Candidate: Roger Harmer
Party: Lib Dem
Ward: Acocks Green
1. Aim for cycling to be 10% of journeys by 2025, by maintaining funding for walking and cycling at £10 per person for 10 years after end of the Cycle City Ambition Grant though a combination of: New local ways of generating revenue. Changing priorities of highway spending from cars to cycles and pedestrians Bidding for further investment from national government.
Agree. I am a keen supporter of cycling and will do what I can to promote increased investment in the infrastructure we need to radically increase the level of cycling in Birmingham.
2. Ensure any improvement or expansion of the road network will contribute to reducing levels of air pollution from transport, including making it easier to travel by cycle/walking.
3. Commit to introducing ‘low emission zone’ charging, both in order to reduce unacceptable levels of air pollution, and act as a ring-fenced funding source for sustainable transport projects.
Disagree. We do need to take strong action to reduce levels of air pollution, and I have personally taken part in a trial using an electric car for a year, but I’m not willing to commit to something where I haven’t seen a workable option yet.
4. Phase out the burning of rubbish as a fuel and aim to switch off the incinerator within five years of the end of the Veolia Contract. (2019 so by 2024)
Disagree. No, because there is significant capital investment in this plant. I, do however want to see the end of incineration when this is practical and would want to explore alternative options for the Tyseley incinerator’s future use based on new technologies such as pyrolysis. In the short term we should ensure any future contracts do not provide a disincentive to increasing recycling of waste which might otherwise go to the incinerator.
5. Establish separate food waste collections across the city by 2018.
6. Start to roll-out street bins with sections for recycling segregation within the next five years.
Agree. I would support trials of such bins.
7. Aim to quadruple the number of Birmingham schools (currently around 25) which have solar panels by 2020.
Strongly agree. Yes I agree and I have been personally involved in promoting energy efficiency measures at the school where I am a Governor – Acocks Green Primary School.
8. Commit to divesting all Council investments and pensions from polluting fossil fuel industries within 5 years.
Disagree. No, as long as energy companies are behaving legally and ethically we should not prevent our pension funds investing in them. We do need to move away from fossil fuel use, but there are better ways to promote more investment in alternatives to these industries.
9. Commit to a change in the management of all the council’s grassland areas in order to maximise the amount of areas that are beneficial to wildlife, by pledging to continue and expand the work of the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area through increased and long term funding.
Strongly agree. Yes agree and we should particularly promote bee friendly planting.
10. Bring forward Birmingham’s target of increasing Birmingham’s tree population by 30% from 2026 to 2021, and ensure that new trees are targeted at areas of the city with low tree cover.
Strongly agree. Yes – agreed, this would make a valuable contribution to improving air quality in Birmingham and to reducing the heat island effect. Cost will be a problem but we should look at using the planning process (both planning conditions and S106 funds) to resolve this.