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Southampton residents, organisations and businesses are encouraged to turn off their lights for one hour from 8.30pm and as part of the tenth Earth Hour, aimed at shining a light on climate action.
 
Labour Cllr Dave Shields, Cabinet Member for Health and Sustainable Living, said:

 “Earth Hour 2017 is a great way to raise awareness of the impact of climate change and as a city, we are proud to play an important role in tackling this global issue. The time to act is now, every flick of a switch is a reminder that what we do today will define what we have tomorrow.

“Everyone from individuals to community groups to schools or businesses can get behind WWF’s Earth Hour 2017 which reminds us that together we can create the sustainable future we desire, and our children deserve.”


To make a stand for climate change, the Labour-led council will be switching off the lights at the Civic Centre and Clock Tower and will minimise access to One Guildhall Square to avoid setting off the motion lighting. The 02 Guildhall’s lights will turned off with the entrance lighting dimmed to allow just enough visibility for safe access.  

We are also working with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSE) and their subsidiary, Mayflower Control whose innovative Central Management System will enable switching off approximately fifteen thousand street lamps on traffic routes in Southampton’s residential areas.  

There are many events taking place across the city to support Earth Hour 2017, including a candlelit gathering organised by Transition Southampton where residents are invited to bring along a candle in a lantern or jar and group together in the shape of a heart in Guildhall Square from 8pm for photos that will be uploaded to the Earth Hour website.

Earth Hour started as a single-city event in Sydney in 2007 and support has grown significantly over the last ten years with over 170 counties expected to take part this year. Earth Hour takes place for one hour on Saturday 25 March from 8.30pm local time.

Switch off the lights for Earth Hour

Southampton residents, organisations and businesses are encouraged to turn off their lights for one hour from 8.30pm and as part of the tenth Earth Hour, aimed at shining a light...

Today Southampton’s City Council passed a motion that commits to a shift to 100% clean energy by 2040.

This Labour motion puts Southampton in the bold club of British towns and cities that committed to 100% clean energy at the 2015 Paris World leaders summit. A shift of this kind by our cities is essential for the UK government to achieves its own commitments to tackle climate change.

 The leader of Southampton’s Labour-led council, Simon Letts, said, “When he was leader of the Council, Alan Whitehead MP had an aspiration for Southampton as a ‘Sustainable City’. Our motion today updates and strengthens this commitment.

 As the sunniest city in the UK, we need to make more use of roof spaces for solar power. A recent study by the University of Southampton suggests 25% of our energy needs could be met by roof top solar energy.

 We also need to do some innovative thinking about how we can harvest energy from the tides, and we will be watching with interest how the schemes for tidal lagoons in Swansea and the Fylde coast develop.”

Alan Whitehead MP, added "I commend this motion, which sets a radical but achievable course for our city over the next twenty years so that we can live a clean life in Southampton. This is good for a variety of reasons – fewer carbon emissions, clean air, a healthy city, and it’s do-able. Using natural, renewable resources in and around the city – solar, tidal, green gas from waste – it can, with hard work, be achieved. It’s what this world has to do over the next fifty years, and I will be proud to think that Southampton got there first."

 Polly Billington, the Director of UK100, the network of British cities who have committed to 100% clean energy, said “The leadership of cities like Southampton makes a difference: acting now will save money for residents, for the city and for the country, as investing now in clean energy will avert the heavy costs of doing so later.  Southampton’s commitment also means the city can be in the lead of a new industrial revolution. “

UK100 is a highly ambitious network of local government leaders, which seeks to devise and implement plans for the transition to clean energy that are ambitious, cost effective and take the public and business with them.

Labour councillor, Dave Shields, said “The uncertain future we face requires bold ambition and imagination, so that our children can have a safe and secure inheritance. Therefore, we need to take local action that tackles climate change and also builds strong, resilient communities. This is, therefore, a pledge for jobs and economic growth.”

Dave Shields was also able to report that, largely due to improvements in the efficiency of Southampton’s street lighting and buildings rationalisation, the city is predicated to reach its target of a 40% reduction in CO2 two years ahead of schedule. This target was against a 2010/11 baseline.

 

 

Southampton leads the way by committing to 100% clean energy by 2040

Today Southampton’s City Council passed a motion that commits to a shift to 100% clean energy by 2040. This Labour motion puts Southampton in the bold club of British towns...

Today Labour Councillor, Dr Darren Paffrey, sent the following letter to Justine Greening, co-signed by over 40 Headteachers and Chairs of Governors from the city of Southampton, raising concerns about insufficient funding, and the coming real-terms cuts to schools budgets.

We write to raise urgent concerns about the state of government funding for schools in Southampton. In doing so, we note that we are not alone, and that schools and local authorities up and down the country have also raised significant concerns on this matter.

Urban settings such as Southampton are already facing cuts to the Educational Services Grant which threatens to undo the considerable improvements in attendance, engagement, progress and attainment of our young people. A number of our schools are also set to see per-pupil funding cut under government proposals to introduce a National Fair Funding Formula, and others will receive increases which fall way behind rising costs. The new formula will mean less money for schools within cities like Southampton, meaning schools could be hamstrung in their ability to employ the best teachers and deliver the highest quality learning experience.

While addressing historical disparities in funding for rural areas may be considered fair, cutting money from some of the most challenging and deprived communities in the country, where educational engagement and progress is often more difficult and costly to achieve, is certainly not fair. We believe it is a short-sighted and unambitious move, and if the Secretary of State is truly committed to improving outcomes for all children from all backgrounds, then we ask her to look seriously and ambitiously at providing sufficient funding for all schools, not simply cutting money from some in order to give to others.

We also ask you to recognise that ensuring opportunity is equal for all does not automatically mean identical funding across very different contexts: securing a child’s progress and putting them on a level playing field with other pupils – as the DfE states it wishes to do – inevitably proves more expensive in some contexts than in others.

Head Teachers, governors, and council officers across Southampton’s schools are working hard to balance the books, but when there simply is not enough money from government to cover rising costs, then Heads are already at the stage of having to decide which subjects will have to be scrapped, while teaching assistants and mental health support workers could face redundancy. Efficiency savings have already been made; there is now no alternative to these decisions being taken as a direct result of DfE funding changes and cuts. We urge the Secretary of State to commit to immediate action to reverse the situation that schools are being forced into.

We invite the Secretary of State to visit Southampton and to see first-hand the impact of the decisions she is taking. We hope this will convince her of the urgent need to address the damaging impacts of current funding cuts.

Schools Funding in Southampton

Today Labour Councillor, Dr Darren Paffrey, sent the following letter to Justine Greening, co-signed by over 40 Headteachers and Chairs of Governors from the city of Southampton, raising concerns about insufficient funding,...

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