‘Fossile fules’ - Row over claims environmental strategy ‘cobbled together on a Friday afternoon’
PUBLISHED: 19:00 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 19:00 14 January 2020
An environmental strategy for Norwich “reads as if it has been hastily cobbled together on a Friday afternoon without any forethought”, according to Green councillors who claim it lacks ambition.
However, Labour councillors have hit back, saying the criticism is "deeply offensive and incorrect".
Norwich City Council is consulting over its draft environmental strategy for the next five years.
But Martin Schmierer, leader of the opposition Green group, has criticised the document, saying spelling errors, such as "fossile fules", instead of fossil fuels, are symptomatic of a lack of care.
Mr Schmierer said: "It cannot be called a strategy at all, as it contains very few targets of any kind and reads as if it had been hastily cobbled together on a Friday afternoon without any forethought.
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"Green councillors have for months been told to wait for this strategy as if it were a magic document that would finally present a comprehensive vision for how the council intends to tackle the climate emergency.
"Instead, what we've got is a random hodgepodge of suggestions which would have benefitted from a spellchecker, let alone a rigorous assessment process."
But Kevin Maguire, cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment, said: "Our dedicated council officers have worked hard alongside councillors to produce this draft environmental strategy, and it's both deeply offensive and incorrect that it was either hastily put together or not ambitious enough.
"In the terms of reference for our new climate and environment emergency executive panel, we resolved to consider the potential impact of this environmental strategy. Maintaining a 'Liveable City' is one of the foundations of our 2040 Norwich City Vision, and this strategy is well structured to deliver that, in keeping with our corporate plan and World Health Organisation measures.
"Our progress in this area has been noted by the multiple awards and recognitions we have achieved in the past 12 months alone, alongside being named one of the most climate-friendly areas in the country by Friends of the Earth."
The 30-page consultation, which outlines a series of measures, is here.
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