Liberal Democrats on Cornwall Council have pledged to create an ambitious ‘Green Recovery Plan’ that will boost the Cornish economy, attract clean technology jobs and help tackle climate change, transforming Cornwall into a truly green peninsula.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the Council and its employees have been forced to adapt to working in new ways. With twelve of thirty-five core office buildings closed some 4,000 Cornwall Council staff have worked from home instead of commuting to council offices.
This has seen an overall reduction in staff commuting distance of 42,000 miles per day and an energy saving of approximately 270 MWh (or 60 tonnes of carbon) over a three-month period.
Additionally, there has been a massive reduction in the amount of paper being used from 2 million pages printed in March to just 200,000 in April, enabling a 50% reduction in our printer stock.
An internal survey of staff revealed that 60% of employees feel able to work outside their main office for two or more days enabling us to accelerate our transition to new ways of working in a manner unimaginable before the pandemic.
Edwina Hannaford, Lib Dem portfolio holder for Climate Change said:
“Although it seems certain that Covid-19 will ultimately have a hugely negative impact on the Cornish economy, which we are working hard to address, there are some opportunities that must be seized upon and fully exploited. We cannot go back to business as usual, but bounce forward not back as we establish a new normal, That new normal must be a greener, cleaner renewal.
“As we focus on recovery and renewal and learn from our experience during the pandemic, we must embrace those lessons and ensure the new normal promotes community resilience and wellbeing, as well as accelerating Cornwall’s carbon neutral plans.”
Cornwall Council when led by the Lib Dem’s was one of the first authorities to declare a climate emergency and to produce a comprehensive low carbon action plan and is seen as a leader in tackling climate change. We will continue to work positively with our Independent colleagues to progress this work for Cornwall.