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New council group to examine West Norfolk's biodiversity

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A new task group will be set up to examine biodiversity issues in West Norfolk – 18 months after councillors first backed the idea.

A motion calling for the establishment of a body specifically looking at the issue was passed at a full council meeting in September 2020.

But the formal structure of the group was only finalised at a cabinet meeting yesterday.

A new council task group will look at ways of improving biodiversity in West Norfolk.
A new council task group will look at ways of improving biodiversity in West Norfolk.

Environment portfolio holder Paul Kunes told the meeting at Lynn Town Hall that the delay was due both to Covid and the need to recruit appropriate professional support for the programme.

The motion called on the authority to work with other organisations including the county council and the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership on the issue.

It said proposals on areas such as habitat protection and creation, the creation of a pollinator action plan and wildflower verges should be considered at three stages – by the authority's environment panel, cabinet and full council respectively.

Around £35,000 is set to be spent on preparatory work on the plan.

And Green Party councillor Michael de Whalley warned work on the subject was vital.

He said: "Biodiversity goes hand in hand with climate change. I have seen, in this county, a dramatic loss of biodiversity."

Housing portfolio holder Adrian Lawrence urged the group to engage with Defra and local farmers on the issue.

And council leader Stuart Dark said he looked forward to the task group reporting back to cabinet in due course.

The task group will have five members – three of which will be drawn from the ruling Conservative group, plus one Independent and one Labour member.

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