A council has been criticised for printing ‘thousands of unnecessary pages’ in a report about making transport more environmentally friendly.
Oxfordshire County Council handed out a copy of the 491-page document to all councillors present in a full meeting, as well as officers, on Tuesday.
The Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP) aims among other things for a net zero transport system by 2040.
Conservative councillor David Bartholomew questioned why the council gave everyone a document almost 500 pages long, instead of just giving a printed version to people who wanted or needed one.
‘Looking round the chamber, I see many councillors looking tired and weary,’ he said.
‘It’s not just the heat, it’s having to carry this around and having to bring this in.
‘I’d have thought at some point, given that this administration is meant to have green loveliness at the heart of everything it does and is sensitive to the climate, why have they printed out 500 pages of the transport plan for all the councillors to have?
‘Perhaps we’ve spent £1,000 on unnecessary printing.
‘I accept for reasons of inclusivity, it needs to be a paper version for some people, but many of us do not need that.
‘We are very happy, and indeed, we prefer the digital version.
‘It has all sorts of things where we can search in the document and find all the things of interest.
‘Why did we print thousands of unnecessary pages?
‘Has anybody calculated the carbon cost of all the delivery men delivering these everywhere and the cost of the poor tress that have been taken down?’
Part of the transport plan is ‘to make Oxfordshire greener, fairer and healthier due the relationship between transport, quality of life, health and the environment.’
Independent county councillor Stefan Gawrysiak told the meeting he preferred the paper version of the report to an electronic one.
‘Normally I agree with councillor Bartholomew because it makes my life easier,’ he said.
‘On this occasion, I want this – this was my Sunday morning reading with a cup of coffee in the back garden, going through with a highlighter pen and it was an absolute joy to read.
‘We’ll have the electronic one, but I want this too.’
A report on the document states: ‘The LTCP will help to make Oxfordshire greener, fairer and healthier due the relationship between transport, quality of life, health and the environment.
‘The LTCP directly seeks to reduce carbon emissions and aims for a net zero transport system by 2040.’
Another key change to the new LTCP was the ‘Vision Zero’ road safety policy added, that being the elimination of deaths and serious injuries from road traffic collisions in the county.
The council adopted the content of the LTCP as policy.
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