Harrogate cabinet member blasts Lib Dems over carbon emissions criticisms

A Harrogate district cabinet member has hit back at the Lib Dems over criticism of its handling of 'green' issues in the district.

Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 2:44 pm
Carbon emissions - The question of whether enough is being done on environmental matters and climate change in Harrogate has sparked angry debate.

Coun Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability, said: “I was very disappointed to read Coun Pat Marsh’s rhetoric on how much better the Liberal Democrats could run Harrogate Borough Council.

“Coun Marsh mentions the district’s performance on reducing carbon emissions based upon statistics which are 18 months old and do not accurately reflect the subset of data on emissions under the influence of the local authority.

“Coun Marsh’s comments on more local powers being devolved are to be discussed at ministerial level with local authority leaders in York and North Yorkshire.

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"One of the aims being to make our region England’s first carbon neutral district.

“The Chancellor is about to unveil a £3bn green jobs recovery package as part of a series of measures designed to lift the economy out of the coronavirus crisis. Part of the package will be to make public buildings greener.

“Up to 5,000 new, sustainable jobs will be created through the Green Jobs Challenge Fund.

“The Chancellor is also expected to unveil £50m to retro-fit social housing with heat pumps, insulation and double-glazing.

“This is all on top of the £5bn investment plan announced by the Prime Minister last week. This investment in a clean recovery could create more than 1.6m green jobs.

“If that isn’t taking bold action then I don’t know what is!

“If Coun Marsh and her colleagues were to type ‘carbon reduction strategy’ in to the council’s website then they will find the first page states: "The council supports measures to address the climate emergency as outlined by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) so we have agreed a carbon reduction strategy with the aim of adapting it to meet IPCC targets and a final goal of carbon neutrality."

“So their year-long fight to declare a climate emergency when we have plans in place is somewhat irrelevant.

“Coun Marsh’s comments on setting up a Citizens Assembly have already been covered in my previous correspondence when I welcomed the initiative to meet, research and agree solutions, which could then be filtered through the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition, of which Coun Marsh is a member, for appropriate action.”

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