Labour have called for clarity over who will take responsibility for climate change at Lichfield District Council after a cabinet member resigned.

Climate change demonstration sign

Cllr Ashley Yeates stepped down yesterda (9th May) to “focus on his entertainment business” in the wake of the controversial roll-out of new recycling bags across Lichfield and Burntwood.

He will be replaced by Cllr Liz Little, who will take on responsibility for the joint waste service.

But confusion continues over who will pick up the recycling baton which had previously been part of Cllr Yeates’ portfolio.

Cllr Steve Norman
Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group and chair of the council’s climate emergency task group, said:

“The email that the leader, Cllr Doug Pullen has sent out, says that his colleague has ‘resigned’, but that he’d asked Cllr Liz Little to join the cabinet to take sole responsible for the joint waste service.

“Does this mean that she will not be taking on the climate emergency portfolio?”

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Norman said a proposed meeting of the climate task group where the cabinet member responsible climate change had been due to attend to answer questions had already been been delayed before the resignation announcement due to uncertainty over the long-term future of Cllr Yeates.

Cllr Pullen said a tweak to cabinet portfolios would be confirmed in due course.

“We’ve made a commitment for Lichfield District Council to be carbon neutral by 2035.

“We also need to make progress on a new leisure centre, redevelopment of the Birmingham Road sit, a building design code to improve the quality of new housing, and increase our work with the voluntary and third sectors.

“There’s plenty of work to do and I’ll be doing a minor shuffle of portfolios at the council annual general meeting next week to ensure we’ve got the right people in place to do this work.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

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  1. “We have made a commitment for Lichfield District Council to be carbon neutral by 2035.” Just who are they talking about? Just the council and its operations or the whole district under their jurisdiction?
    If the former then this is just more tokenism. If the latter then it is not going to happen. There are too many issues and no control on even the basics of how houses are heated and insulated. All houses in Lichfield, both old and new, would require retro upgrades which themselves are not carbon neutral.
    Local population growth and exponential building will exacerbate the situation. I predict we will have made no, or minimal, real difference in the thirteen year time span in this area. People and the World really have to get honest on this crisis. Planting a few trees when the Amazon rainforests have been denuded is a drop in the ocean.

  2. I see that a report from DEFRA says that recycling rates in England are falling.
    Heaven only knows how much they’ll plummet when the blue bag scheme gets fully underway!

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