The Hampshire 2050 Commission of Inquiry reported in 2019, and more recently, on 21st July 2020, held a meeting on “Creating a Sustainable Hampshire”, the report of which is here:
This (virtual) meeting looked at five key areas:
- Rebuilding a more sustainable economy
- Cutting air pollution and promoting active travel
- Creating greener, digitally connected homes
- Supporting the vulnerable
- Promoting the natural environment
The report is worth reading and drawing to the attention of Borough and local/parish councillors, especially on matters of planning. It identified ten priority projects (comments in italics are mine):
1.Development of a Green Homes retrofit programme potentially linked to the government’s Green Homes Grant initiative and involving corporate partners. (Make sure new homes don’t need the retrofit)
2.Building a digital inclusivity strategy helping to cut carbon emissions and support vulnerable groups.
3.Further boosting low carbon community energy initiatives to increase awareness and up-take. (This might require reversal of planning presumptions against onshore wind.)
4.Exploring what a ’15-minute community’ looks like in reality potentially testing the concept in Winchester and/or Portsmouth.
5.Boosting the electrification of transport covering commercial as well as public sectors. (Hampshire CC is at present considering a transport plan including mass rapid transit for Basingstoke)
6.Developing a pioneering airport and port initiative showcasing a new way of operating that cuts carbon.
7.Further boosting tree-planting and access to nature for all sections of society. (Strategic thinking on green infrastructure is necessary.)
8.Building a sustainable food strategy for the county seeking to reduce food waste, encourage healthy eating and reduce environmental impact. (This might feed through into domestic waste disposal policy in Basingstoke.)
9.Explore the feasibility of creating a county-wide carbon literacy programme boosting awareness and inspiring people to reduce carbon emissions.
10.Further evolve a circular economy strategy for the county starting with the highest impact areas.
One of the overarching principles is that: “There was agreement that increased efforts should be made to build a wider coalition of collaborators”, including local and community initiatives.