A London borough is planning to splash out up to £8.5million on a solar scheme for its council offices. Haringey Council hopes to attract a further £7.5million of private investment through hiring out social housing rooftops. But some councillors have questioned whether it is the best use of public cash in a time of swingeing cuts.
Haringey has agreed to install thousands of solar panels on its buildings, while social housing will be rented to third-party providers. The scheme could provide youngsters the chance of an apprenticeship too, claim the council.
Labour Councillor Joe Goldberg, Cabinet Member for Finance and Carbon Reduction said: “I am proud that we are a pioneering borough and are determined to take the lead on solar power – which could be a key weapon in the fight against fuel poverty, inequality and carbon emissions in Haringey.”
However, the Haringey Liberal Democrat Leader Richard Wilson told ELN that the positive green impact should not come with too big a price tag.
He said: “Investment in renewable energy to reduce carbon consumption is welcome. However, £8.5million is a lot of money for the Council to borrow and at a time when the Labour Council is closing older people’s drop-in centres, cutting youth services by 75% and reducing funding for Children’s Centres, local residents will, rightfully, ask whether the Council has its priorities right.”
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