Council Leader speaks out on Council's Climate Change record

September 6, 2007 12:00 AM

Council Leader Alan Taylor has promised to look into whether or not Rochdale Council should sign the 'Nottingham Declaration' on Climate Change. He has claimed however that Rochdale Council is already showing their commitment to Climate Change in various ways and believes that some elements of the 'Nottingham Declaration' are a publicity stunt.

Councillor Taylor said: "Our Council is committed to tackling climate change and has signed up to the 'Manchester Is My Planet' project and 'The North West Climate Change Pledge'. We will of course look at any other pledges but this Council has already proved that it takes Climate Change seriously. I've had a brief look at the Website for the 'Nottingham Declaration' and one of its key benefits is listed as a publicity stunt. We have developed our own Carbon Management Action Plan (CMAP) to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from our buildings, vehicle fleet, street lighting and in the goods and services we buy.

"We are also working to involve Rochdale organisations in activity towards climate change, especially Housing Associations and house builders in low carbon buildings and integrating renewable technologies such as solar thermal panels. Our Council's planning polices are also being changed to reflect the need for action, including new design guidance, and other key strategies and programmes are being influenced to ensure that they contribute towards the challenge, including Transport, Housing, Economic, and Health strategies.

"These and other proactive things we are doing show a clear commitment to tackling the problem of climate change far beyond signing a declaration as a 'publicity stunt'. If Labour were that concerned about signing this pledge that has been going for 7 years then why didn't they sign it when Allen Brett ran this Council in coalition with the Tories? This attempt at gaining publicity just doesn't wash and is an insult to Council Officers working hard to do our bit for the environment. Maybe we would have more confidence in what Labour have to say if they hadn't presided over a shocking recycling record when in power or resisted every attempt at every turn since to improve it. Like the Liberal Democrat's nationally we are determined to work hard alongside Paul Rowen MP to make our Council the greenest, least polluting Council ever."