Oxford's Green councillors secure £1 million for environmental and social initiatives
Oxford's seven-strong Green Group, who hold the balance of power on Oxford City Council, managed to secure one million pounds (£1m) of new environmental and social initiatives during the 2006/07 budget negotiations concluded this evening (20th February) following a five hour meeting of Full Council. The Greens also had a considerable influence on the adopted Labour budget (which they successfully amended).
*Money to improve consultation on the planned new recycling scheme and address any issues arising from it (£60k)
*Establishment of a new Oxford Renewable Energy Services Company to provide residents and businesses with affordable, secure, green energy (£110k). Will generate profit from 2008 onwards.
*A new energy efficiency and renewable energy scheme for Council tenants (£250k)
*Energy saving campaign targeted at Council tenants (£14k)
*A £10k study to release potentially thousands of pounds of borrowing (technically known as Prudential Borrowing) to spend on making Council properties more energy efficient and install renewable energy systems
*Two new officer posts covering Climate Change and Sustainability(£210k)
*A Local Food Development Officer (£105k) to development healthy eating initiatives and opportunities for local food provisions (for example, farmer's markets).
*A new Sustainable Buildings Award (£15k) to promote best practise in Oxford
*Funding for free cavity and loft insulation for residents (+ £85k)
Green Group Leader, Cllr Craig Simmons comments: "This was an extremely successful budget for us. It proves what a small group of dedicated Green Councillors can achieve."