ABERDEENSHIRE Council is being urged to support increased investment in renewable energy as a way of reversing education cuts.
Green councillor Martin Ford has tabled a motion for today’s full council meeting.
It states: “Aberdeenshire Council will increase its income by an estimated £600,000 to £1 million per annum (after meeting financing
costs) by investing up to £9 million in six 330 kWh wind turbines, or equivalent renewable energy generation, and use the extra income to fund additional pupil support assistants.
“Accordingly, the council instructs officers to bring forward detailed proposals for the new renewable energy installations required as soon as possible.”
Last week’s policy and resources committee heard 11 council-owned sites had been identified as potentially suitable for one or more turbines of 330 kW or greater capacity.
Councillor Ford said the council had currently significant funds from one-off underspends, and can borrow.
He added: “Investing in renewables is a way for the council to get an on-going income that can then be used to help meet the running costs of public services for many years to come. And with continuing cuts in government funding, that’s exactly what the council needs.
“My motion proposes the extra income be used to fund additional pupil support assistants, to replace the funding cut from the primary classroom assistants budget by the council’s Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration.”
Councillor Ford said: “It is clear from the work already done that the Council does own enough suitable sites to accommodate the level of additional renewable energy generation the motion calls for.
“The council has the funds to invest. It has sites. It has promised to act to reduce carbon emissions. We can certainly make good use of the additional income. We should take this forward by getting detailed proposals developed for the renewables installations required.”