Climate change 'moved up agenda' as part of West Norfolk Council reshuffle
West Norfolk Council has said a cabinet reshuffle will place greater emphasis on the issue of climate change.
As part of the change, former cabinet member for commerical services councillor Paul Kunes will take on responsibility for carbon reduction and climate change in respect of the council's activities.
And councillor Stuart Dark MBE has been brought in as a new cabinet member for environmental services including waste collection, waste reduction and street cleaning.
Mr Dark, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to the community, was previously placed in charge of the council's emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic crisis.
Ian Devereux, who was cabinet member for environment, officially stepped down from the role in late June via a council meeting on Zoom.
At the time, Mr Devereux told the Lynn News he was making room for someone with the commitment to work alongside a major review over the coming months and years because of the pandemic.
As the newly announced cabinet member for climate change and commercial services, Mr Kune's remit will include climate change, air quality, carbon reduction, biodiversity and energy strategy, as well as continuing with the existing responsibilities of car parking, CCTV, ICT, cemeteries and crematorium, and shared services.
And as cabinet member for environmental services and public protection, Mr Dark will be tasked with the key responsibilities of waste collection (refuse and recycling), street cleaning, licensing, infectious diseases, food safety and waste reduction.
These new cabinet roles begin with immediate effect.
Council leader Brian Long said: "When councillor Devereux stood down as cabinet member from the environment, I took on the environmental portfolio myself to ensure it had the appropriate gravitas as well as the benefit of my years of experience in the role previously.
"I knew this could only be a temporary thing as it is a large portfolio with lots of diverse issues that are all of great importance.
"By rearranging portfolios I am confident that we have the right people in the right place to take us through the next few years tacking the climate and environmental challenges we face."
The council has come under pressure from the Extinction Rebellion climate change campaign group to declare a climate emergency, as has been enacted by more than two-thirds of local councils across the nation.