Saturday, May 17, 2008

On the move (sustainably)

As you may have seen in the Echo, I "survived" the recent reshuffle, and now have portfolio responsibility for Sustainable Environment and Climate Change.

(Full marks, by the way, to the LibDems who managed to gull the Echo into spinning their line on the changes without a shred of evidence).

In a little-commented change, my ward colleague Andy Scott now joins the Cabinet, taking over from me at Health and Leisure.

I've held some initial briefing meetings this week as I begin to get to grips with my new area of responsibility. Clearly, it's a key area - I was interested to see some reasearch from the Local Government Association which showed that 74% of people thought that climate change was happening, and could be attributed to human activity. The poll also found;

  • 63% of residents were aware of their council taking positive action to tackle climate change.

  • 76% of people agree or strongly agree that local councils have a key role to play in combating climate change, and 77% think it is part of their role.

  • Women are less likely to be in favour of incentives to encourage people to reduce their emissions – but are more likely to support penalties to combat this.

  • More people would be likely to vote for a candidate in local elections that had policies to combat climate change (62%) than in a general election (61%).

  • 70% believe climate change should be one of the top five priorities for their council.

With some big decisions in Darlington coming up on waste and waste disposal, DBC needs to demonstrate just how seriously it is taking this issue. I'll be taking on the excellent work of my predecessor Veronica Copeland in spearheading the "reduce, reuse and recycle" campaign. And today, it's off to Lascelles Green Fair, to support their initiative.


Ex Labour Voter said...

You clearly have more lives than a cat its clear you are being protected ready for your new role as council leader and that change wont come soon enough!
As for culpability it does look suspicious to the outsider that you are always moved away from trouble.
You either lead a charmed life or have friends in powerful places!
As for recycling may I suggest you start with John Williams, followed a very close second by Birse and then move onto Wimpey!
As for "save the post office" Milburn you can't recycle crap!

Lester Piggot said...

Once again "Teflon" Wallis, how do you do it?

Concerned Citizen said...

Perhaps you are the right man for the job, lets face it your position has been recycled that much recently you must be green through and through, Recycle, Reuse and Reduce good motto if only you could apply it to public funds!

miketually said...

Should the post not be against Climate Change, rather than for? Although, that may make the title even more unwieldy.

Anonymous said...


Just crawl back to where you came from. Acknowledge that you're useless along with Willaims and the rest of your cronnies and let more competent people take over.

Darlington Councillor said...

Hmm - but how can you judge who is competent, anonymous? I can at least spell 'Williams' and 'cronies'...

Well I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I don't think I or my Labour colleagues are useless.

We've led the Council through unitary status to become one of the top-performing councils in the country, as judged by the independent Audit Commission. We've invested millions in Darlington's schools and roads, and under our leadership, the Dolphin Centre, South Park and the Railway Museum have been comprehensively refurbished.

For all the sniping from the Tories at the time, our Pedestrian Heart scheme has kept the best of the old and revitalised the town centre - just ask anyone from Stockton or Newton Aycliffe, say, who visit the town about how Darlington compares with their home towns.

Finally, whilst our approach to transport and traffic reduction is attracting plaudits and national interest, we also have one of the best-regarded Partnerships, where business, the voluntary sector, community groups and the Council come together to agree ways forward for the Borough.

Our new Community Strategy will target the areas of greatest need so that we can truly call ourselves 'One Darlington'. It's a record and an agenda of which I'm really proud.

Unhappy with DBC said...

Business partnerships, these are no more than keeping your good mates close and rewarding each other financialy and covering each others backs.
The railway museum (which lied to all its disabled workers) is the only such museum in the NE to charge admission.
DBC is the only council in the NE to NOT allow OAP and disabled travel before 9:30am (shame on you if every one else can why WONT you, Oh yes to claw back on all your over spends).
Our new community strategy will target areas of most need....READ target areas of most Labour voters all Labour wards are treat better than those wards that are not.
You have let various company's off their 106 obligations thus the public lose out again!
Our MP is as well liked an an enema and talks only what the enama is designed to remove, he back stabbed this town with his Post office vote.
What position for you next Cllr Wallis I hear its not to late for the job of Town "liar" sorry Crier that job should of been reserved for John Williams.
Finaly not one mention in your reply as to why once again you have been shuffled away from the fact you were in charge of the Eastern Transport Fiasco from the start and must be responsible for its overspend!
Try answering a few direct questions for a change instead of skirting the subject.

cllr. mark burton said...

lol Anonymous... ‘let more competent people take over’… being an average type of bloke, not overly political but caring and understanding. I’ve been elected for just over a year and I’ve been and seen… and I’m not impressed. As far as I’ve witnessed for myself, with my own eyes, there aren’t any more competent people. Could you perhaps name one or two who you think are more competent? In many meetings as I absorb what I see and what I hear I often find myself shaking my head in disbelief. Take it from me anonymous Nick is a good, hard working, knowledgeable councillor, not this image you’re trying to portray.

Martin said...

"Unhappy with DBC" said "You have let various company's off their 106 obligations thus the public lose out again!"

A friend of mine (with no overt interest in politics) personally administers Section 106 agreements for DBC. They assure me that every penny that should have been received has been received, and indeed they take great professional pride in ensuring that that is the case.

I would ask you to withdraw your wholly unfounded allegation.

Mr Wimpey said...

Your friend whilst working for the DBC S106 dept must never read the papers as the Northern Echo has well documented the Wimpeys South Park scandal that left DBC paying the shortfall when they pulled ou tof the £2M sports facilities in South Park, the Local Gov Ombudsman and the Police as well as the District Auditor are involved in getting to the bottom of it so your freind is either nieve or not high enough up the food chain to know the depths of the cover up/ dodgy dealings with Wimpey.
I dont think you will be getting a retraction ask Chris Close on he has all the paper work and DBC dont like it!

Darlington Councillor said...

Just time to post quickly before I go out campaigning - I checked with the officers a couple of months ago and there is NO Police/District Auditor/Ombudsman enquiry into South Park - it's simply a product of Chris Close's rather febrile imagination.