Council going green

LAST week’s Sussex Express (November 18) carried both a tribute to the late Councillor Bob Sweetland and a warning letter from Professor Peter Gardiner. The link between them is sustainability.

The professor’s reminder that carbon dioxide must be reduced in order to ensure a livable (my adjective, not his) future for the next generation was printed just before the latest UN announcement that global CO2 emissions have risen yet again.

Bob Sweetland, other colleagues and I worked together on Uckfield town council to try to promote green issues in our own municipal back yard. He unfortunately died before hearing the good news that, just as Uckfield is the first town in Wealden to achieve official Fairtrade status, it is on the way to having the district’s first green council.

The solar panels on the roof of the civic centre have been in operation for only a few weeks and have already saved the council several hundred pounds in bills. Shortly, an information unit is to be installed to inform the public how many kilograms of CO2 are being saved even while they look.

The next few weeks will see a wind turbine constructed at Victoria Pleasure Gardens, and the feasibility study of installing a biomass boiler in the civic centre is well advanced. Bob would have been delighted with these developments for both helping to combat climate change and also for saving council tax payers’ money.

Alan Whittaker, Uckfield Town councillor