Eastover Councillor Li Gibson has been elected as Town Council executive portfolio holder for climate change and held her first public forum meeting on June 17. Future meetings will be held on 15 August and 14 October.
Li says “The Climate Change Act did not include legal guidelines for Local Authorities to develop plans and actions in order to cut carbon use in their communities. It did not give Local Authorities their own carbon budgets. This has therefore given the councils the means to plan what is needed. All of our community needs to get involved as we all live and breathe. As a community and as individuals what we do, how we choose to live our lives has an impact on each other, other beings and ultimately the earth. This impact needs to be urgently addressed whether you believe that this crisis is due to the impact of human activity or a natural occurrence, as some do. Everything is changing fast. Our earth is heating up, our soils are losing their fertility, cancers and lung diseases, which are mainly environmentally caused, are on the rise. Our rivers and seas are being increasingly poisoned and the animals, insects and plants are struggling as humans go about their daily lives not seemingly knowing what is needed to live in a more balanced, harmonious way.”
Town Council Leader, Cllr Brian Smedley, added “The purpose of setting up a climate change forum was to discuss the topic broadly and feed ideas back into the town council system so that we can develop an approach to the climate change emergency and therefore inform a climate change policy. We said when we passed the original motion that it shouldn’t just sit on a shelf but it had to be meaningful. Town Council will look at what we can do directly and also in what ways we can put pressure elsewhere. The forums will also be important for idea sharing and information gathering. Some great ideas came out of the meeting such as information centres and festivals along with approaches we can take when considering planning applications, recycling and green initiatives. The message was that the emergency is real and that we are all part of the solution.”