MULTI-million pound plans have been drawn-up to tackle climate change in the district.

A raft of environmental measures has been included in Bradford Council’s 2020-21 draft budget, which is now out to public consultation after it was approved by the authority’s executive.

Proposals range from expanding the council’s electric vehicle fleet, to tree planting, extending 20mph zones and introducing more solar or wind power schemes.

Bradford Council last year declared a climate emergency, but it has since been criticised by the local Green Party for planning road expansion schemes.

In the draft budget, more than £25 million was announced for climate plans – most of it capital expenditure.

Allocations include £5m for a project examining how renewable energy could be used throughout the district, £2.5m to make council properties more environmentally friendly, £1.8m to support the transition of the council’s vehicle fleet – largely run on diesel at present – to electric, and an extra £200,000 to carry out flood alleviation work on the district’s moorland.

A previously-announced project to replace 59,000 street lights across the district with LED lighting will also reduce energy consumption, the council says.

Other proposals include a Tree For Every Child project, which will see £250,000 invested to enable a tree to be planted for each of the 55,342 primary school pupils in the Bradford district.

And £250,000 will be ploughed into waste services to improve recycling rates.

Community groups will be able to access a £360,000 fund that will enable them to take part in projects in their areas to cut carbon, increase biodiversity and switch to renewable energy.

The council is also planning to further roll out 20mph zones in the district.

Much of the city centre was made a 20mph zone last year, and in the new budget the council will spend £140,000 to create more zones across the district.

Most of the new zones will be focused around schools. The aim is to help children and families feel safer, but it is also hoped more people will switch to walking or cycling to school.

At the executive meeting which approved the budget, council leader Councillor Susan Hinchliffe said: “The climate emergency is the biggest issue of our time. It is no longer acceptable that we throw away so much waste and still use single-use plastic. As a council we need to lead by example.”