BELLE MONT reports on how the LibDems in Sutton have been exposed once again for their incompetence on environmental issues
The incinerating LibDems in Sutton have managed to miss out on a share of a multi-million-pound fund to encourage environmentally friendly electric car use because… they didn’t know about it.
Christopher Woolmer, a Labour candidate at the upcoming local elections, asked a question at the most recent meeting of Sutton Council, to try to discover why the authority had not made an application to a £4.5million fund for installing additional electric car charging points.
Jill Whitehead, the LibDem councillor who chairs the environment and neighbourhood committee, responded by saying that the fund was “not for London boroughs”.
But five other local authorities, including Kensington and Chelsea (which, when we last checked, was somewhere in London) had all applied for the money.
When Woolmer provided confirmation from the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles to finger-on-the-pulse Whitehead, the senior LibDem councillor was forced to apologise for her previous, “misleading” answer, and to admit “we do now understand that this funding is available to London boroughs”.
Today, Woolmer told Inside Croydon, “I was shocked to discover that the Liberal Democrats had dropped the ball on applying for this important money.
“Environmental issues are ever more important to Sutton’s residents, and the Liberal Democrats ought to pay more attention when financial matters are at stake.
“Labour councillors are needed in Sutton to sharpen up the council, and act effectively on environmental issues.”
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Pretty sad really, when some 30 years back, Sutton was in the vanguard of eco-conscious boroughs.
It all seems to have imploded. Some 25 years ago they got rid of their landscape architect team, and got rid of their ecology expert.
One wonders what is left ?
Perhaps what is left in Sutton is a series of flawed environmental initiatives based on semi-ignorance, and a belief that this is enough to get them re-elected endlessly. COUNCILLOR 1 : ‘There’s this brilliant Energy Recovery Facility idea from the guys at Viridor. You put all your ‘non-recyclables’ inside and burn them to make electricity’. DINOSAUR-COUNCILLOR-WHO-STILL-UNDERSTANDS-GREEN-ISSUES : ‘Hang on, we know that much of the ‘non-recyclables’ is actually unseparated recyclables in residents’ bins. Shouldn’t we try to improve recycling further ?. After all, Recycling is higher up the Waste Hierarchy than Energy Recovery.’ COUNCILLOR 1 : ‘Naaa, Hierarchy Schmierarchy – we’ve already got recycling dumbass. We can have an ERF AS WELL !’