Ottery declares climate change emergency

Ottery Town Council from left to right, Cllr Peter Faithfull, town clerk Christine McIntyre, Roger G

Ottery Town Council from left to right, Cllr Peter Faithfull, town clerk Christine McIntyre, Roger Giles, Stewart Lucas, Geoff Pratt, Richard Copus, Richard Grainger, Vicky Johns and Dean Stewart. Picture: Clarissa Place - Credit: Archant

A climate emergency has been declared in Ottery to make it a carbon-free town by 2030.

Ottery town. Ref sho 10-17TI 8336. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery town. Ref sho 10-17TI 8336. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery Town Council pledged to take action by working with the community to work towards a carbon-free future.

Councillor Dean Stewart proposed a motion calling on the council to have the 'moral authority' to lead the fight against environmental damage.

It was backed by the mayor and deputy mayor before being passed unanimously on Monday evening.

As part of the declaration, the council will now set up a working group to produce a report to recommend actions, policies and changes to assist with the move to becoming a zero-carbon town and council.

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Cllr Stewart said: "This group should consist of councillors, residents, experts, scientists, businesses and young citizens to develop a range of strategies to make Ottery St Mary a carbon-zero town by 2030 and maximise the benefits to employment, tourism, health, agriculture, transport and local businesses, while ensuring the carbon footprint is considered in all council business and activity." Anyone interested in joining the group or has interest or knowledge of environmental issues, the science behind climate change and the local geography and economy to email the assistant town clerk.

A public meeting will be held shortly to ask volunteers and experts to come forward and assist, either as part of the working group producing the report or as a wider body of concerned residents who wish to contribute.

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Following the meeting, Cllr Roger Giles, Mayor of Ottery, called the motion a 'positive action' towards tackling a vitally important issue.

He said: "Ottery St Mary has been at the forefront of environmental actions for a very long time. We have enjoyed the benefit of several excellent green groups: Recycling in Ottery almost 25 years ago, followed by Otter Rotters and most recently the Plastic Free Ottery group.

"It is, therefore, entirely appropriate Ottery will become one of the first towns to comprehensively address this crucially important issue.

"I look forward to Ottery St Mary Town Council engaging with local people - especially with younger people - to fully play our part in tackling the great threat of climate change."

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