Council will be urged to do more on green issues

Norfolk County Council will be taken to task over a perceived failure to tackle green issues in its new three-year plan on Monday and urged to create a new multi-million-pound climate change fund.

Norfolk County Council will be taken to task over a perceived failure to tackle green issues in its new three-year plan on Monday and urged to create a new multi-million-pound climate change fund.

Green councillors will tell the cabinet that they are "astounded" that the 2007-2010 plan makes a cursory note in its introduction that the council should take a lead on climate change but then fails to develop any serious plan to do so.

They will be demanding leader Shaun Murphy make amendments so that it becomes a main priority.

Andrew Boswell said: "After the Stern Report, there is an increasing consensus that all levels of government must play a strong role in combating catastrophic climate change. There is much Norfolk could do, and I am inspired by many people working at the council with whom I talk and who are taking this issue very seriously and are keen to act now.

"Yet the cabinet are presenting a three-year plan that makes no attempt to grasp the urgency of the situation and support council officers with policy and funding to make this happen."

The green group will demand the cabinet:

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Make a "protect and sustain the environment objective" a main aim for the council in recognition of the urgency of the situation with climate change.

Set a date by which the service plans and performance indicators will be in place for this aim.

Establish a council climate change strategy and an energy efficiency programme under this objective as a high priority.

Consider how to fund such a strategy from the next budget onwards by establishing a climate change mitigation fund with £2.4m this year and more than £5m in future years.

Ian Monson, cabinet member for environment and waste, is set to respond to the demands.

"The county council has included climate change objectives in its plans before. For example, we are one of the few authorities to include a carbon reduction target within our local transport plan," he said.

"A climate change strategy is also in the process of being developed, involving the county council with district authority partners. This work will be informed by the work of the cabinet scrutiny working group on climate change."