The Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support for their calls for local authorities to be empowered to enact measures that would help tackle the climate emergency as well as recover from the coronavirus crisis.
The cross-party letter sent to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick states "we cannot simply return ‘back to normal’" and that "tackling the climate emergency is at the heart of our recovery".
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Climate Emergency, Energy and the Environment Wera Hobhouse initiated the letter, putting forward measures that include incentivising councils to support sustainable travel, revitalising high streets and allowing local authorities to close streets to traffic at allocated times.
Following the letter, Wera Hobhouse said:
"We cannot return to ‘normal’ following the Covid-19 crisis. The measures introduced by the Transport Secretary to promote the use of sustainable transport are welcome, but without cross departmental buy-in they will fail to have a lasting impact on how we travel.
"We cannot forget that we are facing a Climate Emergency – this pandemic has highlighted the link between congestion and pollution, public health and the quality of our towns and cities. It is time to take action and reinvest in our community spaces for the next generation.
"The Liberal Democrats are clear that the Government need take steps to empower local authorities if we are to implement changes which will make our communities more modern, more environmentally-friendly, and more enjoyable places for everyone to spend their time."