Wisbech Town Council wants county council to prioritise potholes over climate change

Councillors discuss Cambridgeshire county council's climate change strategy. Left to right: Steve Ti

Councillors discuss Cambridgeshire county council's climate change strategy. Left to right: Steve Tierney, Wisbech Town Council, Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council and Samantha Hoy, Leader of Wisbech Town Council. - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Town Council wants the county council to focus on delivering services rather than its climate change initative.

Town and parish councils have shared their views on the county council's draft climate change and environment strategy, which aims to reduce Cambridgeshire's carbon footprint and support communities through any of the changes.

And minutes from Wisbech Town Council's meeting revealed that it considers fixing potholes, supporting the ageing population and children's services as more appropriate issues than the strategy document.

The minutes said: "Councillor [Steve] Tierney commented that he would rather see that the county council focus its energies and resources upon the delivery of its core services - such as maintaining highway infrastructure, providing support for the ageing population and delivering services which are able to improve the lives of families and children - rather than producing a Climate Change and Environment Strategy...

"He expressed the opinion that the County Council is not in a position to change or influence the climate change 'agenda'."

He later claimed that "renewable energy is not better and less expensive than traditional sources" and "it is only a viable option because of Government subsidies".

While councillors say they appreciate the need to address the issues caused by climate change, many agreed with Councillor Tierney's perspective on focusing on council services.

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Town council leader Samantha Hoy added that measures such as introducing taxes in an attempt to change behaviour impacts the poorest members of society.

"It is more important to local residents that the potholes are repaired rather than a strategy document being introduced," she reportedly commented.

Cambridgeshire county council's consultation on the draft climate change strategy closed at the end of January 2020, and was discussed by councillors in Wisbech on January 20.

It is part of a county-wide drive being championed by cambridgeshire county leader Steve Count.

Earlier this month, the county council announced that it will commit £15 million to decarbonise its own buildings in an effort towards cutting its own carbon emissions in half by 2023.

- Should the county council be focusing on its climate change initiative or on delivering services? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk with your views.

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