27 February 2021
A Green Vision for Environmental Services
Members of the Green Group on Norwich City Council have expressed delight that funding has been found to install solar panels to produce energy at the council’s new environmental services depot at Hurricane Way following requests from Green councillors. However, Greens, who have asked the Labour council, during meetings at City Hall, to provide services in a less environmentally-damaging way, say this is only the first of many necessary steps.
Councillor Ben Price has been examining plans for the provision of council services after some of them are brought back under direct council control from 1st April.
Councillor Price said:
“I’m glad that the council’s new depot will be capable of creating some of its own energy through solar panels on the roof, following my requests, however installing solar panels is only one step in the long journey council services need to take. I’m also disappointed that opportunities to deliver services better and more efficiently haven’t been taken due to the unnecessarily rushed process the council has followed.
“I have a clear vision of how environmental services should be provided, by switching now to electric vehicles and equipment, but also reducing the council’s fossil fuel dependency at source by producing, using and storing its own renewable energy through solar panels, battery stores and ground source heat pumps. Wildlife should also be protected and enhanced, with fewer chemicals used and native species planted.
"When the council takes back control of its services in just over a month’s time, it has an opportunity to update and improve all of its systems and this is essential, given the climate emergency, which the council has recognised. Services could be provided more efficiently, giving the city's residents something better and costing less at the same time, but only if the council includes ward councillors and local residents' groups in redesigning the service.
“Overall, it feels as though the council is wasting its opportunity as it takes back services. I would seize the chance to make big changes and do better, but it seems the council is interested in business as usual.”
Norwich City Council will deliver more of its own services, via a company called Norwich City Services, from 1st April. These services are currently provided by Norwich Norse Environmental and Norwich Norse Building through a joint venture arrangement between Norwich City Council and Norse.
Further information from:
Councillor Ben Price email@example.com