Green successes at Oxford City Council on Monday 1 October
10 October 2012
Reducing the carbon footprint of new developments
An amendment by Green Councillor Craig Simmons was accepted by the proposers of the motion (Cllrs Gotch and Jones) with the effect of reinforcing the existing motion (passed with widespread support) to reduce the carbon footprint of new developments in the City; including the large Barton West development.
The motion requires Barton West to be carbon neutral (100% powered by renewable sources). Currently only 20% of its energy requirement has to be met from renewables.
Speaking to the amended motion Cllr Simmons said “This is an ambitious proposal which pushes new developments to be carbon neutral. At the moment the Council only requires 20% carbon reductions through the use of renewable energy sources.”
FMI: Cllr Craig Simmons 0773 980 3047
Investment in private rented housing
The Green Group proposed merging their own motion on affordable housing with two others to create a stronger statement to Government opposing changes to primary legislation which will allow developers to ignore affordable housing requirements in Oxford.
Says Green Cllr Sam Hollick, who seconded the composite motion, said “We are seriously concerned about the the Government’s planning reforms that allow developers to renegotiate agreements to provide affordable housing. The City desperately needs all the affordable housing it can get.”
FMI: Cllr Sam Hollick 07528 813185
Council opposes proposal for North West London Airport
A Green motion opposing plans for a new ‘North West London’ airport gained cross-party support. Oxfordshire is one of the sites that is being considered which would have local implications for noise, pollution and congestion.
Says Green Cllr David Williams, proposer of the motion, “A Heathrow-sized airport in Oxfordshire would be a disaster. It is unnecessary, environmentally damaging, and would bring greater pollution and disturbance to the area.”
FMI: Cllr David Williams 07531 328931
Council to look at Night Time Economy Levy
The Council supported an amended motion proposed by Green Councillor Craig Simmons to take forward the idea of a local levy on late night premises selling alcohol to pay for measures which address the subsequent noise and nuisance caused as a consequence. New powers granted under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 allow the Council to introduce such a levy.
Says Cllr Simmons, “The levy is estimated to raise £50k a year for Oxford City Council and around £150k for local policing which will go a long way towards better managing the issues raised by late night premises.”
FMI: Cllr Craig Simmons 0773 980 3047
Councillor rejects police commissioner elections
At a full Council meeting on Monday 8th October, Green Councillors initiated a motion expressing concern over the forthcoming Police Commissioner elections.
Tabling the motion, Cllr Elise Benjamin highlighted the contradiction between the Prime Ministers' desire for a variety of political and independent candidates to stand and the exclusive nature of the election: "David Cameron says he wants this election to be 'an opportunity for people from all walks of life...to make a difference'. It's a nice sentiment but with a £5,000 deposit per candidate and a spending limit over £300,000 it's clear that only those with big money can afford to stand and decide on policing affecting 2.2 million people."
Greens Councillors also expressed concern that with no free post leaflet (unlike General and European elections) and a November election, delivering leaflets to the three Counties in the Thames Valley will be difficult for less wealthy candidates. With a special Government website as the main forum for candidates, only voters with access to the internet will be able to gain full details of policy platforms.
FMI: Cllr Elise Benjamin: 0792 0054888