MEMBERS of Westbury Town Council have voted unanimously to declare a climate change emergency.

The recommendation was approved by councillors at their full town council meeting on Tuesday evening (January 6).

The council has joined some 395 town, parish and principle authorities across the UK and the world with the declaration.

It means the council will now adopt policies and practices that ensure activities in the town consider climate impact including becoming carbon neutral.

Cllr Ian Cunningham, who put forward the motion, said: “We will now be considering opportunities to reduce our direct effects on the climate, particularly with an intention of moving the town council towards carbon neutrality.

“We will also take opportunities to influence others towards actions which reduce climate impact when interacting with other bodies and suppliers.”

The council will now set up a climate change working group and set targets to become carbon neutral.

Councillors will be encourage to consider the effect of actions on climate and whether they need to put anything in place to mitigate further damage.

Climate change will be also put on the council's risk register and become part of all relevant projects and processes as party of a regular policy review.

The council will also encourage the Westbury community to become involved in making changes.

Cllr Cunningham added: “Some would see action by a town council as simply tokenism but we as a group have an important role in highlighting this problem which will undoubtedly impact on our town as part of worldwide the issue."

He added: “In order to address a global problem global actions are necessary but global actions are made up of actions at all levels.

“Recent decisions such as acquiring an electric vehicle or setting up a community fridge to reduce food waste and release of methane actually do make a difference if other organisations like us do the same.

“Simply adopting policies like these, highlights the issue to people who live here,” Cllr Cunningham said.