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Cabinet votes to pass climate emergency strategy

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

The cabinet has unanimously voted to pass the Royal Borough’s strategy for combating the climate emergency.

At a cabinet meeting on Thursday (May 28), the Royal Borough’s strategy was put forward to approve, refuse or delay.

Before the vote was put forward, representatives from environmental interest groups commented on the proposal.

Fiona Hewer, chair of Wild Maidenhead, spoke on behalf of a number of environmental groups in the borough.

She said there were two ‘fundamental problems’ with the proposal.

“Its main biodiversity goal includes writing another plan in 12 months’ time, and the scope of its carbon emissions reduction excludes the borough's major emitters,” she said.

This point has also been picked up by Sarah Bowden of the RBWM Climate Emergency Coalition.

Speaking before the meeting, Ms Bowden noted that the plan focuses a great deal on the Royal Borough’s steps to reduce its own emissions, when these account for only about 0.7 per cent of the emissions across the whole borough.

Speaking at the meeting, Paul Hinton of Plastic Free Windsor raised concerns about how far the strategy went towards reaching environmental goals.

He said: “The strategy proposes a straight line trajectory which will mean that the borough breaches its per capita carbon budget in 2028.”

Mr Hinton suggested that the cabinet produce an interim strategy for full council approval on June 23, then draft a final strategy with revisions by the end of 2020.

Cllr Helen Price (The Borough First, Clewer & Dedworth East) raised concerns about the limited time before the June meeting and suggested a one month delay to give councillors more time to consider the proposal.

However, Cllr Donna Stimson, lead member for climate change, said that she did not believe a delay would improve the situation.

Instead, she expressed a commitment to continue working on the proposal in preparation for the meeting of full council in three weeks’ time.

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