Kent County Council is a strategic level authority which works with partners from local authorities, business and communities. Together the partnership has identified a number of high level priorities in terms of environment and related economic and health outcomes, which reflect key challenges and opportunities which the county faces with air quality, energy, transport, water, resources, severe weather, land-use change and biodiversity. Those priorities form the basis of the Kent Environment Strategy and delivery will be met through an implementation plan and the actions and activities detailed within it. Together these form our sustainable energy action plan (SEAP) incorporating wider socio-economic outcomes.
The main development stage of the data observatory will take place as part of the implementation plan activity. It needs to support stakeholders in developing policies, actions and decisions that are delivering on the Kent Environment Strategy priorities. Energy and Environmental Observatory of Kent[UK]
Development is likely then to take a phased approach with phase one incorporating existing county and local level data valuable for monitoring of key performance indicators, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This is an important starting point for the observatory as we need to ensure that the activities we deliver remain effective and pragmatic, it is essential then that we can monitor and evaluate progress. Further development of the observatory will then be informed through continuous stakeholder engagement.
The importance and value of using data forms strategic priorities within the Kent Environment Strategy, not only for monitoring and evaluating progress but for informing current and future decision making. The strategy has been endorsed across local authorities in Kent and all are currently taking it through internal adoption processes for launch in spring 2016.