A CLIMATE emergency has been declared for Basingstoke and Deane.

At a full council meeting on Thursday, 18 July, councillors voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency in the borough in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.

This was an issue which councillors clearly felt passionate about, with three separate motions on the same subject originally being tabled for the meeting.

In called the ‘climate crisis’ the borough council has pledged to work towards making Basingstoke and Deane a zero-carbon area by 2030.

Proposing the motion to full council, Whitchurch councillor, Cllr Chole Ashfield said: “It is great to see so much support for this important issue and I feel like I am pushing at an open door.

“I don’t claim to be any expert on the issue, but I am consciously trying to make changes in my life, and I feel like it is something that everyone should be doing.”

She added: “We have to be ready to change our residents’ views and change our own hypocrisies in making these changes by making sure we demand high standards in new buildings, and we harness and cherish our green spaces.”

In giving his maiden speech in the council chamber, Cllr John McKay added: “This is a subject that deserves cross party support.

“We need to change the way that we work, live and play to make sure we are making the changes which will impact the way we view our environment.”

Some councillors said that it was ‘about time’ that the issue was ‘being taken seriously’ by the borough council.

With the vision of Horizon 2050 now being implemented the motion seeks to put the environment at the heart of the borough’s future.

Cllr Paul Harvey, leader of the Basingstoke Labour Party, said that everyone needs to do their part in making the changes a reality.

He said: “It is going to be as difficult for council officers as it is for us.

“How do we get more residents involved in this and group our ideas together to produce the best results.”

Leader of the Basingstoke Liberal Democrats, Cllr Gavin James added: “It is the time for action and no more time for words.”

All councillors present voted in favour of the motion.