A further lockdown update from Dave Wells

14 July 2020

One of the privileges of being a local councillor is the ability to address the specific concerns of residents while also continuing to press on wider issues that affect us nationally and globally. This month I have heard from local residents on matters including planning applications, replacement of felled trees and reducing mowing of verges to promote biodiversity.

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch with me – and please do keep your enquiries coming. I’m here to help. E-mail Dave: dave.wells@ambervalley.gov.uk

Council meetings are taking place on Zoom – technology has certainly been a useful tool in these strange times. As the sole Green on the Council, I am determined to make sure that climate change and the environment are given appropriate attention.

Among the topics has been the new waste and recycling contract – I have asked the Council to make sure residents receive clear information on what can and can’t be recycled. I’ve also asked them to stress the importance of reducing waste and reusing items where possible, before recycling.

As we come out of lockdown we are facing two major crises – the continuing risk of coronavirus and the devastating impacts of climate change. Both of these have profound economic and social consequences. As we begin our economic recovery, it’s important that we use the opportunity to tackle climate change at the same time.

As a member of the Planning Board at the Council, I have recently made some progress in one area regarding planning applications. After a year of pressure, I have persuaded the planning officers to include climate change as a specific consideration in their reports. This is good news and feels like a significant step forward.

I have also urged council officers to take action on accessing government funding for retrofitting insulation and other energy efficiency measures. We need much more government investment in retrofitting – a great way to create new jobs and to cut energy bills for us all. Alongside this, I have asked our MP to ensure there is legislation to make new homes energy efficient, which makes both financial and environmental sense.

There is now a broad consensus that we can’t go back to how things were. Now is the time to Build Back Better.

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