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What is the Conservative record on the environment?

April 23, 2022 10:00 PM
By Peter Dobbs

Kniveton Sewage works (Peter Dobbs)

Kniveton sewage works where there were 53 storm overflows into the brook in 2021

Whether it is giving water companies 18 years to sort out less than half of their storm sewage discharges or, more locally, suspending food waste collections so that kitchen scraps went to landfill releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, the Conservative track record on the environment is less than impressive.

Even their much trumpeted 'net zero' targets for the District and County Councils only apply to 'in house' activities. If something is contracted out (like the bins collection to Serco) then that does not currently form part of their calculation on CO2 emissions.

Both Councils urgently need to be much more ambitious. For example the District Council should bring forward all of the actions suggested by their Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan produced by Clearlead Consulting in 2020.

A general lack of urgency seems to govern the Conservative approach to environmental pollution. One place where this has been particularly apparent is in the District Council's attitude towards air pollution due to nitrogen oxides in Ashbourne. It took almost 4 years of Lib Dem campaigning before the illegal pollution levels were acknowledged with the declaration of an 'Air Quality Management Area in the town. A year on from that declaration no mitigation measures have been put in place and an Action Plan is yet to be published.