Maldon Town Council unanimously declares a climate emergency

By Charlotte Lillywhite

3rd Feb 2022 | Local News

Maldon Town Council has approved a climate emergency declaration (Photo: 2021 Google)
Maldon Town Council has approved a climate emergency declaration (Photo: 2021 Google)

Maldon Town Council has unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency, which supports its aim of developing a climate strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Councillor Andrew Lay, chairman of the town council's new climate change working group, said the declaration "reflects particular issues in the town, such as flooding".

He told a full town council meeting last night (Monday, 30 January): "We should be looking to do as much as we can.

"It's not going to be about us - it's the generations after us that are in the town."

The declaration prepared by the climate change working group says: "Maldon is bounded by the River Chelmer and the Blackwater Estuary where river and sea defences are at risk of being below the acceptable level of protection, potentially causing flooding to valuable residential and agricultural land.

"Critical areas of air quality concern have also been identified within our town due to the increasing volume of vehicles and the use of older, more polluting heavy goods vehicles.

"With the prospect of greater development occurring in our town and the increased risk of sea levels and rising pollution, we will seek to identify ways to reduce carbon emissions across Maldon - by developing strong partnership links, improving transport initiatives, encouraging greener developments and supporting green infrastructure."

The declaration says it "seeks to include young people in the process, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future".

Maldon District Council's lead climate action youth rep, Plume student Hattie Phillips, is the youth ambassador of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Councillor Lay called Hattie "an extremely powerful speaker" and "extremely key environmentalist in the town".

He added: "I think there is a keen interest in what we're doing at the council."

But members also questioned the possibility of the council becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Councillor Christopher Swain said: "I'm quite pleased to participate in this working party and to push forward with what I can do on this."

But he added: "I think we're sort of setting an unrealistic target - I would prefer to see this saying minimising our carbon footprint."

Councillor Stephen Nunn replied: "I know they're aspirational targets, but we do need a target instead of leaving it open."

He seconded Councillor Lay's proposal to approve the declaration, which was voted through unanimously by members.

The district council declared a climate emergency in February last year and this month adopted a climate action strategy, which you can read about here.

     

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