This statement was provided by the West Berkshire Green Party and has been reproduced here verbatim.
West Berkshire Green Party today (Tuesday 11 February) issued a bold set of proposals to enable West Berkshire Council to meet its climate change target of zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The nine-page Green Party document declares: “We need to put the climate emergency at the heart of the council’s decision-making” and criticises the council’s draft strategy for being vague, timid and uninspiring.
Among the Greens’ eye-catching proposals are:
• A citizens’ assembly, with representatives from all ages and social groups across the district, to work with the council on delivering its strategy.
• Turning the London Road Industrial Estate into West Berkshire’s first Green Development Zone – a fully sustainable mixture of housing, business and sporting uses.
• A doubling of tree cover across West Berkshire by 2030.
• New safe cycling and walking routes and the introduction of clean air zones in town centres and near schools.
• A workplace parking levy to fund a reinvigorated and expanded bus service, including a possible free electric “hopper” bus connecting stations and shopping centres.
• Abolition of the green bin charge and permit scheme, elimination all single-use plastics, and a big increase in food waste recycling.
• Solar energy to be installed on every council building, including schools, alongside other energy efficiency measures.
• A new forum involving local farmers and landowners to explore measures to reduce the negative environmental impact of agriculture and encourage biodiversity.
• The council to appoint a senior climate change officer responsible for coordinating and prioritising policies to achieve zero carbon by 2030.
Councillor Carolyne Culver, chair of West Berkshire Green Party and leader of the Green group on West Berkshire Council, said: “The council’s draft strategy is uninspiring. There is nothing that acknowledges the scale of the task, or the fact that our goal can only be achieved if there are radical changes in the way we all live and behave.
“It will take vision and imagination, but if we work together there are real practical benefits for our communities – in health, in wellbeing, and in the quality of our environment.”
The full response
Councillor Carolyne Culver (07976 374146)
Councillor David Marsh (07775 703582)
Councillor Steve Master (07476 810230)
You may also be interested in…
• The response from the West Berkshire Lib Dems to the draft strategy.
• Penny Post’s article on the subject with some thoughts on the document.
• West Berkshire Council’s post on the subject including links to the draft strategy.
The consultation closes on Friday 21 February 2020 – please click here to take part.