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Sheppey Environment Forum could be launched with funding from Coastal Communities 2150

By Emma Grove

Plans to launch a group dedicated to preparing for the effects of climate change are in the pipeline.

Swale Community and Voluntary Services (CVS) put in a bid for a grant through the national Coastal Communities 2150 project, which aims to support areas by helping them prepare for future change.

It secured £4,985, which will be used to set up the Sheppey Environment Forum.

James Walker, who is looking to set up a Sheppey Environment Forum

Island organisations such as schools, farms, sports clubs, holiday parks and supermarkets will be invited to get on board, as well individuals and councillors.

The group will look at creating contingency plans for emergencies such as floods, storms and power cuts as well as the effects of climate change such as erosion.

It will also look at starting awareness-raising campaigns, school training packages and a mentoring programme so residents can get involved in decision making and have a say in what their neighbourhoods need.

The group will work closely with Minster Parish Council (MPC), which has its own emergency plan, and hopes to provide a template for other areas.

CVS community development worker, James Walker, who put the funding bid together, said: “With the storms recently, I think it’s shown us all the environment is changing.

“As an Island area, I think it’s important we know where we are going to go in future.

“It’s not just about what could go wrong, it’s about the fact climate change could bring some positives too.

“With longer, hotter summers, perhaps the holiday parks will see an increase in tourism.

An open meeting will take place on Thursday, June 5, from 10am at Castle Connections in Queenborough.

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