Less spin, more action - Liberal Democrats call for extra £338,000 to help combat Climate and Ecological Emergency and cut energy bills in South Gloucestershire


Thermal Image of Building

South Gloucestershire Council’s Liberal Democrat Opposition have unveiled their proposed amendment to the administration’s budget.

The Liberal Democrats have made combatting the Climate and Ecological Emergency, helping to address the rising cost of living crisis, and reducing the Council’s spending on PR the key focuses of their budget amendments.

The costed Liberal Democrat proposals would fund an additional full time Domestic Retrofit Officer, to help South Gloucestershire residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes – reducing both their energy bills and their carbon foot prints.

The Liberal Democrat proposals also include money for thermal imaging cameras, to be loaned out via the library service to help people understand where heat is lost from buildings and a ringfenced fund of £249,000 for projects tackling the Climate and Ecological emergency.

These proposals would be funded partly from a currently unallocated reserve and partly from a long-term reduction in the Council’s Strategic Communications budget.

Announcing the proposals, Councillor Claire Young, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition on South Gloucestershire Council, said:

“Two and a half years ago, South Gloucestershire Council declared a Climate Emergency. Since then we have become concerned that the administration has not given the emergency the priority it needs. While they chase headlines, there’s not enough action.

“We welcome any extra spending on tackling the Climate and Ecological Emergency, but there is a lot more to do if we are to meet the ambitious target of reaching net zero by 2030 that all three parties agreed to in 2019.

“What we are proposing is a costed amendment, that helps to rebalance the Council’s priorities away from self-promotion and towards action that helps cut carbon emissions and people’s fuel bills.

“I hope the Conservative administration and the opposition Labour group will recognise that, at a time when people are struggling, prices are rising and action on the climate and ecological emergency is growing more urgent, we have to be clear what our priorities are.”

Notes:

Some of the money (£45,000) would come from a cut in the Council’s Strategy & Innovation, which includes the Council’s Press Office – this would provide year-on-year funding to for an additional Domestic Retrofit Officer, helping South Gloucestershire Residents to improve the efficiency of their homes and reduce both their energy bills and their carbon footprint.

The rest of the money would come from the £293,000 Service Investment and Opportunities Reserve, of this:

  • £10,000 would go towards the purchase of thermal imaging cameras to be loaned out to local residents to help them understand the energy efficiency of their homes.
  • £34,000 would be used to fund the cost of a Domestic Retrofit Officer for the first 9 months of 2022/3 (after which the restructuring of the Strategy & Innovation department would be complete and provide the on-going £45,000 pa funding).
  • The remaining £249,000 of the Service Investment and Opportunities Reserve would be ring fenced for further projects to help combat the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

Image Credit: Passivhaus Institut


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