Petition calls for district council to declare 'climate emergency'

PUBLISHED: 10:53 03 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 October 2019

Community group Eco Ely who encouraging residents to sign the 'climate emergency' petition. Picture: CLARE BUTLER

Community group Eco Ely who encouraging residents to sign the 'climate emergency' petition. Picture: CLARE BUTLER

Archant

An Ely environmental group is calling for the district council to declare a "climate emergency" at a meeting in two weeks time.

Community group Eco Ely who encouraging residents to sign the 'climate emergency' petition. Picture: CLARE BUTLERCommunity group Eco Ely who encouraging residents to sign the 'climate emergency' petition. Picture: CLARE BUTLER

Eco Ely will be handing a petition to bosses at East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) on October 17.

Around 50 campaigners are hoping to be present at a meeting of the full council at The Grange.

The petition was set up by Littleport resident and member of the Ely branch of climate change group Extinction Rebellion Kim Ashton.

It asks ECDC owned companies and contractors to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Hayley Ellis, from Eco Ely, said that residents and councillors should be "working together".

"We are hoping for about 50 people to be there on the night," Hayley said.

"We need people to realise that we are in a climate emergency and the council need to take a stance.

"As a district we can always do better.

"They (ECDC) need to agree that there is a problem and they will work on improving it by setting up an environment working group.

"Residents and councillors should be working together, so that is what we will be asking them to do."

The petition asks the council to call on the government to provide the "powers, resources and technical support to make the 2030 target possible".

It states: "ECDC should work with local stakeholders to develop a strategy in line with a target of net zero emissions by 2030, via a council working group and a citizen's assembly.

"These should involve participation from as wide a range of residents, young people, businesses and other relevant parties as possible and should report within six months, or at least in time for their recommendations to be funded in the next budget cycle."

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John Hill, chief executive at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said that they were aware of a petition to be submitted for consideration, but it had not yet been received.

"Should we receive a petition, under our petitions scheme, the organiser will have three minutes to present their petition, providing that it relates to the powers and duties of the council and it is signed by at least 50 local people," Mr Hill said.

"Once they have spoken, councillors may ask them questions about their petition."

Council leader Anna Bailey said that they take "immense pride" in their environmental work.

She added: "As a council we do all we can to minimise our impact on the environment and we are proactive when it comes to matters which we can affect."

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