Environmental good practice

See some of the good practice carried out across the country by Lib Dem councils.

Good Practice on the Environment from Liberal Democrat Councils

Below is just a snapshot of some good practice examples on the environment and climate change that Liberal Democrat Councils have been undertaking.

Supporting renewable energy with battery storage

Lib Dem run South Somerset District Council is investing in a 25MW battery energy storage facility – by taking this step, it is supporting development of renewable energy which will provide essential support to the National Grid for balancing power demand and storing renewable energy that would otherwise be wasted. Further details.

Lib Dem South Lakeland Council
One of the first councils in the county to introduce an energy switching scheme which saw residents saving well over £100 a year on electricity bills.

Lib Dem led Bedford Council
The council has installed a hydropower facility on the River Great Ouse. In 2014 it raised over £33,000 from feed in tariffs as well as powering nearby lighting and launched the Mayor’s Climate Change fund to make grants to support projects to help tackle climate change and save energy. Bedford set themselves a carbon reduction target of 40 per cent across the council’s estate, they have already achieved 43 per cent.

Lib Dem led Colchester
put solar panels on over 2,000 council houses, saving tenants an average £130 per home per year as well as making around £90,000 for the Council. They have also changed their planning policy so all new houses have to have external charging points for electric vehicles.

Colchester Borough Council also:

  • cut CO2 emissions by 37 per cent and have committed to further reductions by 2020.
  • Installed solar panels on over 40 per cent of our housing stock.
  • Was the first council to also fit storage batteries into some of these properties increasing the savings from the £150 p.a. currently achieved for our tenants due to the free electricity;
  • -Committed to have charging points for electric cars installed as standard in all new properties in the Borough.
  • Successfully used the Better Bus fund to retrofit pollution reduction equipment into buses.Mayor (Lib Dem Cllr Theresa Higgins)  even used a civic bike to get to events this year.

Now at a 51 per cent recycling rate – one of the highest in London! Sutton has also been found to be London’s Greenest Borough in a recent survey.

Lewes District Liberal Democrat Group
Lib  Dem opposition on Lewes District Council persuaded the administration to ensure that the Local Plan has a requirement for all new buildings to have electric charging points for vehicles be that residential or commercial buildings.

Lib Dem led Cornwall Council is running a project with HGVs and van operators to reduce emissions. Cornwall is also trialling an adaption to Council vehicles to reduce pollution and improve fuel consumption.

Bath and North East Somerset
When it was a Lib Dem council it worked hard on environmental issues – installing LED street lighting, extending and improving the cycle network, including a cycle hire scheme for council staff. They invested in local bus services when so many other councils cut theirs and expanded a scheme to cut down on lorry deliveries to the centre of Bath.

Kirklees Liberal Democrat Group
When under Lib Dem Control they ran a mass home insulation scheme, putting in wall cavity and roof insulation in tens of thousands of properties – regardless of tenure.

Improving air quality in York
York has one of the most extensive air quality monitoring networks in the UK, outside London. We have undertaken real time monitoring of air pollution since 1999 and currently operate 9 real time Air Quality Monitoring Stations (AQMS) plus 233 nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes. As well as air pollution, this data is used, together with our air pollution model, to inform planning and transport policy and decisions.

UK'S first Low Emission Strategy
Increased air pollution was thought to be for a number of reasons including increased traffic and development. Well-meaning policies to reduce climate change such as incentivising the uptake of diesel cars, led to increased pollution. Recent scandals have revealed that real world emissions from diesel vehicles are often several times over emission targets. York needed a strategy to balance climate change and air quality. Lib Dems came up with the idea that tackled all emissions from all sources, especially transport and planning, and this first holistic Low Emission Strategy (LES) in the UK was adopted by York in October 2012. The LES aims to accelerate the uptake of low emission vehicles and fuels.