Plans Announced To Create Jobs In Sussex AND Help The Environment

13 March 2009

A package of measures designed to create new jobs in Sussex and help cut the county's impact on the climate has been unveiled by the Green Party's Euro-MP Caroline Lucas.

The measures include carrying out improvements in the energy efficiency of Brighton homes, creating thousands of new jobs for builders, joiners, plumbers, roofers, heating and structural engineers and builders' supply merchants.

Dr. Lucas, who's also the leader of the Green Party, says the work could cut the city's greenhouse gas emissions as well as greatly improving living conditions in both private and public sector housing.

The scheme's would pay for themselves as the money saved on fuel bills would more than compensate for the money spent on energy improvements.

She added: "With hundreds in Sussex losing their jobs every week, and many more facing unemployment, it's vital that new jobs like this are created. Such a programme could, and should, begin tomorrow".

Caroline Lucas called on the Government and local councils to support the development of green industries in Sussex , to design, make and fit turbines, solar panels and other hardware which is needed to cut carbon emissions.

"These industries," she says, "would create thousands of jobs across the employment spectrum - from university researchers to young people with fewer academic qualifications fitting turbines and solar panels on homes."

Ten Point Plan for a strong, dynamic and sustainable Sussex Economy.

  • Councils should establish a rolling programme of Low Carbon Zones aimed at helping to deliver an integrated approach to household energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, reducing fuel poverty, and the regeneration of communities. All Sussex homes should be refurbished by 2025.
  • Councils should work with energy companies, the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and the Government to rapidly bring forward projects to change to a renewable and decentralised energy infrastructure in Sussex , starting with public sector buildings.
  • SEEDA and local authorities in Sussex should create a network of eco-innovation hubs to support the development of ‘green collar' industries and businesses.
  • Councils should seek funding from developers for training programmes to enable local workers to help create jobs in Sussex 's green economy and benefit from its employment opportunities.
  • SEEDA should tackle urban decline and support innovation by developing a service to link owners of empty properties to entrepreneurs and community groups needing short-term social lets.
  • Councils should help deliver new jobs in the community to improve quality of life and make safe estates and open spaces.
  • Councils' Housing Strategies must focus on those most in need and prioritise building more social rented housing to meet the needs of homeless and poorly housed people.
  • The Government and councils should deliver a new ‘fares fair' deal to lower the cost of public transport, and use emissions-based congestion charging to discourage the most polluting vehicles. Low cost, low carbon modes of travel such as walking and cycling should be given more support.
  • Initiatives like household item swaps, time banks, community volunteering, local exchange and trading schemes should be supported by SEEDA.
  • Sussex should be growing much more of its own foods and councils across the county can help by working together to safeguard land for growing in the development plans and briefs, promoting employment in the food sector and reskilling those living in Sussex for food production.

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