Comment - Local Stuff
Council Aspirations by David Flint
Enfield Council presented its draft Sustainability Strategy - Enfield
2020 - on Sept 5. Jeff Laidler, Head of Sustainability, presented it to
the Sustainability Scrutiny Panel at the Civic Centre where three
EGP members listened with interest.
The strategy is very ambitious with a long list of worthwhile
objectives. Many are unquantified and some beyond the scope of
council policy. I'll look at just two: the reduction of carbon
emissions and health inequalities.
Enfield Council aims to reduce carbon emissions by 25% by 2014
and by 40% by 2020. It claims to have made reductions of 18%
already which sounds good.
All these reductions are relative to 2005. Jeff Laidler agreed that they
should be related to the Kyoto baseline year - 1990 - but that the
necessary data was not available from so long ago. Perhaps so, but
the effect is to set less ambitious goals than are needed.
It's important, though obvious, to note that most of the buildings
we'll use in 2050 have already been built. It follows that these
buildings will have to meet the national 80% reduction targets. The
REFIT and RENEW projects are therefore of the first importance.
However, the new build targets are too modest. Developers should
be required to reach code 5 next year not 2016 and encouraged to
achieve zero carbon level.
The document recognises that there are major health inequalities
between rich and poor wards and the council wishes to reduce
them. It notes that trends are likely to increase inequality. To this I'd
add that a recent report has shown that much of the poor's ill health
is lifestyle-related BUT the poor take less notice of better lifestyle
advice than do the rich. In short I do not think that the council CAN
reduce health inequalities. I expect them to increase.
First published in the EGP members newsletter, October 2012
Published and promoted
by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13