Protesters call for more 'engagement, urgency, action' on climate crisis

Extinction Rebellion along with Councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Ha

Ilan Vinokur, eight and Eyal Vinokur, eight at the event. - 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." 

Extinction Rebellion along with Councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Ha

Extinction Rebellion along with councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Havering town hall against the proposed climate action plan. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

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. 

Activists criticised the action plan's “lack of community engagement, lack of action, lack of urgency, lack of data”.

Activists criticised the action plan's “lack of community engagement, lack of action, lack of urgency, lack of data”. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

“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. 

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“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.

Activists waved banners and played drums outside the town hall.

Activists waved banners and played drums outside the town hall. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

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. 

Extinction Rebellion along with Councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Ha

Munra Mangat, Mandy Mangat and Fay Davenport at the event. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Extinction Rebellion along with Councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Ha

The protest took place outside Havering town hall to coincide with an overview and scrutiny board meeting - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Extinction Rebellion along with Councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Ha

Extinction Rebellion along with councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Havering town hall against the proposed climate action plan. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Extinction Rebellion along with Councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Ha

Extinction Rebellion held the protest - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Extinction Rebellion along with Councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Ha

Extinction Rebellion along with councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Havering town hall - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Extinction Rebellion along with Councillors and Havering Residents Association protesting outside Ha

The protest outside Havering town hall - Credit: Ellie Hoskins


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