We didn’t set out to make this a “Bash the Rayleigh Conservatives” week, but they seem to be attracting one bad news story after another.
The latest story is that yesterday the Conservatives on the County Council didn’t support the Lib Dem motion calling on the council to sign the Nottingham Declaration which commits the council to action on climate change.
They voted for a very watered-down version instead. They ducked out of committing themselves to publishing an action plan, within a year, stating their proposals for dealing with climate change and cutting CO2 emissions.
The motion’s proposer, Cllr Mike Mackrory, Liberal Democrats deputy leader said: “It is no longer acceptable for the Conservatives at Essex County Council to talk the talk but delay in making a real commitment to tackle climate change. They must realise that being environmentally conscious means taking real action to achieve real goals”
“The effects of climate change are now well documented and urgent action is needed if we are to hold back the consequences of climate change on our community. That is the basis of the Nottingham Declaration. We have given the administration 12 months to come up with a strategy for meeting the challenges of climate change here in Essex and they have failed to commit to doing that,” Cllr Mackrory added.
Local authorities have a crucial role to play in taking direct local action on climate change and The Nottingham Declaration provides a framework for councils to make a practical commitment. To date about 140 local authorities around the UK have signed the Declaration.
After the debate the Conservatives conceded that they would sign the Declaration in the future. The Liberal Democrats on the County Council will keep the pressure on until they do.