Tag: climate emergency

Shropshire Conservatives can’t be trusted with the environment or democracy for that matter

The Conservatives have been window dressing their commitment to climate change for a long while. But their policies and actions are as rotten as the compost heaps at the bottom of many people’s gardens. Most Conservatives on Shropshire Council don’t get climate change and don’t get that tackling it is a local emergency as well as a national and international emergency. Their approach to development is fossil fuelled, building huge new roads such as the North West Relief Road and lusting to extend the M54 into Shropshire. They worry that going green will damage the economy not realising that the future of our local economy and of economies everywhere is green. This needs to change. Whoever is in power after today, the council leadership must appoint a cabinet member to whose sole responsibility is tackle the climate emergency, greening the council and greening Shropshire’s economy.

Shropshire Conservatives refuse to support the Climate and Ecology (CEE) Bill but set up a committee to tell them how to think

Why should you do something today when you can do it tomorrow, even if you should have done it yesterday? That is the attitude of Shropshire Council’s Conservative members when it comes to tackling climate change. Why should they rush to deal with an emergency when they can take a gentle stroll?   The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is currently languishing parliament. But support for the bill, which sets out what priorities the UK needs in place to meet its climate change targets and tackle the ecological crisis, is strong. That’s why a cross-party motion to give an expression of support the bill was tabled at Shropshire Council yesterday. But the council’s portfolio holder for climate change kicked the motion into the long grass, supported by a fellow Conservative who complained about the potential costs to the council of the bill. How much does an expression of support cost? Failure to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies will cost us our planet.

Shropshire councillors must support the Climate and Ecological Emergency bill tomorrow

Shropshire Council has given a commitment to tackle the climate emergency. In parliament, a private members bill is moving towards its second reading next month. It aims to strengthen the government’s resolve and actions to tackle the growing climate emergency and the devasting loss of biodiversity. A motion tomorrow will ask the council to support the bill. It will be a test of Shropshire Council’s resolve. Is it up to the mark on tackling the climate and ecological emergencies? Will the whipped Tory majority reject it? Council leader Peter Nutting is in the camp that wants to fudge climate change commitments. But his portfolio holder Dean Carroll has a stronger belief in the need for change. It is over to Dean to deliver tomorrow.

Shropshire Council still hasn’t put the emergency into climate emergency – I despair at its slow pace

Shropshire Council must have been taking lessons from Sir Humphrey Appleby. You will remember him as the permanent secretary who advised and cajoled the hapless James Hacker. When the politics of the moment were tough and when decisions were stalled by inaction and indecision, Sir Humphrey would recommend a review, a committee, anything that would not disrupt the inertia that drives all bureaucracies towards their natural state of inaction. That is all too often Shropshire Council’s approach to the environmental issues of our day. The council declared a climate emergency in May 2019. But we learnt from Shropshire Council’s scrutiny meeting a week ago that the council’s action plan on climate change will not be considered by the council until September, 18 months after the climate emergency was declared. Any council that took climate change seriously, would have presented its plan at last December’s meeting, or at its meeting in February.

The head of the Environment Agency today made a barnstorming speech on flooding. He is making the right noises about tackling the climate emergency. That’s welcome. But he still thinks housing can be built in high risk flood areas. Sir James Bevan didn’t speak about his own agency applying the lax national planning rules in a lax manner. According to a joint investigation by the Guardian and Greenpeace’s Unearthed news unit, 764 homes in our county are due to built in Flood Zone 3 – which has the highest risk of flooding – between 2015 and 2018. That’s one in twenty homes built in Shropshire.

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