A well maintained environment is vital in improving quality of life by helping to improve physical and mental well-being and provides an area in which to engage in leisure activities. Management of the natural environment is key to protecting Warwickshire’s diverse natural resources for current and future generations.
What are the big issues?
Strategic Flood Risk Assessments (SFRAs) for each district and borough identify areas that may flood, taking into account all potential sources of flooding. The SFRAs are used to inform planning policies and assist Local Planning Authorities to direct new development to areas of lower flood risk and ensure new development helps to manage flood risk. The 2014 Quality of Life report identified that the combination of increasing rainfall and expansion of the built environment is contributing to the frequency and intensity of local flooding.
In April 2010 the government introduced ‘Feed-in Tariffs’ (FITs) as a financial incentive to encourage uptake of renewable electricity-generating technologies (including solar panels, wind turbines, hydroelectricity). Following consultation, new reduced tariffs came into effect from January 2016 and may have an impact on the future uptake of domestic renewable energy by making the financial reward less significant for new developments.
Households are considered to be in fuel poverty if they have fuel costs above the national average and were they to spend that amount; they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line. Fuel poverty can have significant effects on physical and mental health; those most at risk include the elderly, children, people with disability and those with respiratory diseases. In Warwickshire the 12.6% of households equates to just over 10,000 homes that are considered fuel poor.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough and Rugby Borough have the highest percentage of households considered to be in fuel poverty with an estimated 1,761 and 1,432 households respectively. South Warwickshire adopted an ‘affordable warmth strategy’ in 2010 which works toward ensuring affordable warmth is available to everyone, particularly the most vulnerable citizens. Public Health has also recently re-commissioned the Warm and Well Service for Warwickshire through Act on Energy.
What do people say?
The Government Review of Waste Policy includes an aim to increase the percentage of waste collected from both households and businesses that is recycled, at the very least, meeting the revised waste framework directive target to recycle at least 50% of waste from households by 2020.
What do we need to do?
Warwickshire County Council has identified actions to be taken as part of the preliminary flood risk assessment. These include developing a database to collect flood records, continuation of regular meetings of the Warwickshire Flood Forum, continued provision of advice to areas affected by flooding to assist with future flood emergencies.
Who needs to know?
More detailed information surrounding Environmental Issues in Warwickshire can be found by clicking on the interactive map button