WOKINGHAM council bosses declared a climate emergency last week (Thursday, July 18) after pledging to go carbon-neutral by 2030.

Council leader John Halsall spearheaded Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC) push to take environmental action having first announced his eco-friendly agenda when he became the authority’s chief in May.

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Speaking at a meeting of councillors, he said: “It is hard to refute the evidence that the world has a problem and that unless it concertedly does something about it then the consequences are serious.

“Wokingham Borough Council must and wants to do its part, but it must be underlined that Wokingham Borough Council on its own does not have the powers to play other than a supporting role.

“However, that role is significant in leading by example and exhortation.”

Cllr Halsall (Conservative) brought forward a motion which suggested WBC reports back in six months time to update members on what actions would be required to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030.

Labour councillor Carl Doran submitted an amendment to the motion which supported the council reporting back in six months, but also proposed a working group, made up of councillors and community members, should be set up to facilitate the research.

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Cllr Doran said: “This is not a political issue, it is a moral one”, before his colleague Labour councillor Rachel Burgess added: “It is clear for too long approaches to environmental action have been about individual issues when much larger, collaborative actions are needed.”

Before the motion was brought to council, Cllr Halsall told the News the authority is looking at improving recycling levels and minimising its use of landfill waste treatment in order to combat climate change.

Before the vote, Stephen Conway, Liberal Democrats councillor, said he was pleased to see efforts were underway in his Twyford ward to combat climate change, including addressing poor air quality at Twyford crossroads and creating a ‘living’ green wall to take in pollution.

He added: “(I) am very pleased to see the council committing itself to playing a part in tackling the climate change emergency now facing us.

“This is, of course, a global problem, but there are things we can do locally.”

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Councillors from all parties got behind the amended motion as it received unanimous support when put to a vote.