Newark and Sherwood District Council leader accuses Nottingham City Council of being dishonourable in setting climate change targets
A council leader has accused a neighbouring authority of being dishonourable in setting climate change targets — in contrast to Newark and Sherwood.
David Lloyd said his council’s approach to climate change over the next 15 years was quantifiable, measurable, base-lined, costed — and accountable.
He said: “Though I wouldn’t say we are unique to other councils, but quite distinct to many in our locality. We are setting targets, allocating funds, and setting specific actions that not only are deliverable, but we can be held accountable to.
“There are other councils, I wouldn’t dare name them but possibly a city surrounded by Nottinghamshire county, that has set a climate change emergency without a date, without having assessed their carbon footprint, and establishing whether that is realistic.
“I think all of us in this chamber felt that this is dishonourable to our electorate who look to us to achieve these matters and to do so in a thoughtful way that we share with them — encouraging them to hold us to account.
“It might have taken us a little longer to get there, but we know where we are; we know where we are going; and the public can track our progress. Very few other councils or organisations can say the same. This strategy is honest.”
Mr Lloyd was speaking on a report on the council’s climate emergency strategy and action plan presented to council.
Mr Lloyd said the council not only engaged with experts Carbon Trust to identify Newark and Sherwood’s carbon footprint — the amount of carbon tonnage emitted — but also with stakeholders.
“That’s town and parish councils, the Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Hoval — who produce boilers and air source pumps — and building constrictors such as Gusto,” he said.
“We do this to understand not only what is happening, but what could be done and how, through this, we could perhaps stimulate our own economy by using these local providers and their knowledge.”
Mr Lloyd said his council’s priority was making its buildings energy efficient by looking at gas, electricity and water consumption and its waste. Under consideration was a change to LED lighting and replacing roofing.
He said the council’s fleeted vehicles was also a key concern that needed addressing, as well as existing housing stock.
“The strategy in front of you has an action plan and it is fully costed applying in the region of £800,000 more to this ambition to 2031.
“It will be updated annually as we learn more of the government’s aspirations and funding becomes available. But we are not just going to sit back and wait on the government.
“The government may or may not have decided that all houses have to be 100% energy efficient or all have to have solar panels, but we have already consulted the public.
“We are seeking to have requirements on new developments to have cycling storage, not just for cars, and to gear up for the electric charging of vehicles.
“We are putting this out to the community with an element of expertise from our officers. We will have to work with people to ensure we have the greatest impact, understanding, and achieve this wider agenda of biodiversity and major conservation.”
Nottingham City Council’s deputy leader Sally Longford said: “We seem to know more about Newark and Sherwood’s carbon action plan than councillor Lloyd seems to know about ours — perhaps because we are providing consultancy support to develop a carbon reduction strategy for them.
“We have a detailed road map for achieving carbon neutrality by 2028, through an action plan that has been recognised as one of the three most detailed documents nationally for achieving carbon neutrality.
“Our efforts are well advanced and widely respected throughout the country and have the support and endorsement of individuals, organisations and businesses throughout the city.
“Our team leads the way on tackling climate change and is sharing its expertise with councillor Lloyd’s officers. This is an important issue about the future of our planet, and we all need to work together on it.”