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‘Disappointing’ - council leader planning to scrap climate role criticised

PUBLISHED: 09:51 11 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:51 11 September 2020

The leader of a council which has repeatedly refused to declare a climate emergency plans to scrap a cabinet role with responsibility for the environment. Pictured, West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long. Photo: Ian Burt

The leader of a council which has repeatedly refused to declare a climate emergency plans to scrap a cabinet role with responsibility for the environment. Pictured, West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long. Photo: Ian Burt

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The leader of a council which has repeatedly refused to declare a climate emergency plans to scrap a cabinet role with responsibility for the environment.

The leader of a council which has repeatedly refused to declare a climate emergency plans to scrap a cabinet role with responsibility for the environment. Pictured, West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long. Photo: Ian BurtThe leader of a council which has repeatedly refused to declare a climate emergency plans to scrap a cabinet role with responsibility for the environment. Pictured, West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long. Photo: Ian Burt

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk borough council leader Brian Long has revealed he intends to do away with a specific role with responsibility for the authority’s work around carbon reduction.

It comes just weeks after Ian Devereux, former environment portfolio holder, stepped down and said: “It needs other, younger people who can give it the commitment it deserves”.

Mr Long, who has temporarily taken on the environment role, was also criticised by councillors for failing to mention climate change in his report and for his “obvious lack of interest”.

READ MORE: Council leader told to apologise to residents for ‘inflammatory schadenfreude’

Speaking at a full council meeting on Thursday, September 10, Labour member Gary Howman said: “At the last cabinet meeting, you stated you were temporarily assuming the role of cabinet member for the environment and would make an appointment soon.

“Bearing in mind the high priority and importance of this role, I wonder if you could update us on when this might happen?”

Mr Long said: “It’s my intention to look to appoint a portfolio holder for the waste recycling enforcement part of the portfolio in probably the next two months.

“In the meantime I will hold that portfolio.”

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He added: “Coming to the next full council, we have a report on the council’s dealings with climate change. If that’s accepted by council I intend to add that responsibility to another portfolio holder’s responsibilities so they can deal specifically with that.”

READ MORE: Council leader blasted for ending climate change debate

Independent councillor Chris Morley added: “I ask of the leader why has he made no mention of climate change or even carbon footprint in his report?

“I just find that disappointing.”

Mr Long said he had given a report to the environment panel which would be discussed at the next council meeting.

“It seemed replication,” he said. “There’s no point in replicating work at full council.”

READ MORE: Councillor steps down from senior role saying: ‘I’m feeling my age’

But independent member Jim Moriarty said: “Will you stop trying to confuse the reports that are going to the panels with the one you’ve just given us.

“I am talking about your report and your obvious lack of interest and concern about climate change and carbon reduction.”

Mr Long added: “I’m not rising to it. Anything I say may be taken down and given in evidence.”

READ MORE: Councillor apologises after former Norfolk County Council leader threatens legal action over email


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