Banbury Town Council recognise climate crisis
In a motion, discussed at Tuesday's council meeting, Labour councillor for Ruscote Sean Woodcock proposed that the town commit to a Citizens' Assembly as called for by campaign group Extinction Rebellion.
The motion read: "This council declares a climate emergency and commits to playing its part in tackling climate change. As part of this commitment, this body commits to hosting a Citizens Assembly in the next municipal year in order to gauge the views of Banbury residents."
This was however rejected by the controlling Conservative party who instead amended the motion so as to commit the council to hosting a joint meeting of local authorities aimed at the same issue.
Councillor Woodcock said "Rather than being too downhearted, I am pleased that Labour have been at the forefront of getting all three tiers of local government to accept the Climate Emergency.
"I will of course continue to hold the council to account for their promises going forward, with my fellow Labour councillors."
The public council meeting, held in Banbury town hall, was also attended by members of the public and climate action group Extinction Rebellion.
Conservative councillor for Easington south, Kieron Mallon, said: "I believe that we as local politicians should take the lead to do more on this issue.
"So my amendment called for a joint meeting of all three councils, who represent Banbury and the officers who deal with environmental issues on those councils, so that we, as elected members, are fully briefed on what has happened, what is happening and will happen on the issue of climate change, particularly concerning Banbury.
He added: "What I want to do, therefore, is set up a working party, as we've done with the Horton and other issues, we can then call in evidence from businesses, from
environmental parties to feed into the ongoing commitment that we in Banbury want to have on Banbury's environment
"This is not one one assembly meeting and then finished. This is the start of an ongoing process."
The town council have used such models in their focus on saving the Horton and tackling traffic concerns in the town.