Speaking after the B&NES Council AGM on Tuesday 4th May, Council Leader Cllr Kevin Guy renewed the Liberal Democrat administration's total commitment to the goal of achieving the council's Net Zero target by 2030.
"We are doubling down on the promises and commitments we have made to the people of B&NES. The Climate Emergency remains the single most critical issue we face, and it is at the heart of everything we do. If we fail to tackle it effectively - remembering always that climate justice cannot be achieved without social justice - all else we do is in vain. All our Councillors are united in this determination.
"With this in mind, I have created a second Deputy Leader position with specific responsibility for the Climate Emergency and Sustainable Travel, and we are immensely fortunate to have Sarah Warren to fill that demanding role.
"We are now one of only a handful of Councils in the country with a Deputy Leader specifically tasked with the climate portfolio, which shows the importance we ascribe to this area", Councillor Guy said.
Speaking after the appointment was confirmed, Councillor Warren commented, "I am delighted to have been given the opportunity which this new, integrated and expanded portfolio represents. By directing more resource and a fresh focus on the climate challenge, we will be able to make more progress faster towards our very ambitious carbon targets.
"'I am listening carefully to residents to ensure that our policies, and the schemes we deliver, are the best they can be.
"Over the last two years we have put in place the policy framework to make real change in B&NES and work towards the outcomes we all want - cleaner air, reduced congestion, and reduced CO2 emissions from transport.
"We have also shown that we can deliver; successfully implementing the first Clean Air Zone outside of London. We look forward to achieving even more over the next two years - working with residents and basing our decisions on hard evidence. This will include having difficult conversations, but also listening and responding to concerns recognising that the level of change required impacts all of our lives. And we must always remember the interests of generations to come, as we tackle the issues of today.
"There is already great activity in the key areas of retro-fitting our housing stock, promoting sustainable travel choices and driving forward renewable energy generation across the district. My immediate concern is to step up the tempo and create a step change in perceptions of what we can achieve. B&NES has the potential to be an exemplar nationally in driving the green agenda, and I fully intend that we will set that example."
Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said:
"I am in close, regular contact with our new Council Group leadership team whom I have the utmost confidence in. As a resident and the city's MP, I am very keen that we Liberal Democrats deliver on our commitment to reach net zero. Our party believes in accountability and in listening to our electorate. I look forward to working together with my local colleagues to make concrete progress on this crucially important issue."
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