The Council's Climate Change Emergency policy was agreed unanimously in 2019 by all members of the Borough Council. But this evening, in a reckless departure from this policy by the Lib-Dem and Labour ruling minority, Cabinet decided to purchase CO2-emitting diesel vehicles for the Borough’s domestic food recycling kerb-side collections.

The current vehicles reach the end of their life within the next six months. The Cabinet report suggested that electric vehicles would be more expensive than diesel.

Cllr Dennis Willetts, Conservative spokesperson on Business & Resources rebuked the Cabinet for abandoning the imperative of the Councils Climate challenge: “To most residents in the Borough, the key test of whether the Council is serious about the climate emergency is its attitude to converting its petrol and diesel fleet of vehicles to electric or hydrogen technology.

Incredibly, at this evening’s Cabinet meeting agenda, Item 7 agreed a new Strategic Action Plan in which the first item was to Respond to the Climate Emergency. Then when they got to item 9 of the agenda, all their good words and intentions were arrogantly dismissed as the Cabinet decided to purchase diesel replacement vehicles with a 7 year life. So Colchester will still be committed to running a diesel fleet, emitting dangerous pollutants, when all other Councils in North Essex will have migrated to electric."

Conservatives are committed to prioritising the Climate Emergency. This will be a strategic driver in all our decisions. Our children deserve nothing less.