Personal Action

We are all aware of the present impact and future consequences of climate change but may be unsure of how we can personally engage in this issue. It is suggested that every individual has a personal responsibility:

  • To influence our politicians to achieve carbon zero by 2050, 
  • To influence business by our spending and investing, and
  • To take persona action to reduce our carbon footprint.
Please read further to see the help we need to influence our national and local politicians to shift their focus from growth at any cost to achieving a meaninful lifestyle within the limits of our natural and cultural resources. This revolutionary approach to Economics is explained by Kate Raworth, ‘Doughnut Ecomonics.

Write to or Email your Councillors and MP!

Your contribution to putting pressure on local and national politicians is vital. There are lots of good intentions but actual progress towards achieving net zero by 2050 is woefully slow. See the 29th June report by Friends of the Earth on Progress Report by the independent Climate Change Committee (CCC). This finds major failures in the government’s delivery programmes towards meeting its climate goals.

Please exert your influence as a constituent to help get the local planning process in Oxfordshire to emphasise sustainability rather than growth at any cost. Examples follow of emails to our local Councillors and our MP.

More detail is given in the attached supporting material. Please include material from this in your correspondence.

Emails addresses and links to see all the Council members of Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council are at the bottom of this page.

  • Example email to Councillors.

Please use you own words to emphasise your personal concerns. 

As a constituent of South Oxfordshire, I am very concerned about the lack of emphasis in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 to make early progress towards Net Zero carbon emissions.

I am asking you to represent to the Council my concerns that the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and South Oxfordshire Plans 2041. Our chief concern is that these plans, rather than having as their chief objective, the improving of nature, climate and prosperity, have the objective of development and house-building.

These plans cannot be considered valid unless it is reworked to follow the principles outlined in the Environment Bill 2021 and the Government Heat and buildings strategy.

Please take every opportunity to vote for changes in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and South Oxfordshire Plans 2041 until these vital changes of direction are made. I hope you will feel that your constituents are solidly behind you in taking such action!

And please be very critical of the excess number of new homes being forced on Oxfordshire by Central Government and especially those implemented by developers in inappropriate places under the Government’s 5 year Land Supply policy. How can we, as your constituents, encourage you, our local Councillors, to face down this bullying by Whitehall?

  • Example email to your MP,

Please use you own words to emphasise your personal concerns. 

As your constituent living in ………….., I am very concerned about the lack of emphasis in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 to make early progress towards Net Zero carbon emissions.

The Heat and Buildings Strategy is a great step forward, but the issue we still have to address is how this legislation can enable early progress towards net zero at local level. The present versions of the Oxfordshire 2050 plan and South Oxfordshire Plans 2041 are still focussed on development targets rather than sustainability targets. The freedom of action of our local councillors, called for in the Heat and Buildings Strategy Section 4.2 is emasculated by previous policies such as the Government’s 5 year Land Supply policy. The leader of South Oxfordshire District Council has been instructed by  the Council to write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up raising the issue. See https://www.southoxon.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/10/Letter-to-DLUHC-Planning-.pdf.

Any influence you can exert will be greatly appreciated to return the local planning of sustainability and the control of development to local authorities so that they have the freedom to focus our local plans on achieving net zero by 2050 alongside providing only the number of affordable and sustainable homes that are needed locally.

Contact your Representatives.

MP’s Addresses: (Youshould include in your email to MPs the fact that you are their constituent)

David Johnston is the Conservative MP for Wantage: david.johnston.mp@parliament.uk

LaylaMoran is the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon: layla.moran.mp@parliament.uk

John Howell is the Conservative MP for Henley:  howelljm@parliament.uk

Send your concerns to the Members of The Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel, formerly the Oxfordshire Growth Board: Members:. In particular, these representatives need to be made aware that their actions on climate related issues may affect your vote in future local elections!

Make sure that your District Councilors are aware of your views;

South Oxfordshire District Council (Click to see full list of Councillors)

Vale of White Horse District Council (Click to see full list of Councillors)

Oxfordshire County Council  (Click to see full list of Councillors and ‘find your Councillor’)                                                                                          

Supporting Material.

Here are some bullet points on points to make to County and District Councillors and our MP concerning the Oxfordshire Planning Process. It is very important that people use their own words to emphasise what they care about!

Request to Councilors to incorporate the Environment Bill 2021 and Government Heat and Buildings strategy in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050.

  • The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 has been under development for several years. The South Oxfordshire Plan 2041 will update the South Oxfordshire Plans 2035 which was agreed in 2020. Durring that time, public awareness of the impact of climate change has increased, but the driving principles behind the plans have not changed to reflect this. The present plans are focussed on growth at any cost; they must be redirected to focus on sustainable growth.The Plans are a huge endeavour, but can be likened to a super-tanker some 45 degrees off course.
  • Events such as COP 26 clarify the need for humanity to mobilise to address climate change. Action is needed at all levels. An international framework of financial and behavioural rules; government pledges to achieve targets and to set the framework of taxing and regulations; local government to focus on sustainability; and our personal choices to use less carbon, which will drive business imperatives to satisfy these needs.
  • The Government Heat and buildings strategy clearly states the role of local Government. See page 110 et seq of the policy: “Local and devolved governments across the UK have a combination of democratic accountability, powers, assets, local knowledge and relationships with key stakeholders, and so can drive and co-ordinate local progress towards Net Zero in a way that maximizes the benefits to the communities they serve.”
  • The Government Heat and Buildings strategy (19th October 2021) and the Environment Act 2021 (9th November 2021)  have been published too late to be included in the framework of legislation cited in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050. This is shown below. Indeed this crucial guidance was published after the latest round of public consultation on the Plan 2050 had closed (7th October 2021). The South Oxfordshire Plan 2035 was adopted in 2000 but now needs updating.
  • Action by our District and County Councillors to continue to move Oxfordshire towards net zero by 2050 is a crucial element of this framework. For instance, we must ensure that sewage treatment facilities are adequate before any more houses are built!
  • As constituents we need to exert pressure on our MPs to repeal legislation such as the Government’s 5 year Land Supply policy  in order to give our locally elected representatives the necessary freedom of action called for by the Heat and Buildings Strategy. The Environment Bill and The Heat and Buildings Strategy are a great step forward but the issue we still have to address is how this legislation can enable early progress towards net zero at local level. The present version of the Oxfordshire 2050 plan is still focused on development targets rather than sustainability targets. The freedom of action of our local councilors, called for in the Heat and Buildings Strategy Section 4.2 is emasculated by previous policies such as the Government’s 5 year Land Supply policy. The leader of South Oxfordshire District Council has been instructed by the Council to write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up raising this issue. See https://www.southoxon.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/10/Letter-to-DLUHC-Planning-.pdf. Any influence our MPs can exert to return the local planning of sustainability and the control of development to local authorities will be greatly appreciated.
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