Absence of solar panels at Riverside call into question Labour’s commitment to tackling climate emergency say Greens

Riverside Leisure Centre

Greens have questioned Labour-led Exeter City Council’s commitment to the climate emergency and to making the energy used in its operations carbon neutral by 2022 because of its refusal to consider renewable energy as part of refurbishing the Riverside Leisure centre. Green Councillor, Diana Moore challenged Council Leader, Cllr Phil Bialyk, to carry out a ‘return on investment assessment’ for the fitting of solar PV and/or thermal panels as part of the refit, but he refused, saying he didn’t want any further delay to the reopening of Riverside.

Commenting, Cllr Moore said:

“The repairs to Riverside are welcome, and people have been waiting a very long time for this crucial facility for the city to reopen. But it is extremely disappointing that the fitting of solar panels was not considered as an essential aspect to replacing the roof. This is why I have challenged the Council leader on this; we’ve waited three years already, surely a few more weeks to consider whether renewable energy options would lower running costs and ensure a lower-carbon operation is worth it?

“Given the fanfare over the environmental credentials of the new St Sidwell Point leisure centre, it would be hoped a commitment to the climate and the environment would extend to the city’s other leisure centres. Especially since the Council has now agreed to take over the running of the city’s leisure services. This does rather call into question Labour’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency and how serious they are about ensuring the energy used in its operations is carbon neutral by 2022.”

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