Nick Clegg gave the local Liberal Democrats a call, or an email, or something and so a motion for Basildon Council to sign up to the 10:10 campaign found itself on the agenda for Basildon Council's meeting last night. This asks people, businesses and organisations to sign up to a 10% cut in carbon emissions by the end of 2010 and you are probably asking what could possibly be wrong with that? Quite a bit, unfortunately. You see Basildon's Conservative administration has been working hard on carbon emissions for years now, with a large number of measures already in place. So, a pledge would really mean a pledge to cut by 3% by mid 2011. It also excludes recycling, which is extraordinary. There is also the small matter of hypocrisy. Liberal Democrat Councillors have repeatedly voted against measures to reduce the Council's carbon footprint. They voted against the refurbishment of the Civic Centre, which allowed us to close another whole building, and they voted against the new Sporting Village, which will allow us to close two more old, hugely energy inefficient buildings.
Anyway, we amended the motion and cue outrage from the Liberals. I suppose being told there was a difference between gesture politics and getting on the job must have offended their delicate sensibilities.