Kettering opposition Councillors join forces to push for local agreement on climate change

By Anne Lee on July 14, 2019

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Councillor Jim Hakewill (Ind) and Councillor Anne Lee (Lab) will be moving and seconding a motion (see below for the wording) at the Kettering Borough’s Full Council meeting on the Wednesday 24th of July (7pm) to declare a “climate emergency” in the area covered by the Borough Council.

In a joint statement they said:

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. Without drastic action today, adapting to the impacts of climate change in the future will be more difficult, costly, and at worst too late for our children and grandchildren.

A climate emergency has already been declared for 60% of the UK’s population. Northamptonshire County Council declared a climate emergency on 20 June 2019 and now it is KBC’s turn. We want to show that we are listening to what scientists, and in particular young people, are telling us about the impacts of climate change so far and about future risks.

Public Health Northamptonshire is telling us about the effect of poor air quality on public health (in Northamptonshire it is estimated to be related to 244 deaths in 2017) and we must take up our responsibility and response to such warnings.

The question is not whether we can afford to do it, but whether we can afford not to do it, in the interest of the generations coming after us.

We are inviting Kettering Council to show that we are listening to our residents, scientists,Public Health professionals and our young people who can inherit a better world to live in, if we act now.

What we are asking for is agreement that the council will ensure that climate change significantly and positively influences all our thinking and  the decisions we make as Councillors.

Formally declaring a climate emergency will raise awareness of what we can all do as individuals and for the Council to lead the way, building on past actions and creating new policies. We fully expect a unanimous vote to approve this motion which set aside party politics in favour of our future.

But we can all do our bit. By doing what we can as a council and showing community leadership we hope that this will become a positive story; a story of hope that we can turn the tide of climate change. We owe it to future generations to take action.

Our young people expect nothing less from us!".

.The wording of the Motion is:

This council:

  • recognises the strength of public opinion recently expressed in London and Northamptonshire, particularly by young people, on the issue of climate change and the need to achieve carbon reduction targets to protect the health and wellbeing of our future generations.
  • congratulates the UK parliament for declaring a Climate Emergency.
  • believes that all levels of government have a duty to limit the impacts of climatechange along with our partners.
  • will place “Climate Change Implications” on all agendas immediately prior to the recommendations section, to demonstrate compliance with the spirit of thismotion.
  • calls upon the shadow authority and its successor Unitary council to continue this work and place Climate Change policies at the heart of its future operations and services.
  • requests a half yearly report to be submitted to the Monitoring and Audit Committee and annually to Full Council (the first being at the 22nd April 2020 meeting), detailing the actions that have been taken towards achieving the objectives of this motion.
  • Requests that a senior officer be nominated to be the Council’s Climate Change champion.
  • by passing this motion formally declares a Climate Emergency in Kettering Borough and commits to a target of making the area covered by the Borough Council carbon neutral by 2030.
Anne has been an active councillor for 5 years. She represented Pipers Hill on Kettering Borough Council, and now represents Windmill on the new North Northamptonshire Council. She was a school governor at St Edwards Primary School for 8 years and has been a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for over 30 years. She has 3 grown-up children and lives in the ward, working as a freelance linguist. She is an impassioned supporter of community hubs, such as the Green Patch and the Grange Resource Centre. With a Master’s in political sciences, and a keen interest in improving the new authority’s communications with residents and businesses, she promises to be an active councillor with a strong voice, and is particularly interested in reducing carbon emissions and in supporting families with children.

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