Liberal Democrat councils "greenest"

A survey of environmental measures introduced by local authorities has concluded that councils run by Liberal Democrats are the "greenest", followed by Labour and, in last place, the Conservatives.1

Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh carried out the research last summer. The "green" plans of 463 of the 514 British councils were studied for action on implementing or preparing to implement environmental charters, environmental action plans, internal audits and state of the environment reports.

The "greenest" councils were those controlled by Liberal Democrats, with 84% of the 19 responding councils active. 78% of Labour's 174 councils and 67% of the Conservative's 100 councils were active.

Overall, 69% of councils were active. However, a significant proportion had yet to produce or even begin preparing a green charter (47%) or an action plan (62%). For internal audits and state of the environment reports, the type of action undertaken by the more committed, the findings are more worrying. Only 6% had an action plan and just 3% had published a state of the environment report, although another 13% were preparing one.

Environmental activity seems to be related to the type of council. Almost all county councils and London borough councils were active, while only two-thirds of English districts and 40% of Welsh districts were active. In Scotland, 38 of the 65 regional, district and island council were active.

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