Lib Dem action to cut energy bills and carbon emissions

Energy Efficiency

South Gloucestershire’s Liberal Democrat Opposition has secured £110,000 extra funding to help local people cut their carbon footprints and reduce their energy bills.

Ahead of last night's meeting, the Liberal Democrat Group published plans to replace Conservative spin with action - cutting £45,000 per year from the Council’s public relations budget to fund a permanent, extra Domestic Retrofit Officer, to help local people make their homes more energy efficient.

They also proposed investing £10,000 in thermal imaging cameras to be loaned out by local libraries to help people understand where heat is lost from their homes and ringfencing for Climate and Ecological Emergency work money set aside by the council.

Following negotiations, and a promise that the thermal imaging cameras would be funded differently, tonight the Liberal Democrats won cross-party backing for an amendment to fund an extra new Domestic Retrofit Officer for two years.

Proposing the amendment Councillor Claire Young, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition said:

It appears that our repeated calls for more funding for climate action are finally hitting home. We hope the Leader is now grasping that it is a genuine emergency requiring urgent action. But we think still more can be done, which is why we are proposing an amendment.

“Because we believe in action over spin, because we believe in tackling the Climate and Ecological Emergency and helping the just about managing cope with the rising cost of living, we have agreed a compromise.

“Faced with the choice of pushing for everything we wanted or compromising and getting real action for local people and the planet, we opted for the latter. Let’s help people who are struggling and help our planet too.”

Seconding the amendment Councillor Louise Harris, Shadow Cabinet Member for Community and Local Place said:

“We have been happy to help our residents – this is about action not spin. We are prepared to put our differences to one side in the interests of our residents and the planet.”

Commenting after the meeting Councillor Claire Young added:

“We are pleased to have secured an extra £110,000 to help people cut their carbon footprints and their energy bills.

“We believe that helping people cope with the rising cost of heating their homes and tackling the Climate and Ecological Emergency have to be priorities.

“We had hoped to cut the Council’s PR budget in order to make this Domestic retrofit Officer permanent. But in the spirit of actually getting things done, rather than grandstanding, we negotiated an agreement with the other groups on the Council.

“We will continue to push the administration to give the Climate and Ecological Emergency the priority it deserves and protect local residents from the worst of the alarming rise in the cost of living."

The Liberal Democrat Group also supported amendments from the Labour Group to roll out additional Climate Emergency workshops in schools and to help victims of serious sexual abuse.

Image credit: Uswitch

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