Town councillors urged to declare climate emergency
PUBLISHED: 11:54 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:42 12 September 2019
Campaigners have called on councillors to declare a climate emergency.
Protest group Extinction Rebellion told Downham Market Town Council doing so would make the town part of the solution to climate change and would send out a message to other authorities that the issues can not be ignored.
Activist Brenda Kent told councillors: "I am delighted that our town council is considering the motion to declare a climate emergency.
"If you adopt it, this town will become part of the hope-giving network of beacons of enlightenment and responsibility around the world that have done this already.
"You will be addressing the issue which over arches all our other issues we face locally, nationally and globally, helping our town to become part of the solution.
"I urge you to pass the motion in full and to act upon it because now is the time to act."
The motion was put forward by councillor Robert Shippey, who set out the case in a document that came about from the Association of Green Councillors.
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Councillors voted to defer the motion to the council's environmental working group before it comes back to full council for further discussion.
It comes after a protest held in Downham Market when members of the Extinction Rebellion in King's Lynn and West Norfolk declared rebellion against the government.
Six members of the group attended the town council meeting, holding placards saying 'act now' and 'time is up.'
Mr Shippey said: "As Brenda Kent contributed in her speech this is the most important issue facing humanity.
"The borough council are not engaging with this to the extent I would hope. I have to admit I'm not sure about county."
Councillor Becky Hayes said: "The paper comes from the Green political party and we're an apolitical council, if we're going to go forward with this we need our own policy, with our own words."
After the meeting Pallavi Devulapalli, one of the activists, said: "It's so important, there's a lot of popular support for this and people are in desperate need for change.
"Nobody is too small to make a difference and the Downham town council can send out a message to other councils- this is an important message."