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Council names cabinet member for biodiversity

A cabinet member for bio-diversity has been appointed by the council.

Cllr Donna Stimson (Con, St Mary’s), who founded sustainability volunteer group Maidenhead Matters before becoming a councillor in the May elections, has been handed the role.

Cllr Stimson will bring forward green infrastructure projects and make suggestions on how planning applications can be greener.

She said: “I am beside myself, I didn’t think it would come so quickly, it’s a bit frustrating sitting with planning applications, and when you get to the end of the process thinking that it should have more things like green infrastructure.

“We are finding space for biodiversity. We probably haven’t done it as much as we should have because we have these beautiful parks and royal estates and probably take it for granted.

“Everyone’s waking up to the fact that we have to protect our spaces, rivers and waterways, we can’t just tear it up.”

Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in the environment, and according to Cllr Stimson, her role is wide-ranging, covering ‘everything that’s not dead’ in the borough.

One of the first things Cllr Stimson will focus on in her new role is looking at increasing the biodiversity in grass verges and open spaces.

Other projects she hopes to look at in the future include the possibility of making borough allotments smaller to enable more people to have their own.

The role also covers ‘blue infrastructure’ – anything associated with water and waterways in the borough, including the Maidenhead Waterways project.

Cllr Stimson will be involved in the installation of pontoons in the Chapel Arches of York Stream soon.

She added that she would like to hear other ideas for biodiversity projects from residents. Email Cllr.Stimson@rbwm.gov.uk

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