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We have declared a climate emergency and set a target to be carbon neutral by 2038. In response we have created Bury's Climate Action Strategy and Action Plan to clean the air, protect our environment, and care for the health and wellbeing of our communities.

We hosted a 10-week consultation from 3 June to 12 August where we gathered your thoughts, ideas and opinions and used these to redraft the strategy and ensure that this document works for everyone and can lead us into a carbon neutral future.

As part of the consultation process, we held an online consultation evening where representatives for energy, housing, active travel, planning, food, and parks, explained the Climate Strategy and Action Plan and provided information on climate action. You can read the questions and answers from the event at the end of this page.

Questions and answers from our online consultation evening

Energy, homes and buildings

Are the council looking to increase renewable energy generation in Bury?

The Council encourages homeowners to install solar Panels where feasibly possible but understands that this can be a significant cost so we will also work with our neighbours and wider-Greater Manchester (GM) to call upon the government to provide funding opportunities to residents. We have secured funding from the government's Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund which will pay for the installation of solar panels on 12 council buildings to generate the electricity to supply the buildings. We will continue to work with the GMCA and other GM authorities to look at opportunities to increase renewable energy generation in the borough.

What is being done with our schools to reduce emissions and improve awareness?

Schools are one of the largest sources of emissions in the council's portfolio. We are looking at how we can work with our schools to reduce their emissions and are assessing potential funding opportunities to retrofit these buildings and reduce energy demand. We are also working with our schools to help improve awareness through a variety of measures. We have previously done outreach work with schools around environmental issues and over the next year our Move More Officer will be looking at getting students and teachers travelling to and from school in ways which are more sustainable. As part of a local air quality project, we are purchasing three real monitors which will provide schools with real-time data around pollution levels and how they change at pick up and drop off times. This will help to increase awareness and reduce air pollution outside schools. We will also look to further develop our connections with the eco-teams at schools to drive forward action.

What is the council doing to decarbonise it's public estate?

Bury was awarded £8.5 million, which will be used to decarbonise 14 of our public buildings during 2021/22. This includes upgrades to building fabric along with measure like installing heat pumps and solar panels..

What is the council doing to help decarbonise our homes?

Homeowners can access a variety of resources which provide guidance on reducing emissions. Energy Savings Trust, The Carbon Trust and Money Savings Expert all provide advice, and the Council will sign post people towards these trusted sites.

Greater Manchester has also received a grant of £4.7million from the Green Homes Grant Local Delivery Scheme and this will help decarbonise homes of families with low income. If your combined income is less than £30k and your home has an energy efficiency rating of E,F or G then you can apply for this grant funding to install a heat pump and improve your insulation.

Six Town Housing have already delivered an earlier pilot scheme to install 92 heat pumps in their properties. We will continue to work with them to submit bids to the Government's Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to make progress in relation to the decarbonisation of Six Town properties.

We are also supporting work at a GMCA level to work with the private sector to make the installation of heat pumps more accessible and easier for our communities.


Are the council looking to improve roads for cycling?

We are in the process of installing a CYCLOPS junction in Bury town centre to make cycling more accessible within this area and we will work with TfGM as they roll out the Bee Network, which will provide better walking and cycling infrastructure in Bury.

We've implemented several 'low-traffic neighbourhoods' or 'active neighbourhoods' and will look to roll more out where feasible to make roads safer for cyclists. As the Town regenerations take place, active travel is being prioritised to ensure that cyclists and pedestrians are the number one priority and that our public realms are reflective of future uses.

What is the council doing to reduce air pollution on our roads?

In recent years we have expanded our air quality monitoring network by installing new diffusion tubes around the borough and we are in the process of installing a new automatic monitoring station at Bury Bridge. The government have required all Greater Manchester councils to implement a Clean Air Zone and following a consultation and formal approval this will now be implemented in May 2022. The zone will operate throughout Greater Manchester and will require older more polluting commercial vehicles to pay a daily charge. Alongside the Clean Air Zone, we have a package of measures including significant financial assistance to help our local business to retrofit or renew their vehicles.

What is the council doing to promote electric vehicles?

Most manufacturers are now pushing the electric vehicle agenda and the government has stated that new sales of petrol and diesel cars will be banned by 2030. We therefore have a limited amount of time to create a robust infrastructure. Currently, we have chargers in seven car parks across Bury and this will be significantly increased over the next 12 months. We will receive two rapid charge points at The Rock and Millgate shopping centres. There will be several charging hubs specifically for taxis to encourage the taxi trade to adopt these vehicles. There is also a project sponsored by TfGM to install more charge points in our car parks and we aim to ensure there is a charge point in every ward.

Will the Council convert to an all-electric vehicle fleet?

An immediate electric vehicle fleet is not currently possible. We must consider the technology that is currently available as well as the cost. Replacing some council vehicles with electric would be double the cost of a petrol or diesel vehicle at this moment in time. As a result, we are looking to change to electric vehicles where we can, but where this is not feasible, we will consider hybrid vehicles or move to newer vehicles with lower emissions with a view to adopting suitable Ultra Low Emission Vehicles in the future when they are more widely available.

Waste and consumption

How much of our waste is recycled?

Bury Council recycled 56% of waste collected from households in 2019/20. If all appropriate waste was recycled in Bury, we could achieve a rate 70%.

Why can we not recycle all plastic?

As part of the GM Waste Strategy some of our plastic is burnt, along with other general waste, in an environmentally secure manner to produce energy for industrial processes.

Recycling is our highest priority but where that is not possible, we use this process to reduce the potential of our waste ending up overseas or ending up buried in landfill. We do not currently recycle all plastic in GM due to the lack of economic feasibility, there is simply not a market available for all plastics that is why we only recycle plastic bottles.


What is Bury doing to target the issue of airmiles and food?

Bury has introduced a Food Strategy which includes a drive to promote local food production and food which has lower airmiles/lower associated carbon. Within the borough we have several allotments and local action groups focused on the topic and we also encourage the grow your own movement that is becoming more popular. The Climate Action Fund will be available later this year and projects to encourage local food growing will be eligible to apply.


How is Bury supporting our local businesses to become low-carbon?

The Green Growth hub support business across GM to become low carbon. There are currently 17 Bury based companies on the Growth Company's Low Carbon network of Green businesses.

As well as existing businesses becoming greener, we need to support the creation and development of new businesses that will provide the technologies, innovations, goods, and services of a low carbon future.

Are there any grants or schemes available to small businesses re becoming low-carbon?

Bury Council will ensure businesses are aware of the funded support available to them to become a low-carbon business. We will do this through our partnership and networking channels to reach as many businesses as possible to encourage and support the necessary actions that business need to make to move to a low carbon business model. We will ensure funded support is accessible to the Bury Business Community.

Is climate action a factor in the Northern Gateway project?

The North Gateway project states that it will aim to be as sustainable as possible and will incorporate the following.

  • Improved public transport infrastructure through the site allocation and better more sustainable connectivity to the wider sub-region and adjoining districts and neighbourhoods
  • Deliver a network of safe and convenient cycling and walking routes
  • New, high quality, publicly accessible multi-functional green and blue infrastructure
  • Minimise impacts on and provide net gains for biodiversity assets
  • Ensure that any development is safe from and mitigates for potential flood risk from all sources and does not increase the flood risk elsewhere
  • Provision for the long-term management and maintenance of areas of green infrastructure
  • Include extensive electric vehicle charging infrastructure


What is the Council doing to counteract potential flooding?

The Radcliffe and Redvales Flood Risk Management Scheme is underway and will help protect up to 870 homes that are at risk of flooding. This project which has cost £46 million will protect £323 million worth of infrastructure and property. We also introduced a Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) as part of the Prestwich village investment and this involved collaboration between Bury Council, City of Trees and the University of Manchester.

How does Places for Everyone affect the Climate Action Strategy?

Climate change is a key theme running throughout Places for Everyone (PfE) and it is only through a combination of actions that it can be properly addressed. The Places for Everyone plan, sets out the following.

  • Methods to decarbonise the city region through new and existing development, effective land management and through the provision of infrastructure and new technologies.
  • The aim of delivering a carbon neutral Greater Manchester no later than 2038, with a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, including measures to ensure that all new homes and commercial/industrial buildings achieve net zero carbon by 2028.
  • The delivery of renewable and low carbon energy schemes through heat and energy networks.
  • Measures that will be taken in Greater Manchester to future proof the city region by mitigating and making it more resilient to environmental challenges, including climate change.
  • Water based measures, such as reducing flood risk, to adapt and reduce the impacts of climate change; and
  • Measures to support improvements in air quality.

The Places for Everyone plan, if adopted, will form part of the council's statutory development plan, and will allow the council to require certain standards within new development to ensure that the climate change targets are achieved. This will include ensuring that new housing is carbon neutral and encourages active travel - by requiring road layouts to prioritise walking and cycling, improving cycling infrastructure, and ensuring integrated EV charge point infrastructure etc. Without a statutory plan in place, it will be difficult to refuse planning applications which do not meet these requirements.

Why is the council pursing carbon offsetting rather than aiming to reach its target through reductions?

Implementing carbon offsetting requires a long lead-in time as it has to be factored into development proposals and plans. We need to be realistic in what we can achieve rather than delude ourselves into thinking we can achieve everything only to reach 2037, come up short and then only have one year to go. Carbon offsetting is a last resort but if it is required then we should utilise it where possible if it will ensure we reach out 2038 target.