The following email was received from Shaftesbury UKIP candidate Steve Unwin in response to the question of whether or not he would support the declaration of a climate emergency in Dorset if elected to the new Dorset Council on 2 May:
'Apologies for the delay [in replying] and your need to chase me up, but my immediate instinct was a one word reply, a little stronger (and unpublishable!) than "no". However, as I explained to you when you knocked on my door, it is an absolute "no" from me in terms of proposing this idea, and I may well even vote against it if it ever came up.
'I am not quite sure what these councils are up to, apart from their usual gesture posturing. So if that is what it is all about - a feeble attempt at being trendy - then I would oppose it in any case, as local councils should concentrate their efforts on services, and councillors should not be drawing allowances to become paid local politicians.
'On a national level I would, however, support the UK government paying the return air fair to send these Extinction Rebellion hippies to have a go at protesting in China - accountable for 29% of world CO2 emissions. That is where there is a genuine climate emergency - NOT Dorset. The UK accounts for just 1% or so of world CO2 emissions … and falling. The subsidised air fairs [sic] would be far, far cheaper to the UK economy compared to the disruption they are causing here, and they will find it easier to get arrested, which seems part of their plan. So a triple win, win, win situation - but the take-up might not be so great, which is probably overall a good thing!
'Sorry, but with the propaganda being pumped out by the likes of the BBC (I no longer watch TV, our aerial cut off a couple of years ago, and we have not bothered fixing it) appears to be continuing, and getting worse. See this https://www.thegwpf.com/was-this-the-bbcs-worst-climate-show-ever/
'I remain to be convinced, and am more concerned that, with the ongoing betrayal of the biggest exercise in popular democracy the UK has ever seen (confirmed by the subsequent General Election in which Labour and the Tories mendaciously pledged to implement the will of the people, on the basis of which people like me stood aside taking them at their word, and the two parties took a record 82.4% of the vote.) The emergency in plain sight is that democracy is being killed.
But, perish the thought - why would Gillingham & Shaftesbury News want to talk about that when you can talk about the weather?