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Spelthorne's Conservative Cabinet fail to sign up to 10:10 action on Climate Change

January 26, 2010 9:35 PM
Climate Change march Dec 09 Simon Hughes and PPC Mark Chapman

Spelthorne PPC Mark Chapman and Simon Hughes MP marching for positive action on Climate Change

Liberal Democrat Councillors proposed a motion at the October Council meeting to get Spelthorne to sign up to the 10:10 Campaign - but this was rejected by the Conservative Cabinet. 10:10 is a national campaign to get individuals and organisations to to promise to work towards cutting their carbon emissions by 10% in 2010.

The purpose of this initiative is to get people to make immediate energy savings and to focus attention on reducing energy usage permanently. To date over 100 Local Authorities have signed up, but regrettably not Conservative-run Spelthorne.

National Conservative policy says "We urgently need to move to a low carbon economy in order to strengthen our economy, help guarantee our energy security and protect our environment for future generations". Conservative policy also says "And because Government should be leading the way, we will cut central government's carbon emissions by 10 per cent within 12 months of coming to office". Commitment to the aims and objectives of 10:10 is not shared by Spelthorne's Conservatives. It seems though, at a local level Conservatives are allowed to opt out.

Local Liberal Democrats asked Spelthorne Council to sign up to the 10:10 campaign because we are very concerned about climate change and are strong supporters of immediate action at every level - we all have an obligation to do what we can for the sake of future generations.

Faced with an opposition Lib Dem motion the Conservative majority ducked the issue, referring it to the nine members of the Cabinet for a decision. Instead of biting the bullet and signing up they offered a "Tackling Climate Change event for all Councillors and key partners".

Liberal Democrat Councillors regard this as an inadequate response which completely fails to show any leadership whatsoever on the key issue for our times.

Lib Dem Environment spokesperson, Caroline Nichols, said "Climate change will affect everyone on earth and we all have a responsibility to do whatever we can to cut our energy emissions. If we all accept this challenge, together we can make a real difference. Spelthorne will not be immune from the effects of climate change and the failure of the Cabinet to sign up to 10:10 represents a tragic failure of leadership."

10 10 campaign logo

The 10:10 Campaign is seeking to get us all to cut our enertgy usage by 10% in 2010

This is of course not the only subject on which Spelthorne's fundamentalist Tories are out of step with their own party. As recently as 15th January 2010 Theresa Villiers, the Shadow Transport Secretary described the decision on a 3rd runway at Heathrow as "a bleak day for our environment and for those of us that care about safeguarding it". She added that "The world has moved on when it comes to Heathrow but Labour just hasn't moved with it. They are on the wrong side of the argument."

Spelthorne's Tories are still right behind the Heathrow expansion plans - the only local Council to support it. Local Liberal Democrats firmly agree that they are on the wrong side of the argument and need to move on.

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