A back business debate on local government’s role in reaching net zero last week highlighted the vital part they have to play.
Wera Hobhouse MP (Lib Dem, Bath) said:
“Local authorities determine what is built in our communities, how we get from place to place, how we reduce our waste, and much more. They are best placed to understand their communities and deliver policies that fit their place. Those communities are let down by a Westminster Government who prevent local authorities from decarbonising their areas according to their need. Forty per cent of people most trust their local authority to act on climate change. That is much higher than the faith they place in central Government or in business. It is time that the Government treated local authorities as equal partners and gave them the funding and powers that they need to reach net zero.”
North Devon MP, Selaine Saxby (Con.) agreed with the comments and urged the Government to consider rural needs:
“I live in a village that is full of tourists at this time of year, yet it is still many, many miles to the nearest public electric charging point. The pace of change in Devon may be marginally quicker at a county council level, but we do not have many buses, so surely we are overdue at least a single electric or hydrogen-powered one.”
The debate was concluded by Mrs Hobhouse calling on the Government to consider a statutory duty for local councils to deliver net zero and to empower them with the tools and authority to carry out their role.
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