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Council launches taskforce to spark green recovery

A range of exciting ideas to transform Hounslow and make the borough a beacon for the green economy were discussed with the launch of a new taskforce.

Published: Friday, 26th June 2020

Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services

The Green Recovery Board, which held its first meeting on Tuesday, brings together leading academics, business leaders, and think tanks to confront the borough’s looming economic crisis due to coronavirus and address climate change by building a low-carbon, green economy.

The board will host an Innovation Hub where new solutions and practical actions can be explored and delivered.

One of the exciting ideas on the table is the '15-minute city' concept which looks at how to bring amenities close to where people live in order to reduce travel and improve people's quality of life.

Other proposals included greening aviation and stimulating a low-carbon economy; building upon Hounslow’s Streetspace Programme, which has created more space on the streets for walking and cycling while social distancing; and maximising the benefits of Hounslow’s parks and open spaces to support health and wellbeing, and new jobs and skills creation.
Innovations laboratories called iLabs will focus on specific areas like low carbon neighbourhoods, green growth, the low carbon economy and 21st century physical and social mobility.

Independent research projects that Hounslow will be the second hardest hit borough in London, with a 40 per cent drop in economic activity and tens of thousands of jobs at risk because of its close links with the aviation industry. The board will embrace the opportunities and challenges from the pandemic and set out how to build back with a strong green recovery at the heart of the borough’s actions.

It builds on Hounslow's strong track record including its declaration of a climate emergency in 2019 and the launch of a Climate Emergency Action plan and framework for a greener borough earlier this year.

Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Lead Member for Parks and Leisure, and Chair of the Board, said: "The economic and environmental challenges we face are very great, but so too are the opportunities. No individual organisation or person can meet these challenges alone, which is why we are drawing on the collective strength of the Council, the community, business leaders, and academics to address these problems together.

"Our bold ambition is for this board to be a vanguard for green change, to be a leader on green recovery across London. The full scope of our ambition to innovate and stimulate a strong and robust green recovery will become clear in the coming weeks when we set out the innovation, ideas and plans formulated by the Green Recovery Board."

The Green Recovery Board is one of four boards established by Hounslow Council, which supports the overarching Hounslow Recovery Programme Board to lead on how it supports the borough. The other boards will explore social and wellbeing issues, the community, and the wider economy.

Members of the board include Johan Woltjer, Professor at University of Westminster; Rick Moxon, Professor at Cranfield University; Rebecca Eligon from Collaborate CIC; Phil Horton from Vinci Concessions; Peter Day from WSP; Rob Whitehead from Centre for London; James Close from London Waste and Recycling Board; Kate Hand from London Councils; Emma Beal from West London Waste Authority; Dr David Greenfield from Circular Economy Club; Louise Crothall from Natural England; Andrew Dakers from West London Business; Steve Turner from ARUP; Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Lead Member for Parks and Leisure (Chair); Cllr Katherine Dunne, Lead Member for Climate Change; Cllr Hanif Khan, Lead Member for Transport; Cllr Guy Lambert, Lead Member for Waste, Highways and the Companies

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