Axminster declares a climate emergency

PUBLISHED: 12:01 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:21 13 August 2019

Axminster mayor Anni Young outside The Guildhall where solar panels may be installed to help reduced the town's carbon footprint. Picture: Chris Carson

Axminster mayor Anni Young outside The Guildhall where solar panels may be installed to help reduced the town's carbon footprint. Picture: Chris Carson

Archant

Axminster Town Council has joined the growing number of local authorities declaring a climate emergency.

Members last night (Monday, August 12) agreed to work towards making the town carbon neutral.

They have set up a working party and plan to call a public meeting to gather support.

The decision came after local resident Sue Jackman, speaking during the public forum, urged members to take urgent steps to help tackle climate change.

She called on them to 'make an official declaration of a climate and biodiversity emergency and set a date for carbon neutrality in Axminster for no later than 2030'.

She continued: "We would also request that the climate emergency should be on the agenda at every monthly council meeting and that you consider setting up working group to which you invite the residents of Axminster to draw up suggestions for a climate emergency action plan to be reported back to the council within two months.

"We are witnessing public interest in climate issues growing by the day, partly due to the increased media coverage of global and national evidence of accelerating climate change and its devastating affect. Local communities are now actively looking for guidance as to how they can get involved and would react positively to your leadership on these issues."

Mayor Anni Young said making Axminster carbon natural was a 'massive' piece of work. If 30 per cent of the population responded positively to the move she would be 'absolutely amazed'. She said they needed to establish what the town's carbon footprint was before they could do anything about it. Amongst ideas was delivering leaflets to every household suggesting 20 ways they could cut their carbon footprint.

Cllr Douglas Hull said a good start would be to call in engineers to investigate whether solar panels could be installed on the roof of the town's Guildhall.

"The council should set an example," he said.

Members agreed to support his resolution.

Cllr Martin Mynard added that people could play their part by reducing car journeys - and using public transport whenever they could.

The council is to investigate possible dates for the public meeting. Cllr Young said holding it on a Saturday or Sunday would make it easier for young people to attend.

For the latest on the district council's plans for producing a carbon footprint for East Devon click here

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