Labour urge Lancashire County Council to declare a 'climate emergency'

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Lancashire Labour has tabled a notice of motion for the next meeting of Lancashire County Council seeking to have Lancashire join the growing number of councils who have declared a Climate Emergency.

County Coun. Erica Lewis, Lancashire Labour’s spokesperson for highways and transport, said: “Both scientific research and our residents' experiences tells us the climate is changing, and we know that we have a rapidly closing window in which to act before climate change becomes catastrophic.

"Across Lancashire, and across the world young people went on strike last week, urging us as adults to take seriously the problem of climate change and to take urgent action.

"Too often, young people exercising civic leadership is derided by older people, as it was by some last week. But young people have often been key organisers in social movements across time. We should listen to the young people urging us to take action and not just talk, but act to ensure their words are heeded.

"In contrast with the actions taken by Lancashire's young people, Lancashire County Council refused in last week's budget debate to even make small, common sense commitments to reducing flood risk. One of the most frequent experiences of climate change that our residents experience.

"Lancashire County Council has important responsibilities in areas that can make an important contribution to reducing further climate change, and adapting to the changes our communities already face.

"For example, Lancashire's work as the Lead Local Flood Authority is under-resourced and over-stretched, communities are waiting years for statutory reports that analyse the causes of flood incidents, and we do not take a strong enough line on reducing flood risk in assessing planning applications.

While as the transport authority Lancashire should be investing more in sustainable transport options - making cycling and walking safer, calling for more powers to regulate buses and trains to improve the quality and affordability of services to encourage people to use what used to be 'public' transport.

“Lancashire County Council has significant land and property holdings, but where are the plans for using those sites for the creation of renewable energy - this idea was put to the County Council by Labour members more than twelve months ago, but we have heard no more of it since then.

"This is a list that could go on and on - household waste collection and management, every day purchasing decisions, vehicle fleets etc.

“While there is some welcome work being done to address single use plastics, and revise recycling practices - we know that there is a demand from our residents, for this work to be done as a priority.”