Councillors reached a historic RBWM environment commitment to achieve Plastic Free status. But does the motion go far enough? What more should we be doing for the sake of the environment and our young people? Plus extra videos, downloads & youth content below
At the meeting of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead on 11 December 2018, Councillors worked together to agree a motion to reduce single use plastics and seek accreditation from Surfers Against Sewage for Plastic Free Status for Windsor and also for Maidenhead and, all but one Councillor supported the motion.
Inspired by Plastic Free Windsor and Plastic Free Maidenhead, the historic RBWM environment commitments were tabled by Cllrs Coppinger and Jones.
Speaking in support of the motion Cllr Da Costa quoted Sir David Attenborough and also Theresa May’s strategy paper in also calling for more radical action, working collaboratively and across parties, to protect the environment and support the future of our children.
Sir David Attenborough’s speech to the COP24 in Katowice, Poland on 3rd December 2018
More information, downloads, videos plus youth content below
What do you think?
- Do you agree with Sir David Attenborough’s comments?
- Should decision makers take stronger action?
- Is it time to put aside petty differences and unite to take strong action on the environment locally?
- Did Cllr Da Costa go far enough in his vision for RBWM?
A Vision for a Greener Borough
Cllr Da Costa’s speech to Council 11 December 2018
- People want to revel in the vibrancy of life
- The Government’s own strategy paper, calls for “cleaner air and water; plants and animals which are thriving”; I would add residents who are happy and well; and “a cleaner, greener country for us all. “
- The report, “A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment ” sets out a range of objectives which go further than mere words about plastic to include, and I subjectify;
- Using and managing land sustainably
- Recovering nature and enhancing the beauty of landscapes
- Connecting people with the environment to improve health and wellbeing
- Increasing resource efficiency, and reducing pollution and waste
- Securing clean, productive and biologically diverse seas and oceans rivers and watercourses
- Protecting and improving the global our local and regional environment
- Using resources from nature more sustainably and efficiently.
- Enhanced beauty, heritage and engagement with the natural environment – including the green belt
- Mitigating and adapting to climate change.
- Minimising waste – and aiming to eliminate landfill, leachate, waste gases and wasteful contaminated land
- Managing exposure to chemicals and pollutants – for example, air pollution locally from aircraft and cars
- Enhancing biosecurity for our local flora, fauna and ecosystems
- I support the motion in its entirety as it will help ensure engagement and progress
- If we make this amendment it is a step forward but, our residents want us to go further, further even than the higher table of ambition of Plymouth, Mendip and many other Council’s who have already committed to change, implemented policy and, set out on the path of excellence
- We should walk the extra mile and,
- Audit our resources to understand our status and report on it
- Engage widely with residents, businesses, best practice councils and environmental groups and experts
- Develop a plan that includes Council, Residents, businesses, schools and colleges, and, our local ecosystem
- Drive this deep into our policies, our processes, our Planning regimes (the BLP), bylaws, & enforcement
- Set milestones, dates and a Lead Member to ensure achievement
- Continually reinvent the process to improve, improve, improve
- Communicate, communicate, communicate to facilitate learning about protecting the environment
- We need to set this as a key objective and, measure and report progress regularly, be accountable to our residents, our children and, future generations
- We need to work together to ensure that we leave a better legacy for the next generation, vastly reducing the use of plastics across the Borough is essential, as well as wider schemes to improve and protect our environment in general.
- Time is short. If I may subjectify part of Sir David Attenborough’s recent address to UN’s 24th “conference of the parties”, yes, the “conference of the parties” or COP24, in Katowice, Poland
- “Time is running out. People want us, the decision makers, to act now. They are behind us, along with civil society represented here today. Supporting us in making tough decisions but also willing to make sacrifices in their daily lives”
- People want to revel in the vibrancy of life; so let’s create a vibrant environment for flora, fauna and humans and, take seriously husbanding our resources, our environment, the ecosystem and achieving the well being of our residents.
- Make the amendment then, let’s convene our own “conference of the parties” to achieve because, together we are more. We owe this to our residents, to the land we have sprung from and, to our children’s children.
NB Scroll down for more information, downloads, videos plus youth content.
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Let’s keep working together to learn how to put people and our planet first.
WWRA Councillor, Wisdom Da Costa, Clewer North, Windsor
More information – click links to download
- Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs’ paper “A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment”https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/693158/25-year-environment-plan.pdf
- Full information on the Government’s paper at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/25-year-environment-plan
- Download a copy of Sir David Attenborough’s Speech
- Surfers Against Sewage (SAS)
- Visit the SAS website at https://www.sas.org.uk
- Personal action plan at https://www.sas.org.uk/individual-action/
- Resources for businesses at https://www.sas.org.uk/campaign_issue/plastic-free-communities/
- More about Plastic Free Windsor and Plastic Free Maidenhead
- Read the Maidenhead Advertiser’s Article about Paul Hinton and Lisa Walden and their Plastic Free Windsor and Plastic Free Maidenhead campaign in full at https://www.windsorexpress.co.uk/gallery/maidenhead/134762/plastic-free-communities-scheme-launched-in-maidenhead-and-windsor.html
- Visit the Plastic Free Windsor Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Plastic-Free-Windsor-1559852740807848/
- Plymouth City Council page – https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/environmentandpollution/plastics
- Mendip District Council resolution – http://m.mendip.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=17224&p=0
- Penzance Town Council – https://www.penzancetowncouncil.co.uk/community-information/plastic-free-penzance
- Canary Wharf becomes the world’s first plastic free commercial centre – https://group.canarywharf.com/media/press-releases/canary-wharf-group-set-become-worlds-first-plastic-free-commercial-centre-joins-forces-surfers-sewage-250718/
Plastic Fantastic Video – Marine pollution: plastics and microplastics- a film by YPTE
Cop24 Video in full which also includes Sir David Attenborough’s speech
Poland climate summit protest limits anger young activists
This post is part of Cllr Wisdom Da Costa’s regular series of Blogs to inform and empower local residents; as he promised in his election leaflet
The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the West Windsor Residents Association (WWRA).