Warm welcome for insulation plan from Progressive Group following Labour “blowing hot and cold” on issue
By Exeter Progressive Group
After "blowing hot and cold," Labour have finally agreed to work on a plan to insulate Exeter's homes, a move warmly welcomed by the Progressive Group of Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent Councillors on Exeter City Council.
The announcement came at the Council meeting held on the hottest day of the year in response to a question by Green Councillor Carol Bennett, who said:
"I welcome the Council Leaders' statement. Retrofitting will make existing homes warm in winter, cool in summer and more resilient to flooding. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy bills and create skilled jobs."
Liberal Democrat Councillor Michael Mitchell had challenged the Labour Executive's priority to lock in future carbon intensive incineration by promoting district heating:
"Putting in a district heating system for new homes that should be built to high insulation standards, where little or no heating is required, makes no sense. The problems and expense of the district heating to Cranbrook shows this is not a low carbon or affordable solution. We need to ensure the Council makes developers build new homes that won't have to be retrofitted and will have a far more positive impact on people's health, the cost of living and the climate."
Green councillor Diana Moore said:
"In 2021 11% - that's 6,618 Exeter homes were so poorly insulated that people were forced into fuel poverty. The cost of living crisis will make that worse for many more in the city now. Beyond the work on the Council's own housing stock, there is a sporadic, threadbear and an unco-ordinated approach to grants and action on retrofit
"So I'm pleased finally, after Labour blowing hot and cold, that the intention is to work with other district councils. A task force is needed to bring together community organisations, small businesses, education providers and others to develop skills and jobs in this sector and bring forward a programme of education, suppliers and funding support to make it so much easier for households and landlords to understand the options and improve their properties."