Walsall Council’s Conservative/LibDem Coalition Administration reaffirmed its commitment to developing and sustaining a low carbon economy in Walsall at last week’s Cabinet meeting reports Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Shires.
A report to cabinet outlined the progress being made in relation to Walsall’s environment and low carbon programme. The focus of this programme has been on improving the energy efficiency of homes in Walsall thereby helping to combat fuel poverty and improving the energy efficiency of Council buildings which will impact on the council’s overall energy costs.
The report also outlined the pioneering work in developing the next generation of low carbon housing. The administration is also keen to promote innovative ways of generating energy in order to reduce future costs.
Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Ian Shires welcomed the report and said that as well as making economic sense in the fight against rising fuel costs there was a spin for jobs within this growing new sector.
However he said that it was imperative that the education system in the town geared up to provide the skill base needed if we are to take full advantage of this opportunity to provide sustainable jobs. Local businesses need also to invest in the technology and apprenticeships if the local economy is to benefit to the full.
Ian also urged the administration to use its influence through Trading Standards to make it easier for potential users to access information on how to take advantage of the forthcoming Green Deal initiative soon to be launched by the Coalition Government.
On the planning front Walsall Council should look to encourage those developers who are open minded enough to help deliver a sustainable homes policy. “We need to see more energy efficient homes being built in Walsall. It does not make sense to allow new homes to be built which will require retro fitting the technology needed to raise standards.
“If we are to deliver the Marmot objective to reduce inequality in housing we need to be insisting that developers look to the new generation of low carbon housing already being pioneered” concluded Ian.