Steve Rotheram
Rotheram addressed the media from his home on Tuesday

Leaders push for retrofitting roll-out  

Dan Whelan

Metro mayors Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham called for widespread retrofitting of properties across the North West, as the region looks to capture positive lessons from the pandemic and create a springboard for change.

One way of doing this is to focus on green initiatives that can be accelerated during and after the crisis, Rotheram and Burnham, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester respectively, told a remote press briefing on Tuesday.

Both leaders rallied for building retrofits to begin as soon as possible, with Burnham saying that retraining staff to carry out this work could help combat redundancies made during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

“Why not retrain people in those skills?” he asked. “This could create thousands of jobs in cities and towns across the country. It is something we need to do so we should get on with it now. 

“It is essential. How else can you be carbon neutral? The benefit of it is that individual households save money once they move to a more energy efficient system. This is an obvious thing to be prioritising at this moment in time.” 

Rotheram agreed. “We need to retrofit,” he said. “We can work with Government to create a lot of really good jobs. And there are millions of different things we can do to address the problems we know we have had. 

“Whenever there is a threat there is opportunity, and we think we are nimble enough to respond to these issues when they arise rather than wait for a central Government diktat to do these things.  

“If we work in partnership we will get a bigger bang for the UK’s [buck] and that is how the Government needs to approach the [country’s economic] recovery.”

Reducing emissions from buildings is a key plank of Manchester City Council’s draft five-year action plan on climate change from 2020-2025. Up to 60,000 residential and commercial buildings in Greater Manchester need retrofitting every year for the city to reach its target of becoming zero carbon by 2038, according to a council report last year.

During the press briefing, the leaders urged ministers to give English regions a “seat at the table” when it comes to formulating an exit strategy from lockdown restrictions and making changes for the future.

“I never want to return to what we had before, it was broken,” Rotheram declared.  

Burnham warned that a region-by-region approach to lifting lockdown restrictions was not the best option and expressed hope that the post-Covid society would be “better, cleaner and fairer”. 

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Details thin on the ground.
Sounds like a lot of platitudes.

By Suman

First criticism of professional contractors, now no real plan going forward. How about harnessing the communities we work in and taking forward community plans and integration into regional plan. Simple things that the community are saying we need first. Not the usual it’s just broken routine from usual suspects…

By Loony left

Judging by the last budget the Government have little interest in carbon reduction so good luck with this one.

By Monty

All style, little substance. Neither have proven yet that they can deliver any major job creation schemes in their area. Both have just set up another tier of government nobody asked for.

By John Smith

‘Post-Covid society’ ?Gents please put things into perspective….
we are not emerging from a Nuclear Holocaust !!

By Eddie Yates

Great to see the two Metro Mayors working in unison. Can only be good for the North

By Metro Linked

Sounds like a rehash of the “Green Deal” from a few years ago? If it works good, but they need to reflect on the training providers and quality etc.

By City Guilder

England outside London continues to be ignored. There is very little reference throughout this awful time to anywhere in regional England apart from a brief postscript. The Scots get a press conference each day with three million less people than the North West. Also doesn’t GM now manage its own health budget? Why very little from Burnham?

By Elephant

The suggestion regarding training an army of retro-fitters who have become unemployed due to the Covid situation shows a true child-like understanding of the issue.

By North by North-West