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Calls for councillors to ditch their cars in eco-week

PUBLISHED: 17:40 24 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:27 07 September 2010

PORSCHES, Jaguars and Land Rovers are just some of the cars being used by the councillors who enthusiastically signed the borough up to the 10:10 carbon cutting campaign. The politicians are under fire for their fuel consumption after endors

Katie Davies

PORSCHES, Jaguars and Land Rovers are just some of the cars being used by the councillors who enthusiastically signed the borough up to the 10:10 carbon cutting campaign.

The politicians are under fire for their fuel consumption after endorsing the scheme which asks signatories to reduce emissions by 10 per cent by the end of 2010.

Council eco-champion and Liberal Democrat councillor Alexis Rowell, one of the organisers of the 10:10 campaign, has blasted his colleagues for their environmentally-unfriendly transport. And he says to show their dedication to 10:10, one in 10 should ditch their cars - especially gas-guzzlers - and go carbon free.

He said: "Politicians need to be very careful to walk the walk as well as talking the talk. All councillors voted for 10:10 and they need to look hard into parts of their own lives to see whether they are doing the right thing for reducing carbon emissions."

Those criticised include Conservative parliamentary candidate and councillor, Chris Philp, who owns two gas-guzzlers - a Porsche and a Land Rover. Deputy council leader Andrew Marshall also has a X-type Jaguar and the council's environment chief, Chris Knight, has a vintage 3L Jaguar. Many councillors refused to tell us what they drove.

Among those who did respond were Labour leader Nash Ali who drives a people carrier and housing chief Cllr Chris Naylor who drives a BMW. But Cllr Rowell says any cars should be questioned in a borough where public transport is so good.

"I really feel that unless you're disabled you don't need a private car in Camden," he said. "We are really well supported by public transport and if you really need a car, you can join a car club."

Politicians defended themselves against the eco-champion's wrath and tried to duck the charge of hypocrisy. Cllr Philp said: "I use them infrequently and take the Tube to work every day. I am very sad that Alexis Rowell is going for barbed personal attacks rather than engaging in policy debates."

Cllr Marshall last week made a statement on 10:10 saying it was an "important commitment". Defending his Jag, the party leader said: "I don't use it much and I walk to work - we are all aware of sustainability and we're all adapting our lifestyles." Cllr Linda Chung said: "I think the carbon footprint is small. I am not like some people who change their cars frequently." Cllrs Ali and Naylor defended their large cars as necessary for transporting their children.

Other councillors, however, did better on the eco-list including Cllr Jill Fraser who uses public transport, Cllr Theo Blackwell who cycles, Cllr Keith Sedgwick who is getting an electric car and Cllr Fred Carver who doesn't even have a driving licence.

What do councillors drive?

David Abrahams - public transport

Nasim Ali - VW Sharan (people carrier) 1.8L engine.

Theo Blackwell - Cycles.

Paul Braithwaite - Mitsubishi Spacerunner (1.8 petrol)

John Bryant - no cars

Pat Callaghan - uses the bus

Libby Campbell - uses the bus

Fred Carver - don't have a licence or a car. Uses bicycle.

Linda Chung - Porsche Carrera

Martin Davies - no car

Russell Eagling - Cycles

Jill Fraser - bus/walk

Roger Freeman - Toyota Verso 1.6L

Arthur Graves - Public transport

Nurul Islam - Toyota Carina 2

James King - Public transport

Chris Knight: vintage Jaguar saloon .

Andrew Marshall: X type Jaguar

Keith Moffitt - A Honda Civic with a 1.6 engine

Chris Naylor - 3.20 BMW

Chris Philp: Porsche and land rover

Benjamin Rawlings - no car

Flick Rea - public transport

Kirsty Roberts - 1.6L Peugeot 206

Roger Robinson - a Vauxhall Astra

Alexis Rowell - cycles/walks

Nick Russell - no car

Matt Sanders - no car or licence

Ralph Scott - cycles

Keith Sedgwick - just sold his car buying an electric one

Jonathan Simpson - no car

Dawn Somper - has an X-reg Ford Fiesta

Anna Stewart - Public transport

Don Williams - drives a 1.4L Renault Clio

Adrian Oliver, Tom Simon, Janet Grauberg, Geethika Jayatilaka, Omar Faruque Ansari, Maya de Souza, Duncan Greenland, Abdul Hai, Syed Hoque, Nancy Jirira, Heather Johnson, Andrew Mennear and Alex Goodman. Lulu Mitchell all failed to respond.

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