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
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.