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Annual report, environment

Protecting and enhancing the environment is a key priority for the council. In 2017 the council implemented kerbside recycling services that collects plastic and cardboard to 100% of South Lakeland residents. Staveley Village have continued throughout 2017 to 2018 a recycling initiative called ‘Waste Less’. The aim of the initiative is to reduce the average amount of grey bin waste and increase recycling. The project is supported by the council and run by local volunteers who have undertaken events such as an organised toy swap, seedling and plant swap, kitchen spring clean initiatives to donate unwanted food to local food banks and a repair café, which residents take long broken items to be repaired.

Performance on environmental priorities

In March 2018 the council launched an initiative to reduce the environmental impact of plastic pollution. SLDC backed a campaign and now offers free drinking water to encourage people to refill reusable bottles rather than use single use plastic bottles at South Lakeland House. SLDC is supporting the national Refill campaign committed to reducing plastic in rivers and seas.

Nearly £3.5 million was paid out to South Lakeland Residents under the flood grant scheme to protect homes from future flooding. Over the past two years a team of officers have worked full time to deal with flood grant applications worth up to £5,000 for eligible households. In 2015 2,358 properties were flooded during Storm Desmond. Around 1,900 were estimated to be eligible for a grant and a total of 1,397 applications were submitted. The grants were used to improve properties resilience against flooding through preventative methods.

Communities across South Lakeland celebrated the official openings of new playgrounds. New state of the art play areas were developed at Rinkfield, Kendal and Rothay Park, Ambleside. Communities worked with the council to raise funding, design and build the new play areas. Both play areas were designed to meet the needs of a wider range of users, such as outdoor gym equipment. Enhancement plans have begun to develop Millerground, Windermere and Lightburn Park, Ulverston.

In 2017 water quality at every designated bathing water location in South Lakelandwas rated as excellent by government inspectors for the fourth consecutive year. The government officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) notified SLDC that all four sites on Lake Windermere received top ratings for the 2018 bathing season. SLDC’s lake wardens look after the lake and its visitors by operating a patrol and rescue service, monitoring and reporting any pollutants, contaminates or algae, as well as providing the public with information about bathing water quality at all four areas.

Highlights

  • £190,000 of funding in place for drainage and tree works at Nobles Rest Park
  • 2,400 trees planted across the district
  • 328 fly tipping incidents reported
  • £10,000 of funding for accessible cycling equipment for South Lakes Wheels for All
  • 300 private water supply tests completed
  • 855 food premises inspections completed