Full Town Council meeting tonight – climate emergency on the agenda

There is a full town council meeting this evening  6.30pm in the Conference Room at the Parkhouse. The public is able to attend and space is left for questions. https://www.bude-stratton.gov.uk/full-council-meeting-this-thursday-5th-september-6-30pm/?fbclid=IwAR2DA8eASoPRk-KyUcNYX-UMtAk5vyVqTgUOSpG6dWvXE-f7D7CSSYTUo2s

A contentious part of the agenda appears to be this:

  • To consider the motion that Bude-Stratton Town Council declares a climate emergency and pledges to work towards making Bude-Stratton carbon neutral by 2030
  • To discuss further steps that Bude-Stratton Town Council might take to address climate change and agree any necessary actions

Many councils are expressing their commitment to addressing climate change issues. On his Facebook page, the Mayor has written quite a long piece about climate change and the motion. Apologies, for some reason embedded links are not working on the site today! https://www.facebook.com/BudeStrattonMayor/posts/393251391338586?__tn__=K-R

He suggests, if I am reading it correctly (but please read it for yourselves):

  1. There is no clear definition of what a climate emergency is and therefore how to address it (if there is one). This website may be useful: https://www.caceonline.org/what-is-the-climate-emergency.html
  2. The Council was presented with a petition but many of the signatures are not of Bude-Stratton Council Taxpayers. He explains: On looking through the petition only 199 of the 7,903 ratepayers of Bude and Stratton have signed up. Is 199 versus 7,903, 2.5%, a fair proportion of our town to demand major changes to the working of the town council? Of the other 152, is it right for non-residents to be potentially increasing the precept of the Council tax bill to cover the costs of becoming Carbon Neutral? There will be cost implications to reduce our carbon emissions which has to be paid by your Council tax.
  3. A Citizens’ Assembly has been requested but the councillors ARE that Assembly, as they represent local views. In my opinion, given the turnout at local elections, and other issues pertaining to the co-option of councillors, that is questionable. 
  4. That few people really know and understand the work of the Council, yet are critical.
  5. States that the Council has been environmentally active and lists how.
  6. That there is dissonance between Green issues and Tourist issues (Bude relies on tourism).
  7. The Council would like to see the ‘toolkit’ from Cornwall Council on this before committing.
  8. Perhaps people should contact Scott Mann to put pressure on Westminster.

Responses

Comments are mixed but do read those, too. Martin Dorey says the point of declaring an emergency is to encourage urgent action to mitigate climate change as much as we can within our power locally. It’s no good tutting at the state of the rain forests and then simply carrying on as before, as you know. We can all do something to help: plant trees, cycle more, turn off a few lights, pick up litter. We could come up with ideas to get more visitors cycling when they are here, to encourage walking, improve public transport, get more solar on new builds, to help local traders sell greener products, to educate our young about stewardship of the countryside. There’s more …

Peter La Broy adds Just a ‘heads up’ on one of the earlier comments. I am working (with our Coastal Community Team, Cornwall Council and the Town Council) on a £500k investment into nearly 30 individual schemes in and around the town to massively improve the safety of cyclists. I’m not quite ready to formally ‘announce’ this yet, but am fairly confident the funding and project will all be in place early next year.

Becki Price is for’: I think we do have to declare a climate emergency at town council level (and I didn’t sign the petition as I didn’t see it). Every decision needs to be thought about in the context of its environmental implications.

Mick Gates from across the border in Devon says: Welcombe parish council declared climate emergency tonight. It’s about putting down a marker, acknowledgement of the very real situation and then finding a way to make an impact.

Philippa Purchase added: Over half of the councils in the UK have declared a climate emergency and so Bude is now in the slower half of Councils. This is not cutting edge and there is plenty of best practice around to call on, including from the Local Government Association, who themselves declared a climate emergency in August.

If you can get to the meeting, do go. It could be interesting. Also, it’s good to be involved in local democracy especially with the national picture going to pot!

 

 

 

 

 

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