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Councils join carbon reduction scheme

PUBLISHED: 11:29 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:20 03 July 2010

THE air above Norfolk is set to take on a greener tinge as three of the county's councils sign up to a national scheme to shrink their carbon footprints.

THE air above Norfolk is set to take on a greener tinge as three of the county's councils sign up to a national scheme to shrink their carbon footprints.

North Norfolk, Yarmouth and South Norfolk councils have all been accepted on to a government initiative which aims to help businesses and the public sector reduce their emissions and make the UK a global leader in carbon cutting.

Run by the Carbon Trust, the Local Authority Carbon Management programme last year helped district councils across the country save an average of £180,000 by investing in energy-saving technology and organising staff travel more efficiently.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), which produced 3,799 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2008, said it aimed to cut its carbon footprint by 20pc by 2012, and by a third over the next five years.

Simon Partridge, who leads a board of councillors set up to manage the plans, said the scheme would yield a double benefit for the council.

He said: “Like everyone, we're facing huge financial pressure. And, like everyone, we need to do out bit to combat climate change, which threatens lives and livelihoods not just in north Norfolk but across the globe. So anything that tackles both problems is especially welcome.”

Much of NNDC's footprint is the result of heating and lighting its sport centres and the miles travelled by its refuse trucks.

The council has already begun implementing certain measures, like developing a Green Travel Plan, but said its main focus would be looking at longer term solutions such as investing in more efficient machinery.

David Bills, South Norfolk's cabinet member for Environment, Health, Recycling and Safety, said the council was delighted to be taking part in the project and was working hard to cut both carbon and costs.

He said: “That's vital if we are to meet the challenges of the recession, and protect our environment.”

The council plans to cut its emissions by 4pc each year, allowing it to achieve a 20pc reduction in five years' time.

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