Liberal Democrat Pressure Leads to Southwark Council Climate Spend

Southwark Liberal Democrat pressure resulted in the council announcing its allocation on Wednesday evening of a portion of a £25m climate emergency fund.

Cllr Helen Dennis, Labour’s cabinet member for the climate emergency, announced at a council assembly that the authority had finally allocated around half of this pot of money.

Liberal Democrat research in January revealed that the council did not spend or allocate any of these finances having invested this £25m into the capital programme budget in 2021.

Commenting, Cllr Graham Neale, Southwark Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson said:

“We are pleased that Southwark Labour listened to sense and sped up their decision-making following pressure from the Liberal Democrats. The question is why did it take a year? One quick announcement will not stop the problem at its root: Labour is addicted to dither and delay when it comes to the climate emergency.”

Commenting, Cllr Victor Chamberlain, the Southwark Liberal Democrat who raised the issue at an Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) meeting said:

“It is not acceptable that it has taken Labour a year to use this fund to tackle the climate emergency. The clue is in the name: we have to act urgently. I am delighted that it was Southwark Liberal Democrats actions that have successfully pushed Labour to go greener, faster. We now need clarity about when this money will be spent and what impact it will have to tackle climate change.”