A COUNCILLOR has criticised his own local authority for ‘printing thousands of unnecessary pages’.

Conservative councillor David Bartholomew questioned why Oxfordshire County Council provided each member of the local authority, in addition to officers, with a 491-page document.

At a full meeting on Tuesday, councillors mulled over the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP), which among other things, aims for a net zero transport system by 2040.

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However, Mr Bartholomew queried why the council – which he said has ‘green loveliness at the heart of everything it does’ – printed out so much paper.

He said at the meeting: “Looking round the chamber, I see many councillors looking tired and weary.

“It’s not just the heat, it’s having to carry this around and having to bring this in.

“I’d have thought at some point, given that this administration is meant to have green loveliness at the heart of everything it does and is sensitive to the climate, why have they printed out 500 pages of the transport plan for all the councillors to have?

Oxford Mail: David Bartholomew held up the 491-page document during the meetingDavid Bartholomew held up the 491-page document during the meeting

“Perhaps we’ve spent £1,000 on unnecessary printing.

“I accept for reasons of inclusivity, it needs to be a paper version for some people, but many of us do not need that.

“We are very happy, and indeed, we prefer the digital version.

“It has all sorts of things where we can search in the document and find all the things of interest.

“Why did we print thousands of unnecessary pages? Has anybody calculated the carbon cost of all the delivery men delivering these everywhere and the cost of the poor tress that have been taken down?”

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Independent county councillor Stefan Gawrysiak later said he preferred the paper version of the report, to an electronic one.

“Normally I agree with councillor Bartholomew because it makes my life easier,” he said.

“On this occasion, I want this – this was my Sunday morning reading with a cup of coffee in the back garden, going through with a highlighter pen and it was an absolute joy to read.

“We’ll have the electronic one, but I want this too.”

A report on the document states: “The LTCP will help to make Oxfordshire greener, fairer and healthier due the relationship between transport, quality of life, health and the environment.

“The LTCP directly seeks to reduce carbon emissions and aims for a net zero transport system by 2040.”

Another key change to the new LTCP was the ‘Vision Zero’ road safety policy added, that being the elimination of deaths and serious injuries from road traffic collisions in the county.

The council adopted the content of the LTCP as policy.

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.rice@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice