At a meeting of Hertfordshire County Council on Tuesday 19 July the Conservative administration voted down a Liberal Democrat proposal to fully fund Free School Meal food vouchers through the 2022 summer school holidays.
Herts County Council has committed to providing supermarket vouchers to the value of £2.40 per day through the 2022 summer holidays, contrasting with £3 per day received by eligible pupils during term time. Nearly 27,000 children across the County receive benefit related free school meals, representing 14% of all pupils in Hertfordshire.
On the hottest day ever, Herts Conservatives have voted down a Liberal Democrat proposal to require the lowest carbon emissions from new homes built on land that the council sells. Lib Dem County Councillors had proposed that, where government rules allow, the council should insist on new homes being built to the internationally recognised "Passivhaus" standard to cut carbon emissions in response to the climate emergency.
Hertfordshire County Council revealed that it is returning grant funding for decarbonisation projects as it had not spent the money on time. At the Resources and Performance Cabinet Panel meeting on 7 July, it was disclosed that nearly £5m of Salix Decarbonisation grant funding will be handed back to the government as the deadline for spending the grant passed on 30 June. It was confirmed that only £18-£19m of the £23.5m Salix grant had been spent by the deadline due to delays and schemes not being carried forward.
An update of Herts County Council's Sustainable Herts Strategy presented to this week's Environment Cabinet Panel reveals that this crucial strategy almost completely ignores the negative effect that the council's growth proposals will have on carbon emissions and biodiversity across Hertfordshire. The strategy also takes no account of the impact of goods and services that the council buys and says nothing about the impact of climate change on many of the council's services according to the Liberal Democrat County Councillors.
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