Councillor questions what steps Sheffield Council’s repairs and maintenance department taking to fight the climate emergency

A councillor questioned what steps Sheffield Council’s repairs and maintenance department was taking to fight the climate emergency.

By Molly Williams, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 1:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 1:50 pm

Councillor Angela Argenzio asked why there was no mention of its plans to meet the council’s green agenda in a report on the service presented to the overview and scrutiny management committee in a recent meeting.

She said: “It’s a really massive piece changing the way we think, not just as a council but as a country, as a whole, as a planet and there is nothing in this report that mentions how we are going to get the materials or how we are going to ensure that our workers are aware of new techniques.”

Mark Freeth, head of repairs and maintenance at the council, said: “You are right, definitely we should have included something in this report. There is a lot of activity going on within the service.

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Councillor Angela Argenzio.

“In terms of material procurement we are just at the stage where we are going out and starting to develop the procurement tenders to go out and that’s an area we need to focus on and make sure we are including policies that are clear about having a commitment to reducing carbon.

“In terms of as a service, we as a management team want to be part of that initiative. We have already said to a number of our employees to go on a course and we are now accredited installers of renewable technologies and we are working with housing so that when the investment is ready we can play a big part in that.”

He went on to say they were reviewing the service’s vehicles focussing on carbon reduction, by swapping to smaller and electric vehicles and that they had procured a new system to reduce journey time of operatives and put lockers around the city so they do not have to travel back to the depot for materials.

Mr Freeth said: “So there are lots of things we probably should have put in this report because we do have a commitment to the green agenda and carbon reduction planning.”