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Lib Dems proposals for Covid Recovery and Climate Change approved

February 18, 2021 12:21 PM
Originally published by Devon Liberal Democrats

Bees on flowers

A proposal to allocate £0.5 million to a district-wide post Covid recovery programme, put forward by Liberal Democrat councillors, was approved by South Hams District Council at last week's meeting [11th Feb].

The Liberal Democrats have been calling for £500,000 - currently sitting in reserves - to be used to help local businesses and the community recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On top of that, a Lib Dem proposal for an additional £200,000 to be allocated to Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency measures was also approved. This is in addition to the £400,000 Climate Change emergency monies secured by the Lib Dems during last year's budget round.

Cllr John Birch, Liberal Democrat councillor for Totnes, said:

"At the early stages of the budget setting process I, along with the support of the Liberal Democrat councillors, put forward the £500,000 proposal to provide the necessary finances for implementing the council's recovery plan as nothing had been provided for.

The council had previously approved a recovery plan and yet had not set any monies aside to get the plans off the ground. My proposal was put forward to not only enable the plan to be implemented but to show the council was serious in its intentions to help local businesses and the community. The money is now available to meet this challenge.

As to the additional £200,000 for emergency climate change measures, I took the view that the council needed to show its commitment in implementing its climate emergency measures by allocating further funds to address this issue.

The bulk of the £700,000 is to be drawn from the council's healthy reserves and as such this expenditure has no impact on the level of council tax. I would rather see this money spent for the benefit of the community than languish in the reserves."