Greens ‘dropping the ball’ on environment despite new campaign, says Tory councillor

By Joao Santos (Local Democracy Reporter)

23rd May 2024 | Local News

Cllr James Mallinder with a campaign sign.
Cllr James Mallinder with a campaign sign.

The Greens in a Suffolk district are 'dropping the ball' on the environment despite a new campaign, a Tory councillor has said.

Cllr James Mallinder, who was the cabinet member with responsibility for the environment during the previous administration, has said the current administration should be doing more.

He added: "There's a lot of talking, lots of discussion, but that's irrelevant, we need to deliver and start doing things."

"The environment is above politics, it doesn't matter who's in charge, it's a moral compass of the individual — I'm annoyed and angry because they are dropping the ball on this."

Cllr Mallinder's comments come despite a cross-party clean-up campaign being launched last week asking residents to reduce fly-tipping, recycle properly and, if possible, look after spaces outside their property in a bid to encourage them to take active pride in their local area.

The campaign was also supported by Cllr Mark Jepson, the Conservative Group Lead.

He said: "East Suffolk's Amazing has been an excellent example of cross-party collaboration and continues the theme from the Conservative administration, particularly around the environment.

"This approach demonstrates what can be achieved when we all work together for a common aim."

But Cllr Mallinder said the campaign was just a rebranding exercise of something which had been taking place over the past four years already.

He added: "There is a difference in civic pride and making sure the district is clean and tidy.

"There's been no new initiatives launched in the last year, I'm shocked we're not doing more, time's running out, we need to be doing more, not less."

Cllr Mallinder also claimed the council had taken a step backward by cancelling the district-wide litter pick and his own 'Pardon the Weeds, We are Feeding the Bees' campaign.

This was pushed back by Cllr Sally Noble, the cabinet member for the environment since last month, who assured the litter picks were going ahead despite some postponements, and added that Cllr Mallinder's campaign was not only still running but also being expanded.

She said: "We want to emphasise that wildflower and grass verges are not weeds but essential habitats that provide food and shelter for many species of pollinators, invertebrates, birds and mammals, not just bees.

"This refreshed approach to 'nature at work', will include new signage, an increase in areas managed for biodiversity, and engagement with schools and other organisations.

"It has been agreed by the cross-council Environment Task Group, which includes members of Cllr Mallinder's own political party."

Both councillors have called for the other side to engage and work more collaboratively.

     

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