Protesters call for more 'engagement, urgency, action' on climate crisis
- Credit: Ellie Hoskins
Environmental protesters demonstrated in Havering to call for more "action" in the borough's climate action plan.
Extinction Rebellion Havering held a protest outside the Town Hall on Tuesday evening (December 7) as councillors on Havering Council’s overview and scrutiny board discussed a motion to reconsider the plans.
A council officer defended the document at the meeting, and noted the authority had set an “ambitious” target of becoming carbon neutral by 2040, ten years before the statutory requirement.
Gina Must, a member of Extinction Rebellion, told the Recorder: “We were there to try to speak to councillors to let them know their vote matters and to make the right decision."
She said the plan had been called in for debate at the board due to its “lack of community engagement, lack of action, lack of urgency, lack of data”.
She said proposals “need to include real and immediate action” but said Extinction Rebellion is not trying to push for particular actions or policy measures.
Rather, it wants Havering residents to have the opportunity to have their voices heard on climate issues.
“Like in our borough, that would be the flooding, which has caused a lot of problems this year, so I think that would be a key issue,” she said.
- 1 Car park killing: John Avers the 'best friend' of hitman, court hears
- 2 Man and woman arrested following Hornchurch stabbing
- 3 Construction company asks to make changes to approved 40-flat development in Romford
- 4 Rainham road closed as tactic to stop flytipping
- 5 'Pupils love coming here': Romford primary school retains 'good' rating
- 6 Mum-of-two honoured by US president Joe Biden
- 7 Two Havering councillors to stand down at next election
- 8 Tribute paid to father one year after death in council hostel
- 9 Plans to convert hotel into housing rejected despite residents' support
- 10 Plan for homes next to listed Hornchurch water tower rumoured to cover monks’ escape tunnel
“Obviously we would like to see pollution in the borough reduced; we are currently the number one car-owning borough so it would be good to find ways around these issues.”
Nick Kingham, corporate projects manager at the council, said he did not accept that the climate change action plan, adopted in November, lacked urgency.
He said: “The climate change action plan is a strategic report, and as such does not, and in my view should not, go into too much detail, especially where the details are contained in other key documents of the council.”
Ultimately, councillors voted against the proposed "requisition" of the plan, meaning the end of the matter.
The debate was cut short with an eight-to-seven vote, to proceed to the main vote little more than an hour into the discussion.
Gina said she felt the meeting had failed in its scrutiny function as not all questions were heard before the debate was curtailed.
“It was very disappointing,” she said.