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Let every town be an 'eco-town'

May 14, 2007 10:33 AM

Following Gordon Brown's announcement of an 'eco-town' to be built in Oakington, Cambridgeshire, Cambridge MP David Howarth has demanded that local authorities be given the power to set zero-carbon standards in new developments.

Government ministers have repeatedly vetoed Martin Caton's Local Planning Authorities (Energy and Energy Efficiency) Bill, co-sponsored by Mr Howarth, which would allow local authorities to set standards for energy efficiency higher than the Government's own building regulations.

Mr Howarth commented:

"Following Gordon Brown's announcement of five new eco-towns, I hope that he will now back Martin Caton's Bill to allow local authorities to set these high standards in all new developments.

" I want to know why he not supported Cambridge City Council's attempts to set eco-town standards throughout the Cambridge area?"

Mr Howarth also questioned whether the new eco-towns would be backed up by serious investment in public transport.

"These new towns will only be zero-carbon developments if they produce no carbon emissions from transport. We will need a massive investment in public transport to make this possible, not just in Oakington but in the places where the new residents will come to work, such as Cambridge .

"The Government cannot rely on the Guided Bus to provide low carbon transport for Oakington, it will do nothing to improve public transport within the city."

David Howarth MP in the House of Commons"I am dismayed that even when Gordon Brown starts to tackle the important topics, such as climate change, he maintains all his old characteristics of re-announcing the same policies, totally ignoring transport and over-centralisation. He is yet again failing to give local government the freedom to even carry out policies he believes in."