One year on… Greens brand council’s lack of action as ‘tokenism’

“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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2 thoughts on “One year on… Greens brand council’s lack of action as ‘tokenism’

  1. Not so much as ‘tokenism’ as ‘opportunism’ suggests itself here. Could it be, by any chance, that the Greens are using this issue to fire up their May election campaign? Surely not.. For the record, there has been hard work behind the scenes. And an announcement soon. Watch this space, Greens, and everyone!

  2. A timely follow up on progress made by HBC. I think the Greens have been very restrained with their criticism. The threat to numerous green spaces across the borough by the current council is alarming: Hastings Country Park with plans for enormous solar panel farms, also pushing through plans to restrict access to huge areas of same park. Lower Bohemia plans to pour concrete over White Rock Gardens & The Oval & create a DFL ghetto. Over in West St Leonards plans for building DFL luxury flats over the old bathing pool site & further west to build across the flood plains. Time & time again: poor judgement, lack of long term vision, lack of community consultation, no joined up thinking or gumption, no civic pride. At a time when other towns are championing & conserving their green spaces HBC are getting rid of them. What will they announce next in attempt to compete with the Green Party at the upcoming local elections: plans to concrete over Alexandra Park, Warrior Square & St Leonards Gardens?

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