CLIMATE change and how to stop it will be investigated by a team of councillors as Wiltshire Council attempts to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The vote to acknowledge a climate emergency was narrowly won after a demonstration by activists Extinction Rebellion on February 26.

A second motion from Wiltshire Council cabinet member for finance Cllr Philip Whitehead motion was unanimously backed and included a bid to create a cabinet member who would investigate how to make the council more green.

Now the Overview and Scrutiny management committee unanimously agreed to set up a task group to investigate how to make the county carbon neutral by 2030 and report its findings regularly to council.

Cllr Brian Mathew called on the task group to include working parties of councillors who are dedicated to investigating different aspects of environmental issues.

He said: “When you are talking about setting up a task group this is something that is going to have to run and run right up to 2030.

“There could be issues with what Wiltshire Council can do with its own buildings but also what we could do with planning and what it can do in terms of influencing other bodies. The task group should have working groups to tackle these complicated issues rather than one big mishmash.”

Cllr Gordon King said engaging with the public would be essential to making sure people would “buy in” to making changes.

He said: “I fully support the formation of the task group and the recommendations. Sea temperatures are rising at an alarming extent which is killing off natural environments. The only reason are the small actions going on including here in Wiltshire. I believe what we are doing is absolutely vital.”

Cllr Claire Cape said: “It’s not just about the environment committee’s role it’s planning, education and everything else. We need to be the change we want to see.”

Campaigner Bill Jarvis spoke to the Overview and Scrutiny Management committee and said: “Act as if your house is on fire, because it is. The time to act is now. Some argue it is other countries that have to act and they do but we as individuals must change too. You have joined around 40 other council who also recognised the climate emergency and we have to thank you for that.”