COUNCIL bosses have set aside more than £1 million in a bid to tackle climate change by making its buildings more energy -efficient.

Tendring Council leader Neil Stock said the fund is part of the authority’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2030.

He has announced a budget of £1.13 million has been prepared to help reduce future costs and to make future energy-efficiency works to council buildings.

Work to assess their current efficiency is already under way.

Mr Stock also proposed stopping the use of single-use plastics where possible across the authority, with the aim of being free of the items by the end of next year.

A consultant has also been appointed to calculate the council’s carbon footprint and draw up an action plan to make it neutral.

Other works have included the planting of thousands of trees at Rush Green Recreation Ground in Clacton.

Mr Stock said: “We are moving in the right direction and have already taken some very significant and positive steps towards becoming carbon neutral.

“This is just the beginning though, and if we are to make a meaningful difference for future generations we will need to take some tough decisions.

“The action plan, which I expect to be ready by the spring, will set out what we need to do to make our operations carbon neutral, along with the associated costs. I will bring that plan to cabinet and then full council to ensure we have the highest level of commitment to the work that will need to be done over the next ten years.”

The announcement follows a declaration of a climate emergency by Tendring Council in the summer, when £150,000 was set aside to fund the initial work.

Tendring Council’s cabinet has agreed to re-allocate the remaining £78,400 Big Society Fund money to assess and make improvements to the energy efficiency of community halls owned by the council.

Ivan Henderson, the council’s opposition group deputy leader, said he welcomed moves to tackle climate change, but was unhappy with funds being transferred from the Big Society fund.

He added: “That money had been earmarked for charities, who could really benefit from it. It is totally out of order - the money should be used for the purpose it was intended.”