Clever policies

PUBLISHED: 10:17 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

SIR, — Along with some Green Party colleagues, I went to St Albans District Council s Big Foot conference on Thursday. This was trailed as the next step forward for St Albans plan for a more sustainable future. Top billing was the council s pledge to re

SIR, - Along with some Green Party colleagues, I went to St Albans District Council's "Big Foot" conference on Thursday. This was trailed as the next step forward for St Albans plan for a more sustainable future. Top billing was the council's pledge to reduce the entire district's C02 emissions by three per cent every year to 2025.

I was looking forward to hearing announcements from the council about the cutting-edge policies they would be introducing to make this ambition possible. Unfortunately, there were none.

For years now, we in the Green Party have been pressing this Council to take significant action, for example:

n Tough energy-efficiency rules for developers who are so keen to build here;

n Shifting from their obsession with recycling to much more productive promotion of "reduce, re-use, repair";

n Free home-insulation scheme, as achieved by Green councillors in Yorkshire;

n Joined-up thinking to reduce energy use across all areas of district activity.

But while our LibDem council paints itself the most vivid green colour, its meagre policies keep St Albans in the super-league of carbon polluters.

Most annoying of all, council Leader Robert Donald constantly claims that it is all down to individual residents to do their bit. Of course individual action plays a part. But my examples above illustrate some of the many ways that local authorities can make - and have made - a huge difference. And the way to get individuals to change their behaviour is not by emotional blackmail. It is by bringing in clever policies that encourage and reward them for doing the right thing.

SIMON GROVER,

Green Party Candidate for Central St Albans.

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