Greens’ agreement with Labour Group means free insulation scheme for Leeds

On 27th May at the Leeds City Council Annual General Meeting the two Green Party councillors voted with the Labour group’s 48 members to enable Labour to form a new minority administration to run the Council.

Cllr. David Blackburn, Green Party spokesman on Fuel Poverty and Climate Change today welcomed the Green Party’s agreement that has enable Labour to take control in Leeds.

A key element of the Green Party’s agreement with the incoming Labour administration is to secure funding for a free insulation programme for all private households in the Leeds Council area.

It is estimated that this programme would cost around £30 million over a three year period, but half these costs would be met by energy utilities under their Carbon Emissions Reduction Target obligations.  Around 90,000 homes would receive free loft insulation or cavity wall insulation saving a minimum of £100 per year off their energy bills.  This would put around £8 million back into the local economy each year and the value of those savings would rise as energy bills rise.

Cllr. David Blackburn said:

“This programme would create 200 new jobs and save 48,500 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions whilst cutting residents’ energy bills.

The Greens and Labour will work together to identify the capital resources necessary to make this scheme a reality over the coming months.  It is anticipated that this programme will commence in 2011-12 and will enable the Council to hit the previous Government’s target on insulating every loft and cavity wall by 2015.”

This proposal is based on a similar free insulation scheme that was successfully proposed by the Green Party in 2007 in Kirklees.  The programme there has insulated over 50,000 homes and has won several awards.