Geraardsbergen. Vlaams Belang Geraardsbergen is outraged by the claims of Luc Swartebroeckx of Weerbaar Geraardsbergen in Nuus (3/09). In it, the foreman of Weerbaar Geraardsbergen claims that the opposition has ‘not submitted any written question about the particularly pressing problem of energy costs’. According to the Vlaams Belang, this is incorrect. The party did ask questions in writing.
“Already at the council meeting of January 22, 2022, Vlaams Belang councilor Hans De Gent asked the following questions about the impact of energy prices on the municipal budget and the measures that the council of aldermen should provide to limit costs,” the party claims.
‘In addition to the increasing wage bill, the rise in energy prices is a second risk for the local budget. After all, energy costs take a big bite out of that. Now that the prices of electricity and gas have risen sharply, the costs can be high. Certain local authorities, like private individuals, have fixed-rate contracts and are protected against sharp price increases. Other boards have energy contracts with variable rates. In that case, the price increases have a direct impact on the budget.
- Does our city have fixed or variable contracts for gas and electricity?
- Is a market survey conducted at regular intervals to obtain cheaper rates? If yes, when was the last time this happened? If not, why not and does the Commission consider it useful to do so in the future?
- Which concrete measures have already been taken to reduce the energy consumption of the municipal buildings, the buildings of the CPAS? Please provide an overview per building.
- Which concrete measures are planned in the future to limit the energy consumption of municipal buildings, the buildings of the CPAS? Please provide an overview per building with an indicative timing.’
‘Unlike Weerbaar Geraardsbergen, Vlaams Belang asked for concrete measures at the start of the energy crisis, not just after nine months. Unfortunately, the Council of Aldermen of Geraardsbergen has still not taken action to limit energy costs for the municipality or to take measures to help our people pay their energy bills.”