Northumberland Conservatives leader pushes green vision ahead of county council elections
Northumberland Conservatives are pushing a green vision ahead of local elections on the sixth of May.
The Conservative manifesto for the county states: “our multi-million pound investments will continue to support our target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.”
Council Leader Glen Sanderson said he was “proud” of the council’s record on climate change and enviromental initiatives.
He claimed that people “laughed” at him with the council initiative to offer the people of Northumberland 15,000 tree saplings but that it “worked really well.”
According to the council’s website delivery of the saplings had to be suspended in due to COVID-19, but that those who have been allocated a tree have been added to the 2021 scheme.
The manifesto also pledges to “deliver in excess of two thousand new parking spaces in Northumberland. This will ensure that residents and shopper can go about their lies much easier and will support our growing tourism trade.”
According to Morpeth Kirkhill councillor Richard Wearmouth, these car parks, which would encourage private car use, would not negatively impact conservative climate objectives.
They want to encourage electric vehicle use in the region, hence the pledge for pavement and car park electric charge points.
However, Newcastle university professor of Transport systems Phil Blyth, has said just replacing “millions of mental boxes with wheels that run on petrol and diesel by a similar number running on electric” is insufficient.
Professor Blyth conintued saying “we need to look at demand management…we need to look to persuade people to use public transport.”
Cnllr Wearmouth, in response to this, said: “You might be able to do that in a town where you have lots of ability to hop on bus, hop on a Metro, hop on an underground”.
But, according to the councillor, this can not apply to a county as big as Northumberland and it would “nonsensical” to do so.
Promoting the use of electric cars, claims Cllr Wearmouth, is what will bring down emissions in the county.
Cllr Wearmouth also stated that public transport issues are being addressed with the Northumberland line.
Local elections will be held on May 6.