COUNCIL staff in Cumbria are being allowed to work from home to help save the environment, a meeting heard.

Cumbria County Council introduced the measure for some staff to help cut its carbon footprint.

The authority is also using video conferencing to reduce car journeys across the county and now has an electric pool car fleet.

Cllr Celia Tibble, the cabinet member for environment, said a new working group would be set-up in 2019 to help staff reduce their carbon emissions.

The authority, which employs around 6,000 people, already has a “Green Action” at work programme.

Cllr Tibble, the Labour member for Seaton, told a meeting in Kendal: “The climate is changing and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. It is undeniable that this change is having a real effect.

“Cumbria has experienced several floods and storms, therefore adapting to the impacts and supporting people to live with significant change is important.

“With each severe weather event, we learn how best to respond and recover. The council and the county now have better systems in place to enable us to be more resilient and recover more quickly.”

She said it was “imperative” that carbon emissions are reduced. The council has reduced emissions through its waste contract arrangements, and reducing waste to landfill.

It had also installed LED street lighting across the county and uses low-emission fleet vehicles.

Cllr Tibble said emissions from council buildings had been reduced by more than 10 per cent since 2009, while emissions from street lighting have reduced by a third.

“Emissions from staff travel have fallen with the use of video conferencing and flexible and home working,” she said.