Councils are ‘instrumental in the fight against climate change’ – Shadow Communities Minister visits Oxford

In support of Oxford City Council’s leadership in tackling climate change, Stephen Morgan MP has spent time during recess with Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, Cllr Tom Hayes learning more about what the city is doing to combat environmental degradation.

The newly appointed Shadow Communities Minister spent time with Oxford’s first cycling laundry service OXWASH, discussing green business models and how environmentally conscious local enterprises can proactively help cities go greener.

Shadow Minister for Communities, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“The pioneering, progressive attitude towards climate change exhibited by Oxford City Council and organisations such as Oxwash embody the trailblazing spirit required to combat the world’s most pressing matter. The opportunity to meet with those who are on the front line, making the changes that our communities need, provides vital information on how local authorities can imorivements to our local areas. If we are to formulate a blueprint for change then it is integral that politicians get out to local authorities who have shown they are serious about tackling climate change and see for themselves the challenges and successes they have experienced.”

Mr Morgan’s visit to Oxford follows the city’s bold movements when it comes to combating climate change. The city council has made huge bounds by introducing the worlds first Zero Emission Zone from 2020, launched a charter for cleaner air alongside Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth, has proliferated the use of electric vehicles by introducing widespread charging points and made countless other changes at local authority level.

Mr Morgan said:

“Local authorities are on the coal face, providing services at the point of delivery and are therefore instrumental to combating environmental degradation and forging new pathways when it comes to making our communities greener. If we are to win this battle, it will be through our councils. At a time when local authorities across this nation have lost 60 pence out of every pound they previously received from central government, Labour run Oxford City Council has demonstrated tenacity, resilience and initiative. The opportunity to see this for myself and learn more about how we can share these practices and improve communities across the country is invaluable”.

The Shadow Minister has wasted no time in speaking to people on the ground and getting out to councils across the country. His visit to Oxford is the second since his appointment to the front benches less than a month ago – and included signing the city’s charter for cleaner air.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Having spent over 15 years working as a council officer is various departments, I have seen first-hand the integral part played by our local authorities. I relish the opportunity to get out and spend time with the people responsible for improving our communities so that best practice can be shared, and solid ideas learnt from. I commend Oxford for their commitment and delivery on cleaning up the city’s air. It was a privilege to show support for their leadership on this by signing their city’s charter”.