In an amazing turn-about, the Green Party on Colchester Borough Council voted against making Climate Emergency the top priority of the Council's budget and expenditure plans.
The lack-luster budget from the Controlling Lib-Dem & Labour Coalition said reams about Climate Emergency, but allocated very little funds to actually do anything about it.
Cllr Robert Davidson, Conservative Group Leader endeavoured to stir the Council out of its lethargic attitude of "say a lot, but do nothing", by proposing that "The Council's target of carbon neutrality by 2030 will not be achieved unless climate emergency is promoted as the single most important issue in the budget".
He went on to add: "as it stands, the Council's Budget is significantly defective in that it omits a robust and transparent prioritisation and costing of each and every issue identified in sections 3 to 6 of the Council's Climate Emergency Action Plan."
The Conservative Group were gobsmacked when the Green Party voted against making the making the issue of Climate Emergency the single most important issue in the budget.
Because of the importance of Climate Change to the Conservative Group, we insisted that the decision was a "named vote" recorded by the Clerk to the Council and published in the minutes, showing the names of the 22 Conservative Councillors who voted for making Climate Change the most important issue in the budget, and the 27 Lib-Dem, Labour, Independent and Green Councillors who voted against.
So no wriggle-room for any Councillor to later claim they did in fact vote for Climate Change as the single most important issue for the Council's budget, when they actually voted the other way !!!!!, it's all in the official minutes.
And earlier there was an acrimonious exchange between Conservative spokesperson on resources, Cllr Dennis Willetts, and the Lib-Dem Leader of the Council, concerning the carbon footprint of the Council's vehicle fleet. During Question Time, Conservative Cllr Willetts had asked the Lib Dem leader what proportion of the Council's fleet of cars, vans and refuse freighters no longer emitted Carbon Dioxide. Everyone knew the answer was "zero percent" because there is no budgetary provision to convert the fleet to electric, but The Lib-Dem Council Leader squirmed, filibustered, ducked and weaved, but refused point blank to say it. No amount of coaxing would get the answer to the question from this despondent Lib-Dem Leader of the Council.
Then the final nail in the coffin of the Council's Climate Emergency Plan was discovered tucked away in small print on page 140 of the Council's Climate Emergency Action Plan, also presented at the Council meeting. The Council's independent climate auditor "The Carbon Trust" found that the carbon footprint of the Council's vehicle fleet had been falsely reported since 2012 by claiming that the majority of the Council's Fleet ran on Biofuel, whereas it actually ran on a combination of Diesel and Gas Oil. So another "Own Goal" here for the Council.
Conservatives pledge to put Climate Emergency at the top of the financial agenda, and to ensure honest reporting about carbon emissions when they win power at the Town Hall in the May 2020 elections.