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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Greens say housing revolution is possible via retrofitting programme

The group has released its 'minifesto' in time for polling day on Thursday.

Tomorrow the people of Kirklees will go to the polls for the 2022 local elections.

A third of all 69 seats are up for election with one seat in all of the borough’s wards going to the polls.

The council is currently in no overall control with Labour (33 seats), Conservative (19 seats), Liberal Democrat (nine seats), Green (three seats), Holme Valley Independents (three seats) and other Independents (two seats).

Of the seats up for election this year, Labour hold 11, Conservative six, Lib Dem four, Holme Valley Independents one and Green one. There are 100 candidates standing.

The Greens’ Karen Allison, with group colleagues Sue Lee-Richards and Andrew Cooper, at Berry Brow in Huddersfield where tower blocks are to be demolished as part of a £90m housing upgrade. Image: A Cooper.

Voting will begin at 7am on 5 May and will end at 10pm.

Counting will begin at 1pm on 6 May with a full declaration expected by 6.30pm.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the main parties – Conservative, Green, Holme Valley Independents, Labour and the Liberal Democrats – to provide “minifestos” for what they would do if they find themselves in administration after 5 May.

The Greens’ Karen Allison is defending a seat in Newsome ward, which has been the group’s bastion for a decade.

The ward also includes Huddersfield town centre where the £250m Huddersfield Blueprint is set to transform the retail and cultural offer, and Berry Brow, where tower blocks are to be bulldozed as part of housing improvements.

Here is the Greens’ “minifesto” courtesy of group leader Andrew Cooper.

“The council has made a start on retrofitting its own housing stock. This is positive but what is lacking is a financially sustainable model, which can deliver improvement to homes at scale to a zero-energy standard.

“Our proposal based on the Energiesprong (energy leap) model addresses this and provides a way of building the capacity and capability to deliver for owner-occupiers and the wider housing sector.

“Energiesprong work with local councils on developing a programme to deliver warmer homes through a retrofit programme delivering a home which is net-zero energy, meaning it generates the total amount of energy required for its heating, hot water and electrical appliances. A complete home makeover can be completed in as little as a day.

“Councils such as Nottingham, Exeter and a number of London boroughs are already working together on Energiesprong projects as part of the Retrofit Accelerator Homes Investment Partnership.”

The Greens would also like to reintroduce ReCharge, an award-winning scheme that offered homeowners an interest-free loan to install renewable or low carbon technology energy. The loan need not be repaid until the property is sold.

Other pledges:

  • Passivhaus or equivalent as standard on all council new-build projects.
  • Solar PV Panels on all council new-build projects as standard.
  • Engaging the community in climate action.
  • Renewable energy installations in schools.
  • Mobilising the community to help tackle the cost of living crisis.
  • Supporting active travel.
  • Safer streets for all.
  • Better adult social care.
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