OPINION

What we’ve been doing – from health and wellbeing to the energy, climate and cost-of-living crisis

Posted On 19 Mar 2022 at 4:43 pm

Last week was a busy week in council committees, with the Health and Wellbeing Board, where we asked questions about patient outcome measures relating to the Better Care Fund.

We also quizzed the administration and officers about hospital discharges in the light of care workforce shortages.

At the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, we questioned the anti-racism update report and received assurances that the funding released from the cancelled World Transformed event would indeed be directed towards anti-racist activities, including civic engagement, in consultation with our community advisory group.

Today (Saturday 19 March) is the United Nations Day Against Racism and Fascism.

I hope we can all mark the occasion by reaffirming our commitment to becoming an anti-racist city and our commitment to being a City of Sanctuary, where we welcome refugees and asylum-seekers who have experienced unspeakable trauma fleeing hardships and war in their home countries.

Wages are flatlining, the cost of living is skyrocketing and we’re facing a once-in-a-generation energy crisis.

But instead of taking both our energy security and the climate emergency seriously, the usual suspects are using this crisis as an opportunity to back away from the crucial move to carbon net zero.

There’s no way out of this energy crisis without reducing the amount of energy we waste through our poorly insulated homes and increasing the supply of renewable energy we produce here in the UK.

Renewables are cheaper than gas. The more cheap, clean power we generate in the UK, the less we’ll be exposed to the current volatile gas prices which are helping oil and gas producers enjoy record profits while consumers foot the bill.

Instead of supporting fracking and going cap in hand to Saudi Arabia, we need to rocket-boost the campaign to produce cheap, clean community-owned energy right here in the UK, and support our local co-operatives like BHESCO and Brighton Energy Co-op.

Councillor Carmen Appich is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.

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