RESOLVED: That Council agreed to:-

1.  Note the background information provided.

2.  Declare its recognition of a ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency’.

3.  Develop a Strategy by the Full Council meeting in the Autumn of 2019, that sets ambitious targets to protect the environment and ecology; to reduce Carbon Emissions; and for a) South Somerset District and b) the Council to become carbon neutral.

4.  Develop a delivery plan that sets out the necessary policies, projects and actions to deliver the targets, and identifies the resources necessary to enable the delivery of the strategy.

5.  Work with councils and other partners in Somerset to develop collaboration, joint approaches and share resources in tackling climate change and protecting the environment.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Henry Hobhouse proposed his Motion to Council which was seconded by Councillor Mike Hewitson.  He said that a strategy would take time to be drawn up and all SSDC owned buildings would be carbon neutral by 2023. He also confirmed that:-

  • although the Government were increasing VAT on solar panels, SSDC would investigate funding a proportion of this for local residents.
  • the pension scheme investments would be reviewed.
  • the Strategy would be developed in partnership with other Councils.

 

The Leader of Council said that as a responsible Council, they would work towards doing all they could to mitigate climate change however, they could not solve all the problems on their own although this was no reason for inaction. She said the Council was now in a financial position to invest in its community and they would commit additional resource to deliver the amended recommendations.  She proposed that recommendation 3 be amended so that the Strategy document be prepared by Autumn 2019 to allow sufficient time for officers to research evidence and for Members and others to be engaged in the development of the strategy.

 

Councillor Linda Vijeh said the Strategy document should have clear targets and it should be drawn up in liaison with other Councils and interested members of the Extinction Rebellion group.

 

During discussion, several Members expressed their support for the Motion and for proposals to plant trees, invest in electric vehicle charging points and solar panels.

 

Councillor Henry Hobhouse concluded by urging Members to support the motion and asked that interested public groups be included in the meetings to discuss the Strategy. The amended Motion was put to the vote and unanimously carried.

 

RESOLVED: That Council agreed to:-
  1.   Note the background information provided.
  2.   Declare its recognition of a ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency’
  3.   Develop a Strategy by the Full Council meeting in the Autumn of 2019, that sets ambitious targets to protect the environment and ecology; to reduce Carbon Emissions; and for a) South Somerset District and b) the Council to become carbon neutral
  4.   Develop a delivery plan that sets out the necessary policies, projects and actions to deliver the targets, and identifies the resources necessary to enable the delivery of the strategy
  5.   Work with councils and other partners in Somerset to develop collaboration, joint approaches and share resources in tackling climate change and protecting the environment

(Voting: unanimous in favour)