When could your area reach net zero and is the Government spending enough to fight climate change?

Tap to watch a video report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham

Councils in the South, South East and Thames Valley will need more money if they're going to reach their climate change targets.

That's what some local leaders and MPs are calling for with concerns that goals won't be met if Government financial support is inadequate.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in Glasgow with almost 200 other world leaders at COP26 to discuss reducing emissions.

The UK's target for net zero emissions is 2050 but some local authorities such as Brighton and Hove, Adur, Worthing, Oxfordshire, Plymouth and Wiltshire aim to get their areas greener by 2045.

Those authorities are part of UK100, a group which represents councils that have pledged to reach carbon neutrality before the 2050 target.

Christopher Hammond believes their ambition needs to be matched with adequate funding,

"We need financing to make sure local action can happen. What we found is local Government is more ambitious than national Government and if they had more powers and more financing they could go further and faster and further.

"We're seeing innovation, we're seeing agility and local politicians are more far accountable than national politicians and they are more trusted, research and polling has shown that.

"So if Government can support local authorities we'll be able to get Net Zero even quicker."

When will my local council reach Net Zero?



Salisbury City Council -2030

Back to top


Portsmouth City Council - council managed facilities 2030 - city 2045

Southampton City Council - 2030

Gosport Borough Council - by 2050

Havant Borough Council - 2050

Fareham Borough Council - 2030

East Hampshire District Council - 2050

Test Valley Borough Council - 2050

Winchester City Council - council managed facilities 2024 - city 2030

Hampshire County Council - 2050

Hart District Council - 2035

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council - 2030

Eastleigh Borough Council - council managed facilities 2025 - borough wide 2050

Isle of Wight Council - council managed facilities 2030 - island-wide 2040

New Forest District Council - unavailable

Back to top


Brighton and Hove Council - council managed facilities 2030 - city-wide 2045

Hastings Borough Council 2030

Crawley Borough Council 2050

Eastbourne Borough Council 2030

Adur District Council - council managed facilities 2030 - city-wide 2045

Worthing Borough Council - council managed facilities 2030 - city-wide 2045

Lewes District Council 2030

Arun District Council 2030

East Sussex County Council 2050

Mid Sussex District Council 2050

Chichester District Council will reduce emissions 10% year on year to 2025 target

Rother District Council 2030

West Sussex County Council - council managed facilities - 2030

Horsham District Council - council managed facilities - 2030

Wealden District Council - 2050

Back to top


Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole - council managed facilities 2030 - district-wide 2050

Dorset County Council - council managed facilities 2040 - district-wide 2050

Back to top


Ashford Borough Council - 2030

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council - 2030

Maidstone Borough Council - 2030

Kent County Council - entire county 2050 - Dover District Council- entire district - 2050 - council managed facilities - 2030

Canterbury City Council- entire city - 2045 - council managed facilities - 2030

Medway Borough Council- 2050

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council - 2030

Folkestone and Hythe District Council - 2030

Gravesham Borough Council - 2030

Swale Borough Council- entire district - 2045 - council managed facilities - 2030

Sevenoaks District Council - 2030

Thanet District Council - 2030

Dartford Borough Council - by 2050

Back to top


Council managed facilities 2030 - county-wide 2050

Back to top


Oxford City Council - council managed facilities 2030 - county-wide 2045

West Oxfordshire District Council - 2030

Oxfordshire County Council - council managed facilities 2030 - county-wide 2045

Vale of White Horse District Council - council managed facilities 2030 - county-wide 2045

South Oxfordshire District Council - council managed facilities 2025 - county-wide 2030

Cherwell District Council - 2030

Back to top


Surrey County Council - 2050

Woking Borough Council - 2030

Waverley Borough Council - 2030

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council - 2035

Back to top


Slough Borough Council - 2050

Reading Borough Council - 2030

Bracknell Forest Borough Council - 2050

Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council - borough-wide 2050

West Berkshire District Council - 2030

Wokingham Council - 2030

Surrey Heath Borough Council - 2030

Runnymede Borough Council - unavailable

Back to top

Is this the most ambitious council in the country?

Winchester city council aims to get to net zero at authority run facilities in three years time Credit: ITV News

In Winchester the council's spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on measures to meet its carbon neutral targets.

By 2024 the local authority has committed to making its own operations carbon neutral with hopes they can encourage residents and businesses in the city to become greener by 2030.

"It has to be ambitious and it has to be something we work for." says councillor Lynda Murphy who explains the council is putting as much of its own money forward, rather than funding from Westminster.

"We're very much doing it off our own back because district councils get very little funding from the Government and it's getting lower and lower.

"We are applying for grants whenever we can and we've put lots of our own money into it which has been tough during COVID times when there's been other pressures."

As leaders looks to the future, the city's history brings challenges. You can't exactly install solar panels on a cathedral.

The authority is trying to fund ways of reducing the use of harmful energy in homes and gasses and making public transport more attractive and environmentally friendly.

They are also trying to educate the district about the importance of the planet.

Making transport more environmentally friendly will be key to reaching the goal Credit: Making transport more environmentally friendly will be key to reaching the goal

Councillor Murphy said, "I think the ambition is what you've got to do and you've got to start immediately. I think people are genuinely on board."The thing to remember is that we don't want it to become a political issue we want everybody to work towards the emergency."We're going to be working with our businesses in the district because getting them on board will be key to reach our 2030 target."

Why is it important climate change goals are met?

  • Watch: Dr Melissa Lazenby is a climate change lecturer at the University of Sussex and says 'everything needs to be thrown at climate change'

It's 'ambition' that's needed according to opposition councillors in Mid Sussex

In Mid Sussex, which includes Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and East Grinstead, the council has aligned itself with Government and is aiming to reach Net Zero by 2050.

The authority says harmful emissions have already reduced by a quarter in the last ten years through the introduction of solar panels on council buildings and sustainable transport measures in place.

Haywards Heath in Mid Sussex. The district council says it has ambition and drive despite criticism. Credit: Haywards Heath in Mid Sussex. The district council says it has ambition and drive despite criticism.

However a plan to meet the half-century target is still being developed which Green councillor Anne Eves says reflects a lack of 'ambition',

"I feel we're on the back foot, we're always waiting for the Government to come out with its next proposals and we should be more ambitious.

"Where the emissions come from in this district, three quarters of it is from transport and domestic housing. Retrofitting would be right up there and the transport is even bigger source of emissions so there we need 'modal shift' is what we call in the jargon which is getting people to walk, to cycle and use public transport.

"I would praise the district council for what they've done in burgess hill with the creation of walking and cycling paths but they haven't done anything anywhere else? We'd like to see a cycling and walking path between Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath.'

Conservative councillor and leader of Mid Sussex District council Jonathan Ash-Edwards explains why the authority is yet to produce a plan that reaches Net Zero,

"We're working on a new plan to make sure we can produce a really tangible We've had a sustainability strategy in place for the last few years and we've made some progress on those targets to reduce carbon emissions. Clearly the importance of this agenda is increasing and that's why we're taking our time to refresh that work and to get a new plan in place to really up the ambition.

"As we head towards Net Zero as a country there's going to be a lot of change required and a lot of adaptation required and that is gonna come with a price tag and that is going to have to be really factored into every decision that we make.

"That's why it's really important we have a really tangible costed worked through plan to get to Net Zero rather than just making a pledge that isn't backed up by anything."

MPs say there needs to be more financial direction provided to local authorities from Government

A group of MPs believe direction on funding long term is needed. The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee investigated the relationship between local authorities and tackling climate change.

  • Watch: Clive Betts MP, chair of Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee

Government say they've provided 'significant funding'

The Government say they've already provided 'significant funding' to the tune of a £1.2 billion pounds.

A spokesperson said,

"Councils have an integral part to play in delivering Net Zero, and we will continue to work very closely with local partners to meet our climate change commitments.

"Significant funding is already available to councils for them to take local action, including £1.2 billion in dedicated funds, alongside clear expectations on how central and local government interact in the delivery of net zero."