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Opportunity missed to jump start efforts to combat climate change

February 26, 2020 1:12 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

RBC ChamberAt the budget debate at Rugby Borough Council on Tuesday 25 February 2020, the Conservatives failed to support the Liberal Democrats' proposals to add a further £1.5 million to the £500,000 already agreed by Rugby Borough Council to tackle climate change.

Collectively, this money would have created a special fund totalling £2 million at no extra cost to the proposed Council Tax levels. The £1.5 million comes from the one-year delay of the reset to the Business Rates system.

The amendment from Rugby Liberal Democrats also called for:

  • An updated local transport plan.
  • Work with key stakeholders to encourage a modal shift from the car to alternative and more sustainable methods of transport.
  • Work with local third sector and voluntary groups and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to further reduce waste going to landfill.
  • Review the connection of green and blue ways and how residents can more easily access the parks and open spaces within the borough.
  • Support the acceleration of a tree planting programme and a Woodland /Tree Management Strategy.

Commenting, Cllr Tim Douglas (Paddox) and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group, said:

"Climate change is the most pressing issue facing our communities and that's why the Liberal Democrats continue to make it our top priority.

"Rugby scores just 60% on the Friends of the Earth Climate Friendly Test and they say that Rugby's performance on climate change is poor compared to other similar local authorities. Less than 10% of Rugby is tree cover and only 19% of commuter journeys are made by public transport, cycling and walking.

"By not choosing to ring fence the money, the Conservatives have failed to jump start efforts to combat the climate emergency and help our communities."

The Friends of the Earth Climate Friendly Test says that the Rugby area's performance on climate change is poor compared to other similar local authority areas and Rugby particularly needs to do much better on: increasing the use of public transport, cycling and walking, increasing renewable energy, and increasing tree cover.

The Friends of the Earth Climate Friendly Test outlines that:

•Less than 10% of Rugby is tree cover.

•Only 19% of commuter journeys are made by public transport, cycling and walking.

•Just 44% of Rugby homes are well insulated.

•And 45% of household waste is reused, recycled, or composted

https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-friendly-communities

Liberal Democrats amendment in full:

https://rugbylibdems.org.uk/en/article/2020/1350408/rugby-lib-dems-tackling-climate-change-is-our-priority