LABOUR in Camden will do a bit of subtle taunting when they formalise their new cabinet at the Town Hall next week, creating an executive member for sustainability position for deputy leader Angela Mason. This will be used to obliquely say: Look, we take the environment more seriously – so much so we’ve brought it into the executive.
The outgoing Lib Dems, of course, had their eco-champion: Alexis Rowell. He was given a pay increase at one stage for his work, but he was never brought into the formal decision-making cabinet of top councillors and had to make do with being a shouter on the sidelines instead. The leadership found him a bit of a pest.
Alexis, however, has a thick skin. He won’t care too much about this job redistribution by the new administration at the Town Hall, he’s too busy writing a book, working on the 10:10 emissions campaign and advising local authorities across the country about how to be good on green issues. Plus plus plus, he’s pretty happy with the way things are unfolding on a national level. You might think somebody as dedicated to the cause as Alexis is would worry about the Conservatives leading government, you may think he would be suspicious about the Tories’ credentials in this area. Yet, while people will query whether David Cameron really will supply the country’s ‘greenest ever government’, the ex-eco-champ – he didn’t seek re-election in Belsize – is actually optimistic. He told me on Saturday:
I feel queasy about seeing David Cameron in Number 10 Downing Street and I felt quesy with what happened in the rose garden this week and nervous about the coalition government. But the programme they have set themselves on the environment this week is actually more impressive than the last government and I am glad to see a heavyweight like Chris Huhne in there. It makes me nervously optimistic about what if they get it all done can be achieved. By this time next year I would want to see all government departments reduce their carbon emissions by ten percent – that is an absolute must. The last government wouldn’t do it, this one must. I also want to see more emphasis on biogas fuels, using food waste to power vehicles and more on PassivHaus design, which is about building homes where you don’t need central heating.
Expected the full War and Peace version his blog sometime very soon.