Government must support no charging Clean Air Zone says councillor Sykes

Government must support no charging Clean Air Zone says councillor Sykes

Borough news, environment
Oldham’s Liberal Democrats are calling for the government to support a no charging Clean Air Zone as new plans emerge for the next phases of CAZ today. Liberal Democrat Leader and Shaw councillor Howard Sykes said: “Common sense has finally prevailed on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. We welcome the proposals for a no charging Clean Air Zone. The government must not impose charges on Greater Manchester that would hurt jobs during the cost-of-living crisis.” Councillor Sykes also said that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Andy Burnham had questions to answer. Councillor Sykes said, “Why has it taken so long to get to this stage? It was clear that a no charging zone was the common sense approach from the outset. So why has Mayor Burnham spent time and…
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Bees under threat: Liberal Democrats call for pesticide ban

Bees under threat: Liberal Democrats call for pesticide ban

Borough news, environment
Liberal Democrat Leader and Shaw representative councillor Howard Sykes MBE is campaigning against the use of pesticides that are harmful to bees. Pesticides containing neonicotinoid thiamethoxam are known to be extremely damaging to bees and other insect life. Last year, the government overturned a ban on pesticides containing neonicotinoid thiamethoxam. Use of thiamethoxam had previously been banned within the European Union but Britain’s departure from the EU paved the way for the ban to be lifted. Councillor Sykes said, “British Bees are already in danger and that makes the government’s decision to overturn this ban so disappointing. Bees are essential to the local environment as pollinators and conservationists are clear that the use of this pesticide will threaten not only bees, but also wildflowers and the human population itself as…
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‘Keep Clean Air Zone free’ say Oldham Liberal Democrats

‘Keep Clean Air Zone free’ say Oldham Liberal Democrats

Borough news, environment
Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has called for common sense as Andy Burnham’s war of words with the government over the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) continues. The Greater Manchester Mayor is locked in a bitter stalemate with Conservative ministers after he rejected Government proposals to limit the Clean Air Zone to Manchester City Centre only. Councillor Sykes said, “It’s about time we had some common sense instead of bickering between Mayor Burnham and the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats want to see people’s jobs and income protected at a time when many are struggling. Keeping CAZ free is the best way forward if we want to protect jobs during the cost-of-living crisis. “If the Conservative government force a charging zone on Greater Manchester then the area affected by…
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Gove gives green light to gas drilling in Surrey area of natural beauty

Gove gives green light to gas drilling in Surrey area of natural beauty

Parliamentary news
In a decision published yesterday, the Conservative government announced it will grant planning permission to explore for gas in Dunsfold, by the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It comes despite concerns raised by the local community and environmental campaigners about the damage the drilling could do to the countryside and the UK’s climate ambitions. In a report by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove admits that “there are significant harms to the character and appearance of the landscape from the proposal,” and that it would “degrade the quality of the setting of the AONB.” However, he concludes this is outweighed by the benefits of gas exploration. Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “It is shameful that the Conservatives have ignored the concerns of…
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Oldham falls behind as demand for electric vehicle charging points grows

Oldham falls behind as demand for electric vehicle charging points grows

Borough news, environment
Council plans to increase electric vehicle usage across Oldham Borough have been labelled as “ineffective and empty words” by Oldham’s Liberal Democrats after it emerged that Oldham has just 36 charging points and has missed key opportunities to expand its supply. Oldham Liberal Democrat councillors have previously raised concerns about the Labour controlled Council’s strategy for electric vehicles, pointing out existing plans would not be good enough if Oldham is to reach the key target of 3,000 charging points by 2025. Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE said: “Labour have dragged their heels on this for too long now. We have Mayor Burnham rolling ahead with Clean Air Zone plans that will make electric vehicles ever more important, but lack of action from our Labour controlled council has…
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Government failing on biodiversity ahead of COP15

Government failing on biodiversity ahead of COP15

Parliamentary news
The Liberal Democrats have called out the Government for their failures on biodiversity in the UK ahead of the second phase of COP15. At their Spring Conference today, the Party set out a number of steps it believes the Government must take if the UK is to tackle the ecological emergency with the urgency it requires. The calls include reforming the powers and funding given to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks to restore nature, and a plan to halt the long-term decline in biodiversity and species abundance by 2030, through specific and costed policy measures. The UK has lost nearly half of its biodiversity and just 14% of surface waters are classified as being in good ecological condition in England, with a shocking 0% in good overall…
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Davey: IPCC report is sobering reading

Davey: IPCC report is sobering reading

Parliamentary news
Reacting to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: "The IPCC report is sobering reading. It is clear we need action now to stop any more damage to our planet. The UK, as Chair of COP, has a duty to pressure more countries to increase their ambitions and ensure that warming is limited. "But the Conservatives must also get their own house in order. Their failure to insulate our homes has led to millions facing sky high heating bills this winter, while thousands of new homes have been built to inadequate standards and will require expensive retrofitting. "Liberal Democrats demand a Robin Hood tax on oil and gas companies to fund a new ten year energy efficiency programme to cut demand for gas,…
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Liberal Democrats say residents will be safer, greener, and cleaner in their budget proposals

Liberal Democrats say residents will be safer, greener, and cleaner in their budget proposals

Borough news, environment, housing and development, road safety
Safer, greener, and cleaner, these are the watch words when the Liberal Democrats present their budget amendment proposals to the Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday 8th February (6pm). Shaw Councillor Chris Gloster, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance and Green, is looking forward to presenting the budget amendment to the committee and believes that the Liberal Democrats have come up with sensible adjustments to the budget that will have no impact on council finances but deliver maximum impact to residents whose valuable input as to what residents want to see is at the heart of the proposals. “The Oldham Liberal Democrats want to make further efficiencies in civic centre bureaucracy to squeeze out more money for our priorities, and those of the public – more cash to spend on…
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Energy rebate: Weak, flimsy and already weeks overdue

Energy rebate: Weak, flimsy and already weeks overdue

Parliamentary news
Responding to reports the Government is planning to announce an "energy rebate" to reduce household bills, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said: "This Government plan is just not up to scratch. It is weak, flimsy and already weeks overdue. People are drowning in energy bills right now. This plan would be wiped out straight away anyway by Boris Johnson's unfair tax hikes now just weeks away. "Boris Johnson is only looking out for himself despite too many households making the heartbreaking choice between heating and eating. "This plan leaves taxpayers footing the bill whilst oil barons profit off spiralling prices. The Liberal Democrat windfall tax proposal would make oil and gas companies pay the tab and save households more money. It is time for the Government to go back…
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Clean Air Zone “isn’t fair and is fundraising”

Clean Air Zone “isn’t fair and is fundraising”

Borough news, environment
Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani has challenged Andy Burnham’s assertion to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (11/01/22) that the Clean Air Zone was not aimed at raising funds, and that the intention was that people should see that it was fair. He said: “The money raised from the Clean Air Zone has to go into projects to address transport issues and reduce pollution. If Andy Burnham means it when he says that this charge is not for fundraising, he should get the ten local authorities to commit that every penny raised goes into helping businesses to pay for the upgraded vehicles that they need to avoid the charge. “He is calling on the Government to commit the money to pay for this hardship fund. Well, I think we shouldn’t be…
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