At today's meeting of Cambridge City Council, Liberal Democrat councillors are fighting to retain measures which address the climate change and biodiversity crises in the council’s proposed emergency budget. (Pictured: Cllrs Tim Bick, Anthony Martinelli and Katie Porrer on Parker's Piece).
The Council’s emergency budget is poised to postpone or cut planned spending, reducing it this year by £7.8m, in order to balance with income that has been reduced because of the pandemic, notably from the council’s car parks and Cambridge Live.
The £370k of items that Lib Dem councillors want to re-instate include equipping the council’s Building Control service to provide consultancy advice on cutting carbon emissions, providing electric charging points, replacing council vehicles and launching a tree planting programme.
Cllr Jamie Dalzell said: “The council has only recently - and with enthusiasm - declared climate and biodiversity emergencies. This implies a real urgency to respond. The council should not easily allow measures such as these to slide into the future, because the crises they are directed towards are all about the very limited time we have left to act.
"If they are a priority, we should make them possible. We must maintain momentum.
“We question even the financial need for these savings. They don’t take account of the government’s most recent announcement of financial support for councils which have lost income or that the council’s existing reserves are at a high of £19.8m - 3 times more than their target.”