Issue - meetings

Declaration of Climate Emergency

Meeting: 05/06/2019 - Cabinet (Item 5)

5 Declaration of Climate Emergency pdf icon PDF 178 KB


The Leader welcomed to the meeting approximately 30 members of the public and/or members of various interest groups.  She emphasised that Cabinet had requested that the report on the declaration of climate emergency be brought forward as soon as possible and this special meeting of Cabinet had therefore be called.  The Leader said it was her view that it was important that the Council took a lead on carbon reduction for the district and worked with others to generate new ideas and initiatives.


As Portfolio Holder and author of the report at Appendix to CAB3171, Councillor Murphy introduced the item and emphasised that it was essential that the Council put environmental considerations at the centre of all its work and services. 


Five members of the public/representatives of interest groups spoke during public participation as summarised below.


Jock Macdonald (Chair of WinACC) congratulated the Council on taking a lead in declaring a climate emergency and emphasised that the issue was too important to become a matter for political disagreement.  WInACC was a non-political group which campaigned based on scientific findings.  It was important to encourage businesses and others to take the necessary steps to cut carbon emissions and/or create their own energy.  WinACC looked forward to working in partnership with the Council on this issue.


Jan Warwick (Hampshire County Councillor) emphasised the importance of the issue and highlighted that the proposals must be properly assessed.  Most carbon emissions were outside the direct control of the Council and it was essential that regard was also had to protecting the local economy in agreeing any policy changes (for example, by working with Winchester BID).  With regard to specific proposals, she suggested that the Council should focus on maintaining forests and woodlands (including those neighbouring the district which were currently subject to development proposal through the Eastleigh Local Plan) and seek to capture carbon emissions from the former landfill site at Funtley.


Katherine Howlett Davies (Extinction Rebellion) welcomed the report as an important first step and emphasised that it was essential that an action plan be agreed following a comprehensive analysis of carbon emissions across the district.  She highlighted that there were a number of measures that could be achieved relatively quickly and at a low cost.  She suggested that the Council work with partnership organisations, such as WinACC and Extinction Rebellion.  In addition, she suggested a Citizens’ Assembly should be established. 


Ian Tait also welcomed the report and emphasised that it would require political leadership to ensure proposals were turned into actions.  For example, a decision could be taken to stop installing gas boilers in the Council’s housing stock and more wind turbines could be permitted across the district.  However, both measures had proved to be unpopular with some residents in the past.  The Council could also consider introducing Sunday parking charges and could then use the additional revenue to subsidise bus services. 


Chris Gillham (Winchester Friends of the Earth) stated that a live Winchester Friends of the Earth petition asking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5


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