Cllr Scott Dickinson
Cllr Scott Dickinson

The potential of Northumberland as a county which could lead the green revolution is nowhere near being reached because of a lack of political direction by the Tory-led council.

Northumberland Labour leader Scott Dickinson said: “In a county with such wide open spaces and hydro facilitates, we could be a national leader in green energy.

“Progress has been made, but this has been on the back of plans which were in place when Labour led the council. To say it’s a lack of ambition is an understatement.”

Official figures show that, nationally, a loss of 33,800 direct jobs and a further 41,400 jobs in the supply chain for low carbon and renewable sectors between 2014 and 2019. This includes thousands of jobs lost in solar power, onshore wind, renewable electricity and bioenergy and a huge fall in the number of jobs in the energy efficiency sector.

These figures throw into light the chasm between government rhetoric and reality, with huge falls in low-carbon employment and pledges to deliver green jobs but without a genuine green stimulus.

The UK Government this year axed the Green Homes Grant scheme, their flagship green policy, despite the potential of retrofitting homes to create tens of thousands of jobs and drive down energy bills. And international comparisons show the UK is the 6th worst for green infrastructure investment out of the G7.

Figures also show progress on green jobs going backwards in Scotland, with fewer direct jobs today than in 2014, making up just a fifth of the green jobs promised by the SNP.

Scott added: “The Tories promised all sorts of plans to address climate change, but they were broken promises. We need real action, now, to make our economy greener and fairer. It is time for a Green New Deal.”

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