Answering a question at a Local Agenda 21 conference today in London, organised by the two organisations, Mr Meacher said he appreciated the very real concerns about the proposed cuts to the Energy Savings Trust budget and how they might affect the local authority programme. He said he was determined to examine ways to reduce or avoid the proposed cuts to the programme in light of the recent climate change convention in Kyoto.
The conference saw the launch of joint central and local government guidance: 'Local Agenda 21 - Sustainable Communities for the 21st Centur'' by deputy prime minister John Prescott, with the aim of making social, economic and environmental improvements to the quality of life. Energy efficiency forms part of the initiatives advocated.
Cllr Derek Bateman, chair of the LGA's environment & regeneration board, had written to John Prescott before Christmas about LGA concerns over the EST cuts.
The ministers further confirmed that the new national sustainable development strategy would be unveiled at the end of the year, with a consultation document coming out shortly.