“So far the climate emergency motion feels very much like tokenism from a council determined to carry on with business as usual.”
A year after Hastings Borough Council (HBC) declared a climate emergency, the town’s Green Party has condemned the authority for its lack of action.
The climate emergency motion was passed unanimously by HBC’s 32 councillors on February 13th last year but Hastings Green Party says that very few of the commitments made at the time have been honoured.
A single councillor, Maya Evans, has been appointed as climate change champion, but the promised working group has not materialised say the Greens.
In addition, they say there is no sign of the ‘local and low carbon procurement policy’ promised at the time.
Members of the local Green party are also concerned that HBC still has £3m invested in Barclays, which is says is Europe’s top funder of fossil fuel infrastructure.
HBC’s motion contained a promise that council land would be managed to promote species diversity, but the proposal to site a solar farm in the country park goes directly counter to that, say the Greens, with the Friends of Hastings Country Park also claiming that the solar farm would be ‘detrimental’ to biodiversity.
Julia Hilton, spokesperson for Hastings Green Party, said: “A year on, the lack of action by HBC on the climate emergency is extremely disappointing.
“There has not been a single public meeting inviting key groups with useful expertise to contribute to a plan and it seems that as usual any work is going on behind closed doors and will be presented to residents for the usual ‘consultation’ tick-box exercise.
“In order to reach the target of making Hastings carbon neutral by 2030, we need annual goals and action by the whole town. So far the climate emergency motion feels very much like tokenism from a council determined to carry on with business as usual.”
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