THE environment and climate change will be at the top of local spending priorities in south western areas of Oxfordshire in the next four years.

Vale of White Horse District Council approved its latest Corporate Plan at a meeting held last Thursday (October 22).

A Corporate Plan is a council's way of setting out what it wants its staff to focus on over the medium term, usually putting into force the election manifesto of its ruling group after an election.

The Vale's new Corporate Plan has six 'themes', or areas where it wants to focus.

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It puts climate change at the top of the agenda, with plans to make the council carbon neutral by 2030 sitting front and centre among its aims.

The council also wants to encourage the entire district to become carbon neutral by 2045.

Also on its list of priorities is building more affordable homes and improving public health through measures like new cycle routes, reducing air pollution and providing more support for the arts.

The council is also planning to build more financial stability: under financial predictions from before Covid, its savings were in danger of being mostly spent by 2024, meaning it would be impossible to set a balanced budget.

The council also aims to improve transparency through a theme called 'Working in an open and inclusive way', which includes using technology to livestream meetings: a measure which has come into force during the pandemic.

The Vale has also pledged to do more 'partnership working', which means it will co-operate with other councils on plans like introducing new parking wardens.