Questions raised after council agreed solar panel deal

Clr Russ Bowden, left, and Clr Paul Kennedy

Clr Russ Bowden, left, and Clr Paul Kennedy

First published in News

WARRINGTON Borough Council is set to spend £5.25 million on fitting solar panels on 1,500 Golden Gates Housing Trust (GGHT) properties.

But questions over a lack of data on how the scheme will eventually pay back and monitoring of its effectiveness have been raised by Conservative leader Clr Paul Kennedy.

The council’s executive board approved the project on Monday night, saying a pilot of programme which had seen 623 houses have the panels fitted was a success.

Clr Russ Bowden, executive board member for corporate resources and assignments, said: “That has been a success, it’s helping residents in some inner wards with their energy bills.

“It brings financial return back to the council but also addresses the problem in fuel poverty.

“One in five households in the borough is living in fuel poverty.”

He added the scheme will generate around £1.4 million in extra revenue for the council eventually and reduce tenants bills by an estimated £233 a year in energy bills.

“The council will receive income which will fund the scheme and it will also provide employment and training with four electrical apprentices, two tenant liaison officers and additional related job opportunities are expected,” added Clr Bowden.

But Clr Kennedy called on the council to refer the matter to the treasury management committee first before the executive board voted on it.

Speaking after the decision was made to go ahead he added: “I think they should be monitoring this and as time goes by people can find out about how it works.

“I believe we should look at things and see if has been helping the elderly and those on modest incomes.

“There isn’t much meat in the report for me to look at. Is the feed in tariff going to remain the same? Do these panels last as long as people think they are going to?

“Our residents will still have to pick up the bill for these ideas.”

He also questioned whether to make the move while GGHT are in discussions to merge with Helena Homes.

The executive board voted unanimously to approve the project.

Comments (5)

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5:39pm Wed 16 Jul 14

WInwick Pig says...

I would be interested to know if all schools across Warrington that WBC have a responsibility for have been allocated 100% of the necessary funding to be able to deliver the free school meals as set out by the Liberal arm of the Government.

National news today states a large majority of councils have asked primiary schools to fund up to half of the amount necessary to be ready for the scheme with new equipment, tables chairs etc..
If a similar challenge has been given to the schools across Warrington then I cannot see any justification to spend £5.25 million on solar panels.

If the funding to be ready for free meals is 100% allocated by WBC then I am fairly sure the majority of residents across the town including those set to benefit from the panels would rather see part or most of this funding spent on things that benefit the majority of us rather than a minority.
I am not saying dont spend any money on the scheme just maybe some whilst the remainder could

Better / improve our roads to ease congestion.
Allow for free car parking in the town to drive people back to shop
Improve public transport for the same reason and to help congestion
Develop local amenities such as libraries, sports for all to get us more active.
Offer a return to weekly bin collections
Remove the plethora of 20 mph speed limits and signs. ;-)
Reinvigourate our dying the town centre
and maybe just maybe for some (but not me) even cut the grass once in a while.

I am all for renewable energy but a bit a time to ensure the long term cost savings are real rather than all in one go would be a better solution?

Oink :@)
I would be interested to know if all schools across Warrington that WBC have a responsibility for have been allocated 100% of the necessary funding to be able to deliver the free school meals as set out by the Liberal arm of the Government. National news today states a large majority of councils have asked primiary schools to fund up to half of the amount necessary to be ready for the scheme with new equipment, tables chairs etc.. If a similar challenge has been given to the schools across Warrington then I cannot see any justification to spend £5.25 million on solar panels. If the funding to be ready for free meals is 100% allocated by WBC then I am fairly sure the majority of residents across the town including those set to benefit from the panels would rather see part or most of this funding spent on things that benefit the majority of us rather than a minority. I am not saying dont spend any money on the scheme just maybe some whilst the remainder could Better / improve our roads to ease congestion. Allow for free car parking in the town to drive people back to shop Improve public transport for the same reason and to help congestion Develop local amenities such as libraries, sports for all to get us more active. Offer a return to weekly bin collections Remove the plethora of 20 mph speed limits and signs. ;-) Reinvigourate our dying the town centre and maybe just maybe for some (but not me) even cut the grass once in a while. I am all for renewable energy but a bit a time to ensure the long term cost savings are real rather than all in one go would be a better solution? Oink :@) WInwick Pig
  • Score: 3

1:17pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Electric100 says...

Am I right in saying the council put up solar panels on the roofs of its houses and then gives the tenant of the house free electricity when the sun shines.

Im so glad I pay £2000 a year council tax for this to happen.

If the council would like to rent my roof erect some panels and give me free electric when the sun shines then please get in touch.

No doubt the coucil are cutting the grass on a weekly basis around these properties too

STINKS
Am I right in saying the council put up solar panels on the roofs of its houses and then gives the tenant of the house free electricity when the sun shines. Im so glad I pay £2000 a year council tax for this to happen. If the council would like to rent my roof erect some panels and give me free electric when the sun shines then please get in touch. No doubt the coucil are cutting the grass on a weekly basis around these properties too STINKS Electric100
  • Score: 1

6:46pm Thu 17 Jul 14

tojahejome says...

I am sick and tired of people in social housing getting things like this for free (which they do if they get their rents paid). If I want solar panels, or a new bathroom I have to pay for them.
I am sick and tired of people in social housing getting things like this for free (which they do if they get their rents paid). If I want solar panels, or a new bathroom I have to pay for them. tojahejome
  • Score: 1

2:56am Fri 18 Jul 14

chrishahar says...

tojahejome wrote:
I am sick and tired of people in social housing getting things like this for free (which they do if they get their rents paid). If I want solar panels, or a new bathroom I have to pay for them.
couldn't agree more, council housing should be basic. If you want solar panels and all the bells and whistles then you need to either find a better job, pay more attention at school, or take up night classes to learn a better skill which would help heighten your pay. Council Housing should not get something that people who own or pay mortgage on their homes couldn't afford on a whim.
[quote][p][bold]tojahejome[/bold] wrote: I am sick and tired of people in social housing getting things like this for free (which they do if they get their rents paid). If I want solar panels, or a new bathroom I have to pay for them.[/p][/quote]couldn't agree more, council housing should be basic. If you want solar panels and all the bells and whistles then you need to either find a better job, pay more attention at school, or take up night classes to learn a better skill which would help heighten your pay. Council Housing should not get something that people who own or pay mortgage on their homes couldn't afford on a whim. chrishahar
  • Score: 1

5:06pm Thu 24 Jul 14

GrahamWA13 says...

Interestingly Golden gates suggest the savings are £70 - £120 a year - do the sums add up? http://www.gght.org.
uk/TenantServicesLiv
e/documents/PV_Leafl
et_2011.pdf
Interestingly Golden gates suggest the savings are £70 - £120 a year - do the sums add up? http://www.gght.org. uk/TenantServicesLiv e/documents/PV_Leafl et_2011.pdf GrahamWA13
  • Score: 0

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