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Conservative plans for a Green Budget.

April 13, 2010

A Conservative Administration will introduce the first Carbon Budget for the Royal Borough of Kingston. This will give an open and transparent way to measure our efforts to respond to the growing concerns on Climate Change, and the Budget will be set annually at Budget Council and enable residents to see what measures the Council is taking to respond to the threat of climate change. And to see the returns on the investments in both financial and environmental terms on a year by year basis.

The Council will first need to agree how it will measure its current position and Carbon Foot Print; how it will set an annual Green Budget and then how it will monitor its performance during the year. The Council already has a great deal of this data that can be accessed but it does not use it or publish it in a form suitable for setting a Carbon Budget.

  • We will host a Public Workshop in July 2010. From this we will establish a Working Party made up of Councillors, Officers and Environmental Groups and Specialists who will work together to first agree the methodology that the Council will need to adopt to support the creation of a Green Budget.
  • The Council will then produce an initial Environmental  Statement. This will then be reviewed and revisions made to the process. This initial statement will be used to produce a test Green Budget in March 2011. The Council will monitor this test budget through the next year and make improvements to the process.
  • In September 2011, RBK will commission the first Annual Environment Statement and this will be presented to the Executive in November 2011 for adoption. The Administration will then use this statement to base its first official Green Budget proposals for the Budget Council in March 2012.

Our Green Budget will be defined as much by the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the earth’s atmosphere by the activities that are under our direct control. We will also look to embrace other measurements that support other direct action on climate change.

  • The Green Budget will be made up of a series of proposals, budgeted and included in the Annual Budget of the Council.

By introducing a Green Budget we believe we can draw together all the resources at our disposal and engage meaningfully with other organisations to make a dramatic difference. We also believe that through our efforts we will encourage Residents and Businesses in the Borough to find out what they can do to reduce further their negative impact on the Environment.

We believe the investment and costs associated with the introduction will be at least cost neutral over the first three years. We are confident that there will actually be a more optimistic outcome as regards savings and a greater effect in terms of the potential reduction of our negative impact on the Environment.

Cllr. Ken Smith, Conservative Spokesman said “We know that while people will debate what levels of threat we face from climate change, it is clear we all have to become more aware of the effects we ourselves have on our environment. Reducing the impact and the costs of energy use is something we can all agree on. Our proposal is one clear way for the Council to step up to the table and give leadership to our residents and the businesses operating in the Royal Borough of Kingston.

We will involve everyone who works at the Council and everyone we work with in delivering services to our Residents. It will bring all that we do under a spotlight and help bring the need to change in the way we work into the open. We believe this proposal will also complement the wider need for change in the corporate culture of the Council. This innovation will bring together all organisations interested in Climate Change and the Environment in Kingston and enable us to unite and work together in making a difference that will benefit our Borough and its people for generations”

Zac Goldsmith, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Richmond Park said “This is a hugely important initiative. Without proper information and real transparency, we won’t be able to tackle climate change. The right approach is one that combines saving money with saving energy. It’s a win-win situation.”

Kingston, worth fighting for!

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