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Council’s Covid Recovery cannot come at expense of climate recovery, Greens say

Greens have raised concerns about City Council plans to put on hold a large number of climate related projects

A green amendment at yesterday’s Policy & Resources Committee which sought to continue projects that help progress the council’s aim to be carbon neutral by 2030 was rejected by Labour and Conservative Councillors.

The amendment to a report detailing the council’s financial position as a result of the current health crisis sought to reverse the Labour Council’s plans to pause a number of climate-related projects including Eldred Avenue Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDS), energy generation on council buildings, school streets and Electric Vehicle Fast Chargers.

Councillor David Gibson, who put forward the proposals said:

“Given our commitment to Carbon Neutral by 2030, it is a shame to put these projects on pause. Residents would rightly question this commitment with these projects put on hold. To pause spending on installing solar panel installation on council buildings whilst at the same time continuing to spend with car park concrete repairs is disappointing.

We believe there is scope to continue these projects at this time – as a number of them are already funded. While we understand the current situation, the council is facing – we believe that the council’s recovery from Covid-19 cannot come at the expense of our climate recovery.”

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Sue Shanks who commented:

“Times are hard but we still have a problem with climate change and we need to consider how we tackle it going forward. We don’t want to bounce our residents from one crisis into another and if this crisis teaches us anything it is of the value of preparation to avert the worst.

As more children will soon be returning to school, we want to make sure we have the adequate proposals for them to get there safely by walking. Keeping the school streets initiative going is incredibly important with this in mind.

It’s a shame to see Labour and Conservative Councillors who previously expressed their commitment to a number of these proposals go back on them.”

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