Liberal Democrat action and investment is helping to create green jobs and support local businesses across the Bath and North East Somerset area, it has been announced.
The Liberal Democrat administration on B&NES Council has developed the Energy@Home scheme as well as supporting community energy initiatives such as with Bath & West Community Energy and the ‘Green Skills Academy’, to make sure that residents and the local economy gain the maximum benefit from the developing green economy.
Councillor David Martin, the Council’s member champion for energy and climate change, requested an update report on the green jobs agenda.
This item was discussed at yesterday’s Economic and Community Development Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel.
Councillor Martin (Liberal Democrat, Bathwick), commented: “Some of the first initiatives we took, as a Liberal Democrat administration, were to ensure B&NES residents and businesses could get the maximum benefit from the green economy.
“This sector has the potential to deliver hundreds of additional jobs locally – for example the Green Deal could deliver 120 additional jobs in home insulation alone – as well as helping residents to reduce fuel costs and reduce their carbon emissions.
“The Council’s ‘Energy@Home’ scheme, now in an advanced stage of development, aims to make it easier for residents to access grants for insulation and other home improvement projects, and to promote local providers of these services.
“One initial barrier was the need for training and accreditation for local tradespeople. So we have invested in skills and training to bridge that gap.
“We have supplied funding for a Green Skills Academy through local Colleges and we will be investing further in accreditation and training for local businesses – particularly focusing on retrofitting for heritage buildings.
“Our actions to support local businesses to enter the home energy efficiency and retrofitting market and to encourage local residents to take up the offer could help boost the local economy by £10-20M annually and help keep jobs and money in the local economy.
“Whilst retrofitting provides a great opportunity for local employment, there are also opportunities with renewable energy. Local jobs in specifying, installing and maintaining renewable energy will be important.
“The work we are doing to promote green jobs and access to home energy efficiency improvements for residents demonstrates our twin commitments to the environment and to localism. Liberal Democrats are working together locally and nationally to deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society.”