Merton has been named one of ten new low carbon neighbourhoods by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and awarded at least £200,000 to turn their winning project into reality.
Speaking at the London Congress, a meeting of the Mayor of London and the capital’s 33 boroughs at the Guildhall, Boris Johnson announced the ten successful boroughs. As part of their winning project for Wandle Valley, Merton Council will be setting up an apprentice scheme for local residents to train to become ‘energy doctors’ and looking at opportunities to extract energy from waste to heat homes and community buildings.
The Mayor wants to make London a low carbon city, boosting ‘green collar’ jobs in the capital and helping to lower energy bills by becoming more energy efficient. These zones will showcase exactly how London can become a low carbon city by using a wide range of measures to help people cut carbon and by reducing the emissions of some of London’s older buildings, which have generally been more difficult to make energy efficient.
The zones have a target to deliver 20.12 per cent of carbon emissions savings by 2012 and are bringing together local authorities, community organisations, residents, businesses and utilities to work in partnership in a targeted geographic area. The winning low carbon zones on average will save over 23 per cent by 2012. The zones will cover over 13,000 residential properties, around 1,000 shops and businesses, 20 schools as well as a hospital, places of worship and community centres.
Boris Johnson said: ‘ I am delighted to unveil the ten winning carbon-busting neighbourhoods in London. There was a high calibre of bids from across the boroughs and it was a difficult choice, but the winning entries are championing the latest technologies, which will help us to become a leading low carbon city. ‘
Leader of Merton Council, Councillor David Williams said: ‘Merton is delighted to have been chosen by the Mayor to develop a low carbon zone. Putting the needs of our residents first, the projects we will work on to achieve carbon reduction will go further than just the environment to deliver maximum benefits.
” With this funding we can create an example of a low carbon neighbourhood, whilst also creating opportunities to improve homes, lower energy bills and enhance skills and employment opportunities. We will hold workshops and roadshows on energy, sustainable transport and waste reduction for a section of the borough which includes some of the most deprived areas.’
London Councils Executive member for sustainability, Councillor Sean Brennan, said: “The Low Carbon Zones show the joint commitment between the boroughs and the Mayor to make the capital more energy efficient. Not only will this have a huge positive impact on our environment but could also help Londoners save money.
“London’s boroughs are committed to helping make the capital a greener place to live and work, and this is just one example of how the closer working between the boroughs and the Mayor through the City Charter is helping to improve the lives of every member of our community.”
The Low Carbon Zones will be funded by the London Development Agency’s budget for climate change activities. The Mayor has pledged to cut emissions in London by 60 per cent by 2025 and these Zones will showcase how this can be achieved using existing and new technologies, helping to establish the capital as a leading low carbon city. The Mayor will be helping Londoners to become more energy efficient through a London- wide homes energy efficiency programme set to launch next year.
This was the second meeting of the London Congress, the body set up to oversee the workings of the City Charter signed by the Mayor and London’s 33 boroughs in April of this year
As well as looking at ways to tackle climate change in the capital the Congress also discussed ongoing work to tackle youth violence, make the police more locally accountable and the impact of the economic downturn on boroughs in London.
· In order to qualify for the scheme, boroughs had to submit applications by 31 July 2009. Zones were selected by an expert panel from the GLA group and partner organisations following shortlisting. The final decision on the winning low carbon zones was agreed by the Mayor