Local authorities across the country have been passing motions alerting people to the climate emergency announced by the UN recently and this week saw Labour controlled Bridgwater Town Council add it;s weight to that number. A motion proposed by Cllr Mick Lerry (Labour Victoria) and Cllr Kathy Pearce (Labour Westover) was unanimously carried and called for the council to recognise the scale of the emergency, produce a strategy to deal with it on a local level and to work with partners to face the challenge. Somerset County passed a similar motion last week and Sedgemoor District debates one next week.
Cllr Mick Lerry said “We need this motion passed by as many councils as possible and as many organisations as possible. We all have to reduce our carbon footprint and aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. This is a climate emergency , measures have to be introduced and we mustn’t be complacent. It makes sense to work across Somerset on this issue, working with the County Council and the other Districts and with other local partners and the community. If one young Swedish student can put the case so well directly to World leaders then we all have to respond to that.”
‘We Need to Get On With It’
Cllr Kathy Pearce said “Young people have taken the lead in this and it has to be a collective movement. We need to pass this motion and when we have it mustn’t just sit on a shelf and gather dust. We need to get on with it and implement the necessary policies, for instance as regards to Single Use Plastics”.
Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) said “The motion passed by Bridgwater Town Council affirms the recognition of the scale and the urgency of the global challenge from climate change, as documented by the latest Special report of the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And it pledges us to work with partners, individuals and community groups to identify ways to make Sedgemoor and Somerset carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.”
“We have also agreed to write to the Secretaries of State for Business,Energy and Industrial strategy, Transport, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Housing, Communities and Local Government calling for the creation, provision or devolution of powers and resources to make achievement of the 2030 target possible here in Somerset and particularly including at the lowest levels, such as Town and parish. We have a proven track record on green issues, we were the first Town in Somerset to ban fracking and we will now produce a climate change strategy this year and with actions to address thus target.”