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Bedford Borough Council

Declarations & pledges

Climate emergency declaration

This council declared a climate emergency on March 5, 2019.

Council only pledge for 2030

“By 2030, the council’s own operations will be clean and efficient, and we will play a positive role enabling the wider borough to achieve net-zero emissions.”

Climate Plan Scorecard

This council’s climate plans as of 20th September 2021 were assessed and scored by trained Climate Emergency UK volunteers, as part of the Council Climate Plan Scorecards project.

Show the full Scorecard Read more about the scoring process

SectionBedford Borough CouncilAverage single tier council
Total score57%50%
Section 1 Governance, development and funding
13/21
10.3/21
Section 2 Mitigation and adaptation
12/18
9.0/18
Section 3 Commitment and integration
6/7
4.1/7
Section 4 Community, engagement and communications
6/9
5.1/9
Section 5 Measuring and setting emissions targets
2/5
2.9/5
Section 6 Co-benefits
2/4
2.2/4
Section 7 Diversity and inclusion
0/5
0.9/5
Section 8 Education, skills and training
3/5
2.3/5
Section 9 Ecological emergency
2/4
2.1/4

Emissions data

716.4 ktCO2

Total 2019 emissions

4.1 tCO2

per person

1.5 ktCO2

per km2

10%

Commercial

33%

Domestic

11%

Industry

5%

Public Sector

41%

Transport

Data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy “subset dataset”, representing carbon dioxide emissions within the scope of influence of local authorities.

These councils are the most similar to Bedford Borough Council in terms of emissions profile, deprivation, rural/urban population density, and geographical nearness. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Gloucestershire County Council88%Yes2030May 15, 2019
Colchester Borough Council84%Yes2030July 17, 2019
West Northamptonshire Council84%NoNo targetNo
West Sussex County Council84%Yes2030April 5, 2019
Lancashire County Council84%No2030Feb. 28, 2019
Worcestershire County Council83%Yes2030July 15, 2021
Kent County Council83%Yes2030May 23, 2019
Suffolk County Council83%Yes2030March 21, 2019
East Sussex County Council82%Yes2050Oct. 15, 2019
Maidstone Borough Council82%No2030April 10, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Bedford Borough Council in terms of their emissions profile, based on the latest data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
City of York Council91%No2030March 11, 2019
West Yorkshire Combined Authority86%No2038June 27, 2019
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council85%Yes2050No
Bradford Metropolitan District Council85%No2030Jan. 15, 2019
Derby City Council85%No2050May 23, 2019
Gloucestershire County Council85%Yes2030May 15, 2019
Colchester Borough Council85%Yes2030July 17, 2019
Canterbury City Council85%Yes2030July 18, 2019
North Lanarkshire Council85%Yes2030June 20, 2019
Sunderland City Council84%Yes2030March 27, 2019

These councils grographically border or overlap with Bedford Borough Council. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Central Bedfordshire Council97%No2030March 5, 2019
Milton Keynes96%Yes2030Jan. 23, 2019
North Northamptonshire Council95%No2030July 28, 2021
Huntingdonshire District Council95%No2040No
Cambridgeshire County Council91%Yes2050May 14, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Bedford Borough Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in high deprivation, medium deprivation, and low deprivation neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Worcestershire County Council98%Yes2030July 15, 2021
North East Derbyshire District Council96%Yes2030July 8, 2019
North Northamptonshire Council96%No2030July 28, 2021
Amber Valley Borough Council95%Yes2030July 24, 2019
Colchester Borough Council94%Yes2030July 17, 2019
Flintshire County Council94%NoNo targetNo
Suffolk County Council94%Yes2030March 21, 2019
Wyre Council93%Yes2030July 11, 2019
Essex County Council93%No2030No
Erewash Borough Council92%No2050No

These councils are the most similar to Bedford Borough Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in urban, rural, and highly rural neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Fife Council98%Yes2045Sept. 26, 2019
Stafford Borough Council95%No2040July 23, 2019
Flintshire County Council95%NoNo targetNo
Oxfordshire County Council95%No2030April 2, 2019
Derbyshire County Council94%Yes2032No
Gloucestershire County Council94%Yes2030May 15, 2019
Lancaster City Council94%Yes2030Jan. 30, 2019
Waverley Borough Council93%Yes2030Sept. 18, 2019
West Berkshire Council93%No2030July 2, 2019
East Hertfordshire District Council93%Yes2030No

Features

This council’s climate plan has been tagged with the following features:

Powers & Responsibilities

Bedford Borough Council is a Unitary Authority, with powers over:

Council buildings and staff

Climate actions might include:

  • making council offices more energy efficient
  • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
  • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    Environmental health

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing industrial emissions through air quality enforcement
    • bringing up insulation and energy efficiency standards through enforcement of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Decent Homes Standard 2000, for cold and damp conditions in private rental and social housing

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Passenger transport

    Climate actions might include:

    • encouraging bus and private hire operators to use low-emission vehicles, through licensing requirements or Clean Air Zones
    • incentivising bus use by improving routes, timetables, and ticket prices through ‘Enhanced Partnerships’ with operators
    • proposing to central government the development of light rail / tram networks that integrate, rather than compete, with other modes of transport in the area

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Planning and building control

    Climate actions might include:

    • imposing reasonable requirements that new developments comply with energy efficiency standards and get a proportion of their energy from local, renewable sources (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • incorporating additional energy performance standards into their Local Plan, for new works that require planning permission
    • using Area Action Plans to guide development proposals towards lower carbon emissions or more cycling and walking routes, for example
    • enforcing legislation that requires private rental properties to be of Energy Efficiency Rating E or above (Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2015)
    • funding energy efficiency improvements on existing homes, through initiatives such as Green Homes Grants

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Schools and libraries

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing the carbon footprint of civic buildings through better insulation and renewable energy use
    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
    • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    • encouraging eco-clubs at schools
    • using school land to plant trees and hedgerows, or to grow food

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Housing

    Climate actions might include:

    • setting energy standards above building regulations (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • enabling housing associations to improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock through loans
    • where councils operate their own social housing, prioritising energy efficiency – for example, by requiring Passivhaus standard for newly built schemes

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Spending, procuring, and investing

    Climate actions might include:

    • embedding carbon impact assessment as part of the council’s budgeting and financial accountability process
    • utilising Public Works Loan Board loans or the Business Rates Retention Scheme to invest in emissions-reducing capital projects that otherwise wouldn’t get funded
    • specifying low carbon equipment and practices when procuring for relevant services from suppliers
    • prioritising positive environmental impacts during procurement, through the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
    Transport planning

    Climate actions might include:

    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ like walking and cycling by creating or widening footways and cycleways
    • incentivising Electric Vehicle use by assigning street space to EV charging
    • disincentivising the use of fossil fuel cars through congestion charging,low-traffic neighbourhoods, or the reduction of parking space

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Waste collection and disposal

    Climate actions might include:

    • establishing ‘Joint Waste Solutions’ with neighbouring councils, to get more value out of waste, recycling, and street cleaning contracts
    • running marketing campaigns to encourage residential recycling, reuse, and waste minimisation

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Read more about English local authority powers in the UK100 Power Shift report.

    More about this council

    bedford.gov.uk
    Bedford Borough Council’s official homepage.
    Tyndall Centre Carbon Budget report
    Check Bedford Borough Council’s ‘carbon budget’ – their share towards meeting the UK’s Paris agreement targets.
    Friends of the Earth ‘Near You’ tool
    Discover climate groups in this area, data about Bedford Borough Council’s climate performance, and actions you can take.

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    Cite this page

    mySociety, Climate Emergency UK (2022). Climate Action Plan Explorer: Bedford Borough Council. Available at: http://data.climateemergency.uk/councils/bedford-borough-council/ [Accessed 27 Jun 2022].

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