A LOCAL authority's plans to tackle climate change are one step closer after their climate action plan was unanimously supported by councillors.

At Test Valley Borough Council's (TVBC) full meeting on June 10, the action plan that sets out their recommendations to reduce its carbon footprint was given approval by all present elected members.

The plan was put together during a six-month period and was approved by the authority’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSCOM) in March.

Among the proposals were to plant as many trees as possible over the next few years and reducing paper output by offering a number of digital alternatives.

Another recommendation announced in March was the need to use video conferencing more and because of coronavirus this step has already been taken.

Environmental portfolio holder, cllr Alison Johnston, said: “I would like to thank council staff, elected members and the wider communities and businesses who have all contributed to this document. This is a living document; it needs to be.

“Reacting to the current pandemic has, rightly, been the council’s focus over the past few months.

"As we work through the recovery phase, we have the opportunity to adapt to new, low carbon ways of working and living.

"We must seize this chance and continue working together as we push forward with the next steps of this action plan.”

Chair of OSCOM, cllr Zilliah Brooks, said: “This is a pivotal time in our communities but with the right support, we can make a truly lasting difference to our environment.

“I’m very proud of this document and I’m glad that the council’s cross-party support has enabled this to be agreed and allow us to move forward.”

The council has also taken steps to help tackle climate change in the borough, including installing solar panels on council buildings and using more environmentally-friendly printing.

The authority is also looking at replacing their fleet of vehicles with electric or alternative fuel options.