects of already baked in climate change and the pressures that it places on local people.”
In addition, the attendees at the Green Summit overwhelmingly backed a call by Stockport Council for the Metrolink to come to Stockport.
Cllr Roberts added: “It’s clear from talking to people here at the summit today that we need the tram to come to Stockport. We’ve been calling for this for years, so it’s about time something happened.
“Having a decent public transport infrastructure is key to driving down greenhouse gas emissions, and if we ever stand a chance of limiting global warming, this kind of infrastructure needs to happen.”