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Ready to go for Net Zero

Marshland St James Net Zero Community launch

Published: Friday, 16th February 2024

Residents in Marshland St James flocked to an event on Monday (12 February) which aimed to help them manage energy and other bills as a starting point for a community journey towards Net Zero.

More than 40 people attended the event, which was organised by the borough council, partners and Norfolk Climate Change Partnership’s Norfolk Net Zero Communities project. They delivered a ‘Beat Your Bills’ roadshow for residents to find out more about fully-funded energy efficiency improvements, cost of living help and wellbeing support.

This put in place the support people might need to help them take positive steps towards becoming a Net Zero community and was an opportunity to recognise what Marshland St James being a pilot place in the Norfolk Net Zero Communities project means for local residents.

Cllr Michael de Whalley, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Biodiversity, said:

“This event offered so much. The journey to Net Zero is an exciting opportunity for the people of Marshland St James but we also recognise the many and complex challenges facing rural communities so bringing our own staff and other organisations who can help with issues connected to the cost of living, health and wellbeing makes it a more realistic and achievable prospect.

“I’m delighted with how the event went and look forward to seeing the next steps Marshland St James takes on the road to Net Zero.”

Cllr Jo Rust, the council’s cabinet member for people and communities, added:

“This event was a resounding success and a great example of how the council and its partners can help people.

“From helping people boost their income or reduce their outgoings to tackling loneliness we can help them get to grips with the very real issues affecting rural communities and that is what we have done here.

“When you consider the range of organisations we brought to help with health and wellbeing, local issues and environmental action alongside the number of people we saw, it feels like a double win: it’s a win for the community and a win for the environment.”

Norfolk Net Zero Communities is a Norfolk Climate Change Partnership (NCCP) project, using £300,000 of government funding to support one community in each of the seven Norfolk districts, engaging with householders and local community organisations to explore ways to decarbonise homes and travel to help tackle climate change in a two-year pilot project. Norfolk Net Zero Communities is one of only 21 successful locations across the UK.

At the event, community representatives received a Norfolk Net Zero Community certificate to mark the start of its project. They will be supported over the life of the project by the council’s senior climate change officer.

Beat Your Bills is a council initiative to help people with a range of issues connected to the cost of living. Working with a range of partners, including parish councils, the police, health, DWP and Community Action Norfolk, the council takes events to communities where it gives advice on a number of subjects including tackling high energy bills, access to funded energy efficiency improvements and benefit entitlement. It supports people to address loneliness, get health and crime prevention advice and experts can also signpost people to specialist support they may benefit from.

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