A Sheffield councillor has been shortlisted for a national award for his community work in the fight against climate change.
The national Green Heart Hero Awards has shortlisted local Labour and Co-operative Councillor Minesh Parekh for the best Locally Elected Leader Award.
Coun Parekh, who represents Crookes and Crosspool in Sheffield, was the sole Labour councillor of four to be shortlisted for the award, with other councillors representing South Cambridgeshire, Edinburgh, and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
Coun Parekh said: “It’s an honour to have been nominated for a Green Heart Hero Award, let alone shortlisted. I stood for election as a climate activist, committed to Labour’s Green New Deal, wanting to do everything possible I can to tackle the climate crisis.
“To me that means recognising that climate justice is inseparable from social and economic justice; the only solutions are those that also end inequality.”
The UKs largest climate organisation, The Climate Coalition, organises the Green Heart Hero Awards annually as an opportunity for constituents to recognise communities, individuals, and organisations for going above and beyond in their efforts towards environmentalism.
Coun Parekh said: “I’m particularly proud in my work alongside Sheffield’s Labour councillors in delivering Community Wealth Building policies – redirecting wealth back into Sheffield’s economy, and giving priority to local and sustainable businesses – has been championed by the residents that nominated me, as I think this is the best weapon local authorities have in our arsenal to build a greener, fairer future.”
His work on Sheffield City Council included proposing a Community Wealth Building Charter, which entailed more public spending in the local economy and prioritising small businesses instead of multinational companies.
Coun Parekh introduced changes to reduce barriers affecting local energy providers.
He also wrote for the Ecologist about the need for Pakistan to be paid climate reparations following the 2022 floods arguing that Britain’s imperial history contributed to the country’s vulnerability in the face of a climate breakdown.
Council leader Coun Terry Fox said: “He has worked hard to put Sheffield Labour’s Local Election Manifesto into action – with the climate crisis at the top of the political agenda, and in a way that centres workers’ voices and focuses on tackling inequality, and it’s great to see this being recognised through the Green Heart Hero Awards.”
The awards will be announced on Monday 27 February in London.