Cllr Philip Booth, a Green party Stroud District councillor, said: "This is probably the most important and influential planning document in the South West as it sets out development in the region until 2026 - yet what we have, is a plan to increase climate changing CO2 emissions, when what we need is to cut emissions significantly. I cannot stress enough how irresponsible this draft plan is."
Philip Booth, who co-authored the Green party's submission to the consultation which closes today at 5.00pm, said: "In many ways this is a more sustainable plan than we've seen previously and there is much to welcome, but as the report's own Strategic Sustainability Assessment (SSA) states the RSS will lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Our Government must share the blame for a complete failure to lead on this issue: the plan to expand Bristol airport is a perfect example of the absurdity of their approach. The airport expansion alone will wipe out all other gains in CO2 emissions and force our local businesses to unfairly reduce their emissions further purely to compensate for increases in aviation."
Cllr Martin Whiteside, the Green party's Parliamentary spokesperson for Stroud said: "It is deeply disappointing to see this disregard for our future from our unelected Regional Assembly. In the face of the challenge that climate change presents, we need leadership on these issues not tinkering with a 'business-as-usual' approach."
Flawed economic forecasts
Martin Whiteside added: "Furthermore this Draft RSS is based upon a prediction of economic growth which has disregarded many key factors like the expected large rises in fuel prices over coming years. At the very least the RSS must develop alternative plans that take account of different economic forecasts. Greens also agree with the SSA when it argues for an economic approach for our region that is less dependent upon our national and international links."
Stroud District Council applauded
Philip Booth said: "It is refreshing indeed to see that Stroud District Council, as part of our Council's submission, is prepared to take on board concerns and question the lack of action on climate change. We need a major rewrite of this Draft RSS so that it tackles climate change rather than adding to it."
(i) See Stroud District Green party report under 'Reports' at: