The big news is that Chigwell Parish Council have declared a climate emergency! Following a question before Christmas, and a presentation to the management committee on the topic , this committee approved the declaration of a climate emergency. The particular importance of this news was explained by Councillor Pranav Bhanot: this would mean that the climate would have to be taken into account in every decision the council makes. All the councillors present supported the declaration. It has now been proposed for a working group to be created, consisting of councillors and members of the public, to consider the implications and determine what the next steps need to be. Many councillors expressed their concern that the working group should be set up quickly in order to start the task of aiming for carbon neutrality within the parish by 2030 (acknowledged to be an ambitious target but members have shown clear determination to show urgency in this area).
In other news, following a question from Celine Jefcoate. Chairman of the Chigwell Residents’ Association, it was decided that the proposed clearance of scrub along a stretch of Courtland Drive should be carried out with more sensitivity to habitat loss and reduction in biodiversity. An EFDC specialist was consulted, and it was decided to buy bat- and bird-boxes, and to sow a strip with wildflower seeds. A plan to leave the logs for fungi and insects seems to have gone awry, however, as residents took the logs for their stoves…! EFCA hope that the vegetation along the bank of the brook will be allowed to grow back, to provide cover for animals and birds. Grey wagtails have been seen there, and it would be fantastic to see these beautiful birds breeding in the middle of Chigwell.
Additionally, at the management committee meeting on 21st January, it was agreed to install 5 Sheffield bike stands on Chigwell Green, near the station. The council are also getting quotations for electric vehicle charging points, to be installed perhaps at Victory Hall and Brook Parade.
Here at EFCA, we are delighted by the steps that Chigwell Parish Council are taking in being proactively tackling the climate emergency and are very much looking forward to working with the council going forwards!