Peterborough green councillors table motion for action plan to protect residents from extreme weather

Green Party councillors on Peterborough City Council have submitted a motion that will call for an action plan to protect local communities and residents from extreme weather.

By Ben Jones
Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:00 am
Flood waters inside Aldi at PE1 Retail Park near Eye.
Flood waters inside Aldi at PE1 Retail Park near Eye.

The motion, which will be put forward at the full council meeting on November 10, will ask the council to put in place a climate change adaption action plan.

Once costed and fully approved, the action plan would assess past and future risks to residents from extreme weather events such as flooding, extreme heat, cold, hail, rainfall and drought.

The action plan would be produced in consultation with the Combined Authority, national government, local organisations and residents and would estimate costings for the adaptation and resilience measures that are required to protect Peterborough from the disruption caused by extreme weather events and ways these could be funded.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

An ambulance gets stuck in flood waters on Bourges Boulevard in July.

The motion is a reaction to extreme weather events in Peterborough in recent years such as large-scale flooding in both July 2021 and December 2020.

It states: “The impacts of climate change in the UK and around the world are clear and demand urgent action. We are already witnessing changes that impact lives and livelihoods and reshape landscapes and communities. 2020 was the first time that heat, rain and cloudless periods all ranked in the top 10 years since accurate records began. “We are experiencing warmer & wetter winters, hotter & drier summers, with high variability, increases in average & extreme temperatures, changes to rainfall patterns, leading to flooding in some places, & water scarcity in others, increased frequency & intensity of wildfire. As we reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, we must also adapt and build resilience to current and future changes to our climate.”

With COP26 taking place in Glasgow this week, the motion focuses on how Peterborough can adapt and become resilient to the extreme effects of climate change.

Cllr Nicola Day, who has submitted the motion, said: “This motion asks for the council to plan to protect local communities and residents in the face of expected climate change and its impacts, in this instance: heatwaves and flooding.

“This motion is all about understanding, planning and taking the necessary action to protect residents and our local communities. Peterborough has already experienced severe flooding this summer which had an impact on local roads and transport infrastructure.

“With COP 26 taking place, we recognise that action is needed. The Earth’s average temperature has already risen roughly 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels. This rise is causing more frequent and intense extreme weather events, changing temperature, rainfall patterns and sea levels. The current path of warming raises the risk of abrupt and possibly catastrophic changes if tipping points are breached over the next decades. “Without action today, adaptation will be costlier and more difficult for future generations. I am hoping this motion will gather cross party support at the next full council meeting.”

The Conservatives on the council are understood to be supporting and seconding the motion. Cllr Nigel Simons, Cabinet Member for Growth, Environment and Resources, added: “I believe it is important to highlight the environmental issues and work together to seek the best solutions for Peterborough. I am hopeful the funding will be available to allow us to deliver on these urgent issues.”