WYCHAVON has vowed to continue improving its approach to environmental issues at the latest full district council meeting.
Liberal Democrat Coun Dan Boatwright put forward a motion for the authority to employ a climate change manager and Coun Charles Tucker speaking in favour said a radical rethink was needed if Wychavon was to become carbon neutral.
He added an 80 per cent carbon reduction was required by 2030 to avoid the ‘tipping point’ where climate change would affect not just the district and the UK, but the whole world as well.
Wychavon leader Coun Bradley Thomas said he was surprised by the motion as the authority was one of the leading councils in the country when it came to climate change – it had already done a lot towards addressing the issue and would continue to do so.
He pointed out a Climate Change Action Plan was launched in 2008 with 42 items for the council to carry out between 2008 to 2011.
In 2011 solar panels were put on the Civic Centre roof, potentially cutting 85 tonnes of C02 over 25 years.
In 2012 electric charging points for vehicles were installed and a further 20 were on the way,
And there was the £300,000 hydro-electric scheme which provides energy for Pershore Leisure Centre.
Coun Thomas put forward an amendment stating the council would resolve to ensure members worked together with a cross-party and consensual approach to climate change matters through the development and delivery of the council’s already started Intelligently Green Plan.
He added targets should be set on an evidence-led basis and added that, with regard to a ‘climate change manager’, he had already spoken to officers to see if additional resources were needed.
But he said there was no point in the council employing a climate change manager before assessments had been made and targets has been set as it was not yet known what resources would be needed going forward and whether such a role would fit into future plans.
An Intelligently Green Plan Workshop was being held on November 5 which Coun Thomas said he hoped everyone would attend.
Coun Emma Stokes said the session would look at more ways in which Wychavon could improve the environment.
She accused the Liberal Democrats of trying to ‘political point score’ by bringing forward the motion, adding the Lib Dems were ‘pushing at an already open door’.
Coun Margaret Rowley criticised the amendment, saying it had nothing to do with the original motion.
The amended motion was voted with 33 votes for, four against and one abstention.
Coun Rowley abstained and the other four Liberal Democrats voted against.