Eco champ's ideas don't get the support they deserve

Your article on Alexis Rowell s criticisms of the new Tory/Lib Dem coalition s failures on the environmental agenda should not pass without comment. It is clear from the opposition benches that many of his good ideas do not receive the support they deserv

Your article on Alexis Rowell's criticisms of the new Tory/Lib Dem coalition's failures on the environmental agenda should not pass without comment. It is clear from the opposition benches that many of his good ideas do not receive the support they deserve.

But this is not just the fault of the Conservatives. The Lib Dems are the largest party and in control of the vital finance portfolio. If there is a lack of funding, then it is because there is a lack of political will to use the massive £14million savings they have accrued from this year's cuts and their historic £30million reserves and make sustainability a real priority.

The new administration has also cut funds on a range of groundbreaking green initatives, like the door-to-door recycling on council estates, which Labour is campaigning to bring back.

Labour also led the way from 2004, as your paper has reported, to call for London borough to introduce measures to combat plastic bag waste. Sadly, the town hall has not seen this as important and the potential for a well-respected authority like Camden to influence government policy has been diminished by inaction.


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While many of Alexis's ideas on his sustainability taskforce are laudable and worthy of support, it is not enough for this new administration to claim credit for his warm words - climate change needs action too.

Cllr Anna Stewart

Most Read

Labour Leader of the Oppostion

Camden Council

Cllr Rowell's amazing outburst against the Camden council leadership should come as no surprise. From the off, the Lib Dem/Tory council executive has talked the talk but failed to walk the walk when it comes to environmental issues.

One of the first cuts they made was to scrap Labour's scheme to introduce doorstep recycling to more than 4,000 households on council estates. Clearly the Executive thought that making it easier for their tenants to recycle was a waste of money. Then in their cull of council jobs, posts promoting sustainable design and planning were scrapped from the Development Control department.

As Cllr Rowell is finding out, his Lib Dem colleagues have let him down. They want to look good, creating an 'eco-champion' to head up a 'sustainability taskforce', but aren't prepared to invest in green solution for residents.

Compared with this sorry tale, Labour's record in Camden on green issues, including delivering the highest recycling rates in inner London and introducing an environmentally friendly fleet of council vehicles, shows our commitment to tackling green issues, rather than promoting green gestures.

Mike Katz

Chair, Hampstead & Kilburn Labour Party

Tackling climate change is going to need all the resources of knowledge and experience we can muster at both a national and local level if we are to prevent catastrophe.

Whilst I do not for one second doubt the sincerity of Cllr Alexis Rowell (We have 10 years to save our planet, H&H August 16), I do question the rationale behind this view. There are many papers written by eminent scientists questioning global warming. Therefore, debate must continue without censure and must not become politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis.

We are never going to stop people flying as there really is no practical alternative. We will never be able to ban the motor car. We will never be able to persuade everyone to become vegans so we can limit the number of flatulent cows, thereby drastically reducing methane gas emissions! So let's work on what we can change.

Ongoing research, serious discussion and attainable ecological objectives are required, not publicity stunts.

Susan Melkman

Lancaster Grove, NW3

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