In response to Councillors' approval of South Lanarkshire Council's budget in February, Lanarkshire Greens are calling for a bold new approach in future years in order to minimise cuts and the imposition of charges for council services. The Greens' call is based on using some of the Council's unallocated budget1 and its prudential borrowing powers to invest in renewable energy generation to raise revenue. The Democractic Independent Councillors group in Aberdeenshire have proposed a particular scheme to raise revenue from renewables2. Whilst in Woking Borough Council, England, the council has set up an energy company selling locally-generated energy to the community.
In December 2010, Kirsten Robb wrote to South Lanarkshire Council inquiring what measures the council is taking to generate income from renewables on its land. They responded saying that they were in early discussions with a number of commercial operators regarding this. Although there is little public evidence of progress on this, Greens will continue to push for such schemes to be considered.
With the cold snap, the issue of energy has got our tongues wagging here in Lanarkshire. With public sector cuts but support for renewables, why don't more councils and communities get in on the renewables act to start generating money for the local area? Green MSPs put an amendment into a debate on a low carbon economy a while back. Lanarkshire Greens also wrote to South Lanarkshire Council to ask what they are doing on renewables on their own land.
The answer? 'We're looking into it'. Indeed, great but let's see some detail and maybe if some of that 'we're looking into it' is shared with local communities, there could be benefits all round!
The post of Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator within Strathclyde Police is on a list for deletion due to budget cuts. This post is crucial not just for Strathclyde but as an essential link between professionals, the public and other services throughout Scotland and Northern England. The postholder is pro-active in arranging training and co-ordination between Police, Rangers, surveyors, consultants, vets and members of the public.
Kirsten Robb has written to the leaders of South Lanarkshire Council (1) requesting that Hunter House and other important properties set to close under council cuts should either be saved or given a 1 year reprieve to give communities the chance to develop them as their own. Greens are opposed to council cuts and believe that, whilst efficiencies can be made, services should be properly funded by raising revenue from those who can afford it.
Local Green, Kirsten Robb, commented "Our schools are at the heart of our communities and I want to see the remaining schools in EK refurbished or rebuilt. South Lanarkshire's budget mess has brought uncertainty for families and the council has still to bring forward it's revised budget and school modernisation proposals in the light of the Conservative / Lib Dem spending cuts.