1. Climate change funding £500,000p.a. for two years

1.1 The Council declared a Climate Change emergency in July 2019 and in the following year, a total of £500,000 was made available to support the Climate Change initiative. The Council has fully committed this funding and now it is necessary to review the funding that is provided for the Council to take forward further urgent actions.

1.2 In relation to Climate Change, Warwick District Council and Stratford-on-Avon Council are working together on the following three ambitions and these will provide the focus of our work to address the climate emergency:

  • Ambition 1 - Net Zero Carbon Council 2025: ensure the new South Warwickshire Council is net zero carbon within a year of its first elections and that services provided through contractors include carbon reduction targets to deliver net zero by 2030.
  • Ambition 2 - Low Carbon South Warwickshire 2030: to reduce net carbon emissions from across South Warwickshire by a minimum of 55% by 2030 and alongside this, plan how to further reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
  • Ambition 3 - Adaptation 2050: by 2050 to enable our environment and communities to have adapted to the potential of at least a 3 degrees rise in global temperatures by 2100.

1.3 The allocation of £1m spread across the following two years will help deliver upon these ambitions.

2. Car Parking Charges - £230,000 pa

2.1 The Council does not charge for car parking across the whole of the district, the charges are concentrated in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon and limited charging in Shipston-on-Stour.

2.2 Included within the budget proposals approved by Council last year, was the idea that charges should be made in all of the Council's owned car parks. This idea has been reviewed and it is proposed that at least at this stage then the decision is made not to introduce such charges at present.

2.3 In the next year, the District Council will be undertaking a review of car parking and transportation with the County Council in relation to the town of Stratford- upon-Avon, following which there may be further changes recommended.

3. Support for Tourism - Shakespeare's England – £100k for two years

3.1 Shakespeare's England is the tourism Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for Warwickshire. Funding from Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Warwick District Council (WDC) has been on a three year programme with 2021/22 being the final year of the current funding round. It is considered that Shakespeare's England could operate more effectively if its focus was shifted away from the collection of membership fees to the promotion of tourism across the DMO area. The proposal is to increase the funding of Shakespeare's England to £100k pa for a period of two years i.e. to 31st March 2024, on the proviso that membership funding is ceased. Board member and other contributions would remain.

3.2 WDC would also commit to the same increase of funding. This proposal will put Shakespeare's England on a secure footing moving forward. It will allow a further consideration of the DMO structure and funding model once decisions have been made both in respect of the DMO review and in respect of the merger of SDC and WDC. The use of this funding will be subject to a future report to The Cabinet before any funding is committed.

4. Housing Sustainability and Engagement Officer - £20k recurring

4.1 For the recruitment of a Housing Sustainability and Engagement Officer to support the delivery of the decarbonisation grant programme. Stratford District Council has been successful in securing funding through the Green Homes Local Authority Delivery Scheme (LADS) and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (Wave 1) (SHDF) in partnership with Orbit. It is well positioned to be awarded the Home Upgrade Grant (HUGS) and further LADS awards.

4.2 Currently there is no capacity within existing teams, either at SDC or WDC, to support this work. Whilst we are successfully winning funding awards, the progress to date has been delivered through goodwill of existing team members. This is unsustainable. It will ultimately lead to increased risks and failure to deliver on this critical work.

5. Commonwealth Games - £10k one-off

5.1 The Council has a £22,500 earmarked reserve for planning for the Commonwealth Games. It is considered that total expenditure may exceed this. An additional £10,000 is requested to ensure this is adequately funded.

6. Ash Dieback - £50k for 2022/23, reducing to £30k 2023/24 and £10k 2024/25

6.1 Ash dieback is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus. The impact of ash dieback is not just limited to the loss of trees. There are often health and safety issues resulting from declining or dead ash trees adjacent to public areas with the potential to cause harm to people or property. There are 314 common ash trees on SDC owned land. The additional funding is required to cover the cost of surveying individual/groups of ash trees, removing trees in a dangerous condition and planting replacement (non-ash) trees.

How to comment on the above proposals

Please click here to enter your comments. Deadline for comments is Tuesday 1 February.

Contact: The Performance, Consultation & Insight team

Last updated on 18/01/2022