This week, I wanted to let you know about some of the environmental work we are seeking feedback on over the coming months. Our teams have been working hard on a range of projects which aim to help protect our beautiful district, and as part of this, we are asking for your views in a series of major consultations.

Thank you to all of you who got involved in the first of these consultations by letting us know your views around dog control rules in the district. Rules on dog fouling, dog exclusion areas, and areas in which a dog must be put on a lead when directed, are all outlined in a Public Space Protection Order. This is in place to help ensure everyone can enjoy the many beautiful open spaces and beaches we have in the district and to help protect wildlife. We are proposing that the current Public Space Protection Order, which is due to end in October this year, continues for a further three years with a few minor changes, and we encouraged as many people as possible to let us know their thoughts on this proposal. We are currently analysing all of the results and reviewing all of your comments, which will then be presented to Cabinet next month for consideration.

Our next consultation will be asking your thoughts on our Chichester City Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. Over the last year, we have been working hard to identify long term improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure, with the aim of highlighting ways in which routes in the city and surrounding areas could be made easier and safer for people, including those using wheelchairs, pushchairs and mobility scooters, and to encourage more active journeys.

Although West Sussex County Council is responsible for cycle ways, pavements and roads, as a district council we have a role to play in identifying infrastructure improvements and this fits into our work around improving air quality in our area.

Once adopted, the Chichester City Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan will inform both the Local Plan Review and future investment decision-making by the agencies responsible for planning, roads and pathways. It will also help when bidding for grant funding and supports the Government's strategy to increase the number of walking and cycling journeys, especially following lockdown. We are now at a stage where we can share our plan and we're really keen to hear people's views on this. You can share your views when the consultation goes live on 18 September.

Later this month, we will also be asking for your feedback on our Climate Emergency Action Plan. Climate change is something we know our residents, businesses and visitors are very passionate about, and as a council, we are too. This year, the council took a key step forward in the fight against climate change by officially adopting an initial Climate Emergency Action Plan, which set out a carbon reduction target of 10% year-on-year until 2025 for the Chichester District. We have developed this plan and will soon be asking for your views on the actions we have included. We'd like to hear from as many of you as possible and I would urge you to get involved when our consultation launches on 25 September.

It's really important to us that we hear your views on the work that we do. Your voice matters, and that's why we have set up our Let's Talk Panel. Members of the panel are notified by email when a new consultation has launched so that they never miss an opportunity to have their say. To find out more or to join the panel, simply visit: Let's Talk Panel. There's no time commitment — you can get involved as much or as little as you like. You can also keep up to date on current surveys and recent survey results on the Let's Talk pages of our website.

I'd like to finish by thanking everyone for doing their bit to help protect our area and keep it safe. We all have a very important part to play in preserving our beautiful district, and we hope to hear from as many of you as possible in our forthcoming consultations.

 

Councillor Penny Plant

Cabinet Member for Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council