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Protestor storms out of Cornwall's climate meeting

Protestor storms out of Cornwall's climate meeting

Published by Emma Carton at 8:32am 4th June 2019.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

A protestor shouted at councillors and stormed out of a meeting discussing how Cornwall Council will tackle the climate emergency.

The council's neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee held an extraordinary meeting on Friday afternoon to hear about work which has been done in response to the council declaring a climate emergency in January.

There was a packed public gallery in the council chamber at New County Hall in Truro with a large number of climate change campaigners.

Before the debate about the council's work on climate change there was an opportunity for the public to ask questions and there were 12 in total – far higher than any usual overview and scrutiny committee meeting.

Committee chairman Carolyn Rule had allowed for all 12 to be included on the agenda and gave comprehensive responses to each one.

However one response drew shouts from one member of the public who was unhappy and claimed that the council was not telling the truth.

Cllr Rule had earlier warned all those in the public gallery not to disrupt proceedings and not to call out or applaud comments made – to ensure that the meeting could run smoothly.

When the woman in the public gallery stood and shouted down into the chamber, Cllr Rule said to her that she could either be quiet and sit down or leave. The woman decided to leave immediately.

The disruption came as a result of a question from Ken Rickard in St Dennis who questioned how the council could have “any genuine ambition to combat climate change” when it was operating an incinerator in St Dennis.

In response the council said the incinerator “has a significantly lower climate change impact when compared to landfill” and that it “produced a large amount of power to the national grid”.

The council also said that in addition there was a lot of work being done to encourage as much waste as possible being reduced, reused and recycled and that investment was being made into Cornwall’s household waste recycling centres to help with this.

Other questions raised by members of the public covered issues including permaculture, engaging with other councils which have declared a climate emergency, public transport, public involvement in the climate change action plan and housing.

The council said on numerous occasions that it was looking to work with all interested parties and said it was only by working together that Cornwall would be able to have any impact on climate change.

It said it would be working with town and parish councils across Cornwall and would also engage with community groups to help with initiaitives which would be part of the efforts to tackle climate change.

The council has also set up a dedicated page on its website to provide information about the work being done around the climate emergency with some FAQs and a form giving people the chance to get involved.

Cornwall Council's 'Climate Emergency' Plan: Read More

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