Below is a summary of some of the actions already taken by SHBC to tackle Climate Change and protect the environment.
Improving energy efficiency
More than 1300 fluorescent lights and around 100 standard lights were replaced with energy efficient LED versions throughout Main Square Car Park, Camberley, in 2019. Movement sensors installed to reduce energy wastage.
Surrey Heath House
- Recycling bins available throughout the building for staff use.
- LED lighting in process of being installed throughout the building.
- Reduction in use of paper towels in kitchen areas and toilets.
- Through investments in updating the radiator valves and main heating controls in Surrey Heath House in March/April 2020, a reduction of 53,657kg of CO2 from gas use was achieved for the remainder of 2020.
- Turn down water heaters to save energy.
- Energy saving appliances used wherever possible.
In partnership with Action Surrey we encourage energy efficiency, and highlight grants and funding available for residents in this area.
Electric Vehicles (EV)
- EV charging points were installed in Main Square Car Park in 2016, and at Surrey Heath House in 2021, with further EV charging point locations being considered.
- We have previously gone through a programme of fleet replacement across Meals at Home and Community Transport, replacing older vehicles with new, with more efficient engines.
- Work ongoing to identify all cycle paths in the Borough to map and improve cycle network.
- Working with partners, such as Frimley Park Hospital, to identify improvements for cycle path routes for their staff, to help reduce car use.
Work got underway in February 2021 on a project to deliver a package of transport improvement measures for the A30 and Camberley town centre road and bus link network. The aim is to maintain bus reliability, improve accessibility in and around the town centre, and improve peak hour delays on the A30.
This is a joint partnership project funded by Surrey County Council, Surrey Heath Borough Council and the Enterprise M3 Local Economic Partnership.
Find out more about the A30 and Camberley Town Centre improvement works on Surrey County Council's website.
A331 Shared Pedestrian/Cycle Route
The A331 shared pedestrian and cycle route was completed in 2017, providing a safe and high quality route for pedestrians and cyclists with new on-demand signal controlled crossings. The new shared path makes it easier to walk and cycle between Blackwater railway station, Meadows, Yorktown Industrial estate, Watchmoor Park and the Sainsbury's supermarket on the A331. The improvements were funded through the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership Local Growth Funding with Surrey County Council providing a local contribution.
- SHBC trialled a wildflower verge scheme in several locations across the Borough in 2019 with positive results, and since then the scheme has been extended to more sites. The plan is to have a wildflower area in every ward of the Borough when complete.
- The Greenspace Team believe they are the first local authority to become beekeepers by installing a hive at Lightwater Country Park to encourage these natural pollinators.
- Swift boxes were installed on the roof of Camberley Theatre in 2018 to encourage these beautiful birds to nest there and help halt the decline of the species. This was done in partnership with Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust.
- The Council’s network of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) provide an enjoyable natural environment of recreational use and are provided as an alternative to the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA). In all our SANG sites across the borough we establish high quality habitats that provide a rich wildlife interest. We sustainably manage these areas, encouraging all native species of flora and fauna.
- In its most recent assessment by Natural England in 2017, Lightwater Country Park achieved the highest rating for the condition of its ecologically important habitat, and the habitat management of Lightwater Country Park by Surrey Heath Borough Council was praised. The area of heathland within Lightwater Country Park has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Country Park is therefore an area of high nature conservation value, protected by law.
- Our premier parks, Frimley Lodge Park and Lightwater Country Park, have achieved the prestigious Green Flag status. This is a sign to the public that the spaces boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.
- All green waste is chipped and re-used as mulch and other green waste composted and reused
- We run an annual free Christmas tree recycling scheme for the entire borough, with chippings used on paths in parks.
- SHBC are part of the Woodland Trust scheme that helps us plant around 600 tree whips annually in various parks across the borough.
- We are replacing lights at our Green spaces with solar powered versions where possible.
- We use peat free compost, plus oblige contractors to do likewise.
- Use electric equipment where possible, rather than petrol/diesel.
- Greenspace team use an electric buggy for waste collection in parks, and use bicycles where practical for inspections at Frimley Lodge Park and Lightwater Country Park.
Planning Policy commissioned a Climate Change Study which will inform the development of the Local Plan.
Flood risk and alleviation
- SHBC officers completing project work to reinstate historic ponds
- Clearing and reinstating drainage ditches/channels/systems
- Carry out regular air monitoring/reporting in the Borough.
- Involved in Blackwater Valley Partnership work to reduce roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations on the A331 between the A31 and M3.
Promoting and achieving high recycling rates
Over recent years, Surrey Heath has been consistently in the top 6 local authorities in the country for our recycling rates, thanks to the amazing recycling work of our residents. In 2019, under the new joint waste contract with Joint Waste Solutions, we extended our recycling service to include weekly food waste, textiles, small electricals and batteries recycling collections.
The latest figures for 2019/20 ranked SHBC at an impressive 6th in England, with a recycling rate of 62.9%, up 1% on the previous year.
Reducing single use plastics
Alongside all of Surrey’s Boroughs and Districts, SHBC signed Surrey County Council’s agreement to reducing single use plastics (SUP) in March 2019. This commitment builds on the work that the Council has already taken to reduce the use of SUP in Council owned buildings and services:
- Camberley Theatre has been plastic free since 2019.
- In Community Services, water dispensers are used at Windle Valley Centre with no plastic bottles used or sold. The majority of the Meals at Home service come in recyclable foil containers, and sandwich packaging is recyclable.
- At the Council offices in Surrey Heath House, water coolers have long been in place on every floor for staff to use, with reusable cups. A water dispenser has also been installed in the Council Chamber, eliminating the use of bottled water in meetings.
- Churchill Catering operate within the cafes at Frimley Lodge Park and Lightwater Country Park. As part of their commitment to their environmental policy both cafes provide compostable Vegware products which include cups, lids and cutlery as part of their takeaway option.
SHBC is part of the Surrey Environment Partnership (SEP) which is made up of Surrey County Council and the 11 district and borough councils in Surrey. It aims to manage Surrey’s waste in the most efficient, effective, economical and sustainable manner.