HE admits the remit is huge, but Councillor Anthony Lovell, the borough council’s portfolio holder for climate change, can’t hide his excitement at the challenges ahead.
While acknowledging his disappointment at Worcestershire County Council’s pledge not to go carbon neutral until 2050 – he would have preferred much more urgency in the matter – Coun Lovell says much can be done locally to make sure Redditch is on track to save Planet Earth.
“It’s not simply a case of planting more trees everywhere though,” he said.
“We’re running out of room in Redditch and we have to leave space for the flora and fauna in our meadows.”
An HND graduate of Pershore Horticultural College, the Conservative representative for Winyates says he grew up caring for the environment.
“When I lived on Matchborough back in 1975 I remember wandering down to Blacksoils Brook where you could see the sticklebacks and minnows – but they’re not there now.
“That means somewhere along the line someone has dumped some rubbish in the stream.
“Now Nature has a way of bouncing back but it’s not happening so there must be something that’s destroying the water quality and for me it’s about addressing the water quality, for that’s the way to improve the natural habitat.
“There used to be freshwater shrimps in the brook, and it may sound daft but they feed the kingfishers and the whole cycle supports the environment around us.”
He’s a keen supporter of cycling and electric bikes and would like to see the bus lanes open to other forms of e-traffic.
“I saw a battery powered Vespa scooter and the bus lanes would be ideal for something like that.”
Quick wins on the climate challenge would be solar panels on all new homes.
“There’s 76 council houses coming up to being built and I would like to think any new council building would have solar panels,” he said.
He’s also keen on wind turbines, possibly on traffic islands to further the borough’s green credentials.
“People have changed their habits during the lockdown, they are cycling more but there’s only so much we can do, if people want to get in their cars and drive, they can, so we have to make the alternatives attractive,” he said.
“Obviously these things cost money and budget will be an issue but the Prime Minister seems to be throwing a lot of money about and we might be able to get some.”
And he added that residents can do so much more when it comes to recycling.
“I’ve visited the county’s recycling centre and the amount of stuff that’s contaminated coming through is frightening.
“People just need to rinse that milk bottle or can of beans beforehand – it may sound daft but little things can make a huge difference.”
However he’s optimistic about the future.
“There are so many innovations coming through this is going to be the decade of change and we just need to be part of it.”