Havering’s Response to the Climate Emergency

Although Brexit currently, 2016-9, dominates British political life, the climate emergency is more important. The climate emergency is a consequence of independent actions and therefore we’re all implicated. We’re all in the front line of a climate emergency solution, as it were.

Havering isn’t paralysed into inaction. The administration’s street lighting initiative is a fine example of acting local. Sodium lights are being replaced with LED, which will, in turn, be improved upon. There’s currently, August 2019, a six month assessment* period related to street light dimming. Finally, work is being done to identify unnecessary street lighting, called trimming(information from Cllr. Osman Dervish**).

Havering’s policy is the London Plan. This has been adopted by the administration as it’s off-the-shelf and robust. Osman’s approach is ‘light touch’ for ‘signposting of efficiency and cost savings’. This is synonymous with tokenism.

Astonishingly Osman doesn’t mention Havering’s fleet of vehicles. Investment decision-making for the climate emergency is critical in relation to fleet management. Havering’s procurement power should exert opportunities for technology upgrades. Havering’s partnership with ELWA, of which he is chair, is a very powerful weapon. This should be used to incentivise manufacturers.

The default management system should be that which has been adopted in relation to street lighting. Introduce new technologies in phases, assess and then roll-out borough-wide. Councillor scrutiny is vital to this as shoddy short-term investment decision-making destroys long term objectives.

*I’m looking forward to a report in the autumn from the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
** Email 15th January2019

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