THE Green Party plans to invest more than £27 million in measures to tackle climate change in Brighton and Hove.

The Greens have put forward an economic recovery plan, which will be decided at the 2021 budget meeting later today.

Proposals include various measures to reduce the city's carbon footprint, with grants available to better insulate homes, investment in low traffic neighbourhoods and green spaces.

SEE ALSO: The Argus podcast: Brighton and Hove City Council budget

If approved, £5.2 million will go towards a Warmer Homes Investment Fund, which will provide grants to all residents to improve their insulation and heating systems to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions.

The Argus:

A total of £7 million would go towards projects that meet the council's sustainability objectives, while £1.7 million would be allocated to invest in parks and open spaces, low traffic neighbourhoods and the expansion of the School Streets road closure scheme and the Brighton BikeShare scheme.

Council leader and Green Party councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty said: “One year into the coronavirus pandemic, and with the climate crisis looming ever larger, it has become increasingly clear that it is down to local councils and communities to step up and deliver the kind of support and transformational change that the government is simply not prepared to do.

“Despite years of budget cuts we have prepared a budget which will not only keep local services on their feet and get people through this immediate health crisis, it will actually help improve all of our lives in ways that will tackle the spiralling climate emergency.

The Argus:

“This budget offers a Green recovery for Brighton and Hove, offering protection for the most vulnerable in the city, creating jobs and helping to build a cleaner, healthier and Greener future for us all.”

The budget proposal also includes plans for a £4 million reserve fund to kickstart a huge retrofitting scheme for all council homes in the city by 2030.

The Greens say investment plans would be paid for by a rise in council tax, with those on low incomes protected from any increase in payments, a "responsible and necessary" use of the council’s reserves and sustainable borrowing at the current low rates.

SEE ALSO: Reaction to Brighton and Hove City Council budget plans

Green Party Councillor David Gibson, joint finance lead at the council, said: “Our priority is for a fair budget: where charges go up, we increase support for people struggling with council tax and exempt low-income households from Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) increases.

“It’s a budget for recovery – instead of slashing services and jobs in a recession, we have used a modest amount of reserves to cover some of the extra costs of the pandemic, leaving enough resources to invest in public services and recovery right now, when it is certainly most needed.

The Argus:

"Crucially, as we head towards recovery, these reserves are repaid.

“This budget also fights to protect residents from another huge emergency: our climate crisis.

"We’ve worked to create green jobs, promote community wealth, and aid recovery in public projects.

"Projects such as building much needed additional council homes, warmer homes, easier to heat and climate friendly, will make a huge difference.

“Planting trees, investing in sustainable, active travel options and supporting our cultural and tourism recovery will also be key to getting our city back on its feet, able to rise to future challenges and thrive again.”