Lib Dem councillor hoping to make Hitchin 'greenest town in Britain'
PUBLISHED: 14:03 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:03 18 March 2019
A Hitchin councillor has outlined plans to make the town the greenest in Britain at his party's spring conference.
Hitchin Highbury ward councillor Sam Collins announced the plan at the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference at York’s Barbican Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking in support of a motion on air pollution, Mr Collins highlighted the work of the party to have £15,000 electric vehicle charging points including in the North Herts District Council budget.
He also spoke about his hopes to make Hitchin greener, saying: “When I first got involved in politics, back in the summer of 2016, I knew that our country and our automotive industry was not doing enough to clean up the air we breathe.
“When I was growing up I was taught to tread lightly on this earth and I believe that is more important than ever.
“So, for me, one of the first things I set about doing was finding a way to improve the electrical vehicle charging infrastructure in Hitchin, and later the whole district.
“That work has started and, after a bit of persuasion by Councillor Paul Clark and myself, it got the backing of both the Conservatives and Labour.
“But a few charging points won’t be enough on their own.
“We need to do so much more and we are already working flat out on a number of new initiatives to make Hitchin the greenest town in Britain.”
As well as pushing for charging points, Mr Collins tabled a motion last summer to ban single-use plastics at all NHDC facilities by 2022 and, in 2010, he became the first person to race in the electric Nissan Leaf.
Speaking to the Comet, he raised concerns about air pollution in two areas of Hitchin, saying: “Hitchin has two current serious air quality problem spots. The Air Quality Management Areas are located at Paynes Park and The Three Moorhens roundabout.
“I suspect if more monitoring was done you would find issues on Bedford Road in the mornings, the area around the station in the evenings and in a few other spots in town.
“The North Herts Local Plan and the excessive amount of housing it brings with it will significantly worsen the situation.”