Lambeth Council challenged over weak climate emergency response

12 July 2019

Green Party councillors have today (12th July 2019) challenged Lambeth Council’s response to the climate crisis, calling for much bolder action, stronger leadership and for greater involvement of Lambeth’s people in creating and scrutinising the council’s plans. [1]

 

Almost six months after the Green Party’s motion to declare a climate emergency was passed by the council [2] the cabinet member responsible for the environment and air quality, Claire Holland, announced on 5th July a carbon reduction plan for Lambeth Council - but without any input from the public or any meaningful way for those plans to be scrutinised or held to account. [3]

 

A ‘special procedure’ was used to push through the decision, avoiding the customary 28 days’ notice and preventing the public or opposition councillors from questioning or making contributions to the council’s decision.

 

“It is now six months since the council passed a Green Party motion declaring a climate emergency,” said Cllr Pete Elliott, “and yet the only apparent urgency shown by Lambeth Council’s deputy leader for environment and clean air has been to ensure that no one else can contribute to her plans.

"This is the most important issue of our time. It is bigger than politics and needs a collaborative approach."

 

Cllr Holland’s decision includes publishing a carbon reduction plan for Lambeth Council itself, proposals for officers to develop a carbon reduction plan for residents and businesses throughout the borough, and the setting up of a Citizen’s Assembly.

 

The only scrutiny included in the plan is an annual report by council officers to Cllr Holland and her cabinet colleagues. 

 

A Green Party motion to be debated by Lambeth Council on 17th July proposes instead the setting up of a fully accountable, cross-party party group to continually monitor the council’s progress in cutting carbon emissions. [4]

 

Cllr Elliott said: “We challenge cabinet members to take genuine steps to work co-operatively, across party lines and with the citizens of Lambeth. There is a real opportunity to lead the way by working with the people of Lambeth to create a bold plan that creates new green jobs for local people, tackles inequality and transforms our part of London into a low-carbon economy fit for the future.”

 

Notes

1.   Formal 'call-in' document outlining reasons for challenge by Green Party councillors of decision by Deputy Leader of Lambeth Council: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15Q973mUMoLXBqsdmzF5Zs171zJgYWV1Z/view?usp=sharing

2.   A Green Party Motion declaring a climate emergency was passed by
Lambeth Council in January 2019:
https://lambeth.greenparty.org.uk/news/2019/01/23/greens-declare-a-climate-emergency-and-bring-borough%E2%80%99s-co2-emissions-target-forward-to-2030/

3.   Announcement of decision by Deputy Leader Lambeth Council: https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?id=4382&LLL=0

4.    A Green Party motion on next steps on the Climate Emergency will be debated by Lambeth Council on 17th July, see agenda p65: https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/g11402/Public%20reports%20pack%20Wednesday%2017-Jul-2019%2019.00%20Council.pdf?T=10






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