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Posted on Friday 10th April 2009

More local renewables

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It’s encouraging to see the new bungalows and apartments on the Wybourn are going to have lots of eco friendly features- solar panels and green roofs. They are being built on the corner of Manor Oaks Road and Manor Oaks Place. See the Sheffield Telegraph for more details However many other buildings are still being built around the city with very little concern for the environment.

If the Greens were in power all new homes would be designed for low energy use and the installation of solar panels on all new buildings would be mandatory. We would encourage the conservation of resources by removing VAT from insulation and would make more grants available for measures that reduce energy loss from houses.

Water-saving devices would be fitted in all new and renovated buildings. We would
protect the countryside and urban open spaces by introducing independent environmental impact assessments when development is proposed on greenfield
sites. We would make the planning system more democratic and accessible to people.

We would make funding available to local authorities so they can provide good and well-maintained council houses. The Green Party is opposed to the privatisation of ownership and/or management of social housing and we are against the transfer of council housing to ALMOs (Arms Length Management Organisations) because the system provides inadequate representation for tenants. When an ALMO exists, the Green Party will seek to ensure that tenants are able to participate meaningfully in its management, and, that the housing is returned to local authority control should the majority of tenants wish it. Public services, such as council housing, should not be funded through private finance, eg the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) because of the burden to society in the longer term. George Monbiot recently wrote a particularly damming article about how we the taxpayers are being fleeced by PFI’s especially the new one to widen the M25-“the biggest weirdest rip off yet”. In Sheffield the Council and the Government have just agreed a massive PFI to upgrade the cities roads, despite opposition from the Green Councillors.The 25 year contract is ridiculous when climate change is forcing us to rethink the way we travel, and the scheme will cost us the tax payers far more than if we paid for it outright in the first place.

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