Town council launches working party to determine its role in climate change fight

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 December 2019

Exmouth Town Hall. Ref exe 2525-43-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Exmouth Town Hall. Ref exe 2525-43-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

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A working party has been set up in Exmouth by the town council to look at how it can deal with the climate emergency.

At its December meeting, the town council voted to create the Climate and Ecological Working Party, despite calls for the decision to be deferred to an extraordinary meeting.

Councillor John Humphreys proposed a meeting be called in the New Year, once councillors were able to understand the climate change situation fully.

However, his proposal failed and councillors instead voted to accept five recommendations made by the climate change task and finish forum (TAFF).

The following recommendations were accepted:

- Exmouth Town Council creates a climate and ecological emergency working party

- An external auditor is appointed to calculate the council's carbon footprint and conduct a review of the its business processes

- The council endorses and prioritises ten action points received from Transition Exmouth's Our Exmouth, Our Planet event

- An initial budget of £2,500 is allocated to climate change initiatives

- Coordination with other bodies including government, county and district councils be recognised as an effective way of the town council conducting business

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Humpreys said: "I really do believe this is an important thing here and we as a town council need to debate this at length and we haven't got all our councillors here.

"We need to understand this fully and before we confirm this we need have a complete full debate."

Cllr Mike Rosser said: "By all means, we can have a full council extraordinary meeting to look at what the council can be doing regarding climate change but these recommendations are very straightforward."

Cllr Tim Dumper said: "We should go ahead, its an emergency and we need to carry things forward but clearly there are going to be a lot of detailed considerations and I don't think they are right here in these recommendations."

Town clerk Lisa Bowman said: "People are expecting the town council to do something and I am not sure what the public perception will be if we decide to defer it.

"The report shows five things that the town council can do to show we are taking it seriously."

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