Hundreds drive to green conference

HUNDREDS of cars were left in parkland on the edge of Ipswich - as their drivers attended a conference to discuss how to make Suffolk greener.More than 400 people attended the county council-organised conference discussing how to turn Suffolk into the greenest county which was held at Trinity Park.

HUNDREDS of cars were left in parkland on the edge of Ipswich - as their drivers attended a conference to discuss how to make Suffolk greener.

More than 400 people attended the county council-organised conference discussing how to turn Suffolk into the greenest county which was held at Trinity Park.

One of its aims was to reduce road transport in the county.

But while a bus brought 52 of the delegates from Ipswich railway station. the rest travelled to the park in hundreds of cars, including gas-guzzling 4x4s, luxury saloons, and sports cars.

Organisers of the conference remained confident it would be a success with participants taking the green message back to their companies or other councils.

Iain Dunnett, who is co-ordinating the campaign for the county council, accepted many of the delegates had used their cars to travel to the conference.

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He added: “But we have persuaded 52 people to use the bus - that is about 15 per cent of the delegates to use the bus. That means we did take up to 52 vehicles off the road. It is a start.”

County council leader Jeremy Pembroke - who travelled to Trinity Park on the bus from the railway station - was very enthusiastic.

He said: “It is very good to have such a wide cross-section of people here - we have 400 people from many different walks of life all committed to helping solve environmental problems.

“We all know that we have to take action, and this will put Suffolk in the forefront of things like trying to reduce carbon footprints.”

The conference keynote speakers were Suffolk Coastal MP and former environment secretary John Gummer and former environment minister Michael Meacher.

They are going to put down a motion in the House of Commons challenging other councils across the country to follow Suffolk's lead.

Mr Gummer - who travelled to Trinity Park by train from his London home - said: “I shall be writing to everyone who was here today asking them to pledge to take action to reduce their carbon emissions and help to preserve the environment.

“This conference has been a great success and shows how committed people in Suffolk are - if this had been held at the House of Commons we would have been lucky to see 40 people there, let alone 400.”

PROPOSALS include:

An increase in the recycling of aggregates used for highway construction and maintenance.

Greater promotion of locally produced food.

Reduce water used in homes and workplaces.

Drawing up of a map to enable people to assess the level of flood risk they face.

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