Bid for Urban Tree Challenge to make Oldham Borough greener

In recent times, world leaders have acknowledged that there is a climate change emergency affecting every one of us. 

The Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Council Leader suggesting Oldham Council apply to the Government’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund to help do our bit in tackling climate change.

Howard Sykes

The Urban Tree Challenge Fund has been developed in response to the Government releasing £10 million last year for planting, at least, 130,000 trees nationally across England’s towns and cities.

Councillor Sykes believes that the Council should make the most of this windfall as further tree planting will provide economic, social and health benefits for the people of Oldham, especially in the Borough’s district centres and housing estates. 

He said: “Living amongst trees, greenery and wildlife should not be the sole privilege of those more affluent who live in rural areas – they should be accessible to all.  Further planting would improve our Borough and our local economy bringing in new homeowners searching for a greener Oldham in which to live.”

He added:  “Studies from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 2016 show that trees planted properly around a building can cool the air significantly, reducing the need for air conditioning and heating by up to 50%.  In addition, one single tree can absorb 150 kilograms of Carbon Dioxide, essentially mitigating climate change!  If we plant several thousand of these trees around polluted hotspots in our towns like in the Oldham Mumps area, we are fulfilling in our public duty to create a healthier Oldham and we will help tackle the climate change emergency.”

Applications are open this year for Block bids, with a closing date of 28 July 2019.

Councillor Sykes concluded:  “With the closing date a month away, there is no time to delay and I hope that the Council Leader will act on my suggestion with haste.  It would be great if we could access this money as it would be another green branch to our ever-growing number of ecological initiatives that help tackle the climate change emergency.”

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