This weeks issue of First, the magazine that goes to all councillors had a letter calling for Councils to have their fuel costs subsidised by the Government...
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...apart from the issue of whether that is fair when the NHS, charities and many others are also facing the same problem is another matter - clearly action will be needed as oil prices are already impacting on services - I did get a commitment from the Cabinet member for the Environment at SDC to consider looking at emergency measures re oil price rises. I am not sure it came to anything....if not I will be pressing again as I consider we are sleepwalking into serious problems...action now could help considerably...anyhow here is the letter:
Cllr John Garner requests that local authorities and the haulage industry are allowed to purchase the cheaper red diesel (first letters issue 390). It is true that many of us are being hit hard by rising fuel prices, but that is not the solution. The days of cheap oil are over: cutting fuel prices and increasing fuel consumption can only deepen the looming crisis.
Greens have been calling for action for years, yet many local authorities have hardly begun their Green Travel Plans let alone other measures. Only a handful of authorities are following Portland, Oregon's lead in considering Peak Oil and declining world oil production.
Stroud District for example now has an LSP Think Tank looking at how oil prices will impact on our services, businesses and communities. Much more is needed. We need to plan for at least a $200- barrel world: planning for anything less is criminally negligent.
Let us scrap the Road Tax and move the responsibility onto fuel duty to ensure the biggest polluters pay most. Then a windfall tax on excess oil company profits to seriously revolutionise our public transport network and build better cycle and walk routes. Plus support for local food schemes, Kirklees-style universal free insulation and more. We have many of the answers, we now need the leadership to bring them about.
Cllr. Philip Booth (Green), Stroud District Council