‘FLABBERGASTED’ was the reaction after efforts to reduce transport emissions in Warwickshire were rejected.
A Green Party motion called on Warwickshire County Council to back transport minister Grant Shapps’s ‘Decarbonising Transport’ document focused on tackling the climate change crisis.
It included everything from encouraging more people to use public transport to drawing up a plan to make sure all vehicles – from motorcycles to HGVs – on the county’s roads had zero emissions.
But Warwickshire’s ruling Conservative group voted the motion down.
Green Party councillor Keith Kondakor, who proposed the motion, said: “To be honest I’m flabbergasted. I thought this was something we could all agree on cross party, but the Warwickshire Conservatives wouldn’t even back their own government when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions from transport and encouraging healthy, enjoyable alternatives.”
Conservative council leader Izzi Seccombe said the motion had not followed the correct process through council and also raised fears of the impact it could have on businesses.
She added: It is not that we are against the intentions of the notice of motion, it is about the process it has gone through.
“We need at this time, more than ever, to put a costing against it. More particularly, we need to understand the impact against our recovering businesses.
“Of course what we have valued out of the Covid crisis is the ability to have free roads, clean air and not have our peace interrupted by aeroplanes.
“But this is a moment in time which is going to change and we have to think about the future of our businesses, because these businesses provide jobs for people as well.”
Liberal Democrat Bill Gifford, who supported the motion, admitted he was “perplexed” by the Conservatives’ stance.
The motion was defeated by 26 votes to 25.