Influencing Havant Borough Council

When Havant Climate Alliance was formed in 2019 Havant Borough Council had not declared a climate emergency and had no plan to tackle human induced climate change. Following two climate strikes outside the borough council offices in 2019 and 2020 and a petition urging action, Havant Borough Council finally announced for the first time that a member of its cabinet would have a portfolio role for “Environment and Climate Change”. In summer 2020, Cllr Julie Thain-Smith was appointed to this role and under her watch a strategy to tackle the climate emergency was promised. To support Cllr Thain-Smith in her role and to illustrate the scale of the action needing to be taken, Havant Climate Alliance produced its own briefing for the new portfolio holder – which you can download below. At Havant Climate Alliance we will continue to work with the borough council to support them to implement meaningful action on climate change.

This paper has been prepared by Havant Climate Alliance – which unites a growing band of individuals and organisations who share the concern that not enough is being done to tackle the climate emergency within the local area. We bring a range of
knowledge, specialisms and skills to the table and many of us are involved in a number of other environmental and social initiatives within the borough.
This is an unfinished document – it is the start of a way forward and, we hope, a collaboration for the future of our borough.

Anne Sayer

In December Cllr Thain-Smith let a council an online consultation with local groups and stakeholders to explore local action. Local people made representations and you can read sections or download some of the full presentations here.

Havant Borough Council has a resource of 12 allotment sites. with a total of 770 plots. As an allotment holder, I have seen at first hand some excellent food production but also a proportion of plots which have clearly been untended for some time, land which is wasted for food production. And I’ve also seen people take on a plot only to give up because they didn’t know what to do and it all felt too challenging. Community gardens offer many benefits, introducing people to gardening and to learning about the importance of the natural environment for food production. In the Borough, open spaces about the importance of the natural environment for food production. In the Borough, open spaces could be planted with fruit and nut trees for community use.

Margaret Lockyer

Some people have an awareness of the benefits of trees although too many still see them as pretty to look at, but not really important and easily replaced. It is widely known that trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store carbon. Other environmental services provided by trees, such as shade, cooling and helping to prevent flooding and are rarely, if ever, mentioned. When trees are planted they are not necessarily looked after and can die. Havant Borough Council does not appear to be planting any trees, and trees planted in previous years are not always looked after. Havant Borough Council needs a tree and woodland strategy which sets a target to increase tree cover to, say 25% in a reasonable timescale.

Terry Smith

Adur and Worthing Council organised an online citizens climate assembly in autumn 2020. They tackled some really knotty questions and phrased their task like this: “How can we collectively tackle climate change and support our places to thrive? What does this mean for our environment and way of life?”
Havant is one of only 3 out of 56 councils in the South East not to have set targets for carbon reduction in their climate statement. It was good to hear Jane Devlin talking at the meeting about setting targets for the next 5 years in their strategy

Sally Barnard, South East Climate Alliance

A third of Hampshire’s carbon emissions are from transport. In Havant, we must reduce travel needs, reclaim streets for people not cars and make everyday cycling a habit. 70% of people would cycle if they had safe, all-weather, pleasant, cycle paths

Wilf Forrow

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