The following question on climate change was put to each of the 11 Shaftesbury candidates for Dorset Council: ‘If elected on 2 May, will you immediately propose that Dorset Council passes a resolution to declare a climate emergency in Dorset in line with 70 other local authorities in England including Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall councils?’
Here’s how they answered (in alphabetical order of surname):
Derek Beer (LibDem): Yes, I really like that idea. I may not do it on day one but will at the first sensible opportunity that I am able to with a window of success. I am also promoting the ‘Go wild for Britain’ campaign, which raises awareness and participation in supporting the food chain, from butterflies to bugs to hedge birds etc.
Alex Chase (Conservative): While I cannot guarantee immediately proposing this resolution, I do agree our current situation is grave and we must work to combat the damage already done. I would be happy to support a well thought-through resolution but changes and improvements must be funded adequately and taxpayers in North Dorset have already seen a substantial increase in their council tax bill this year. But I will always fight for greener policies across Shaftesbury and the whole of Dorset.
Tim Cook (LibDem): Climate change is an issue that affects us all, no matter where on this planet we live. If elected to the new Dorset Council I will do what I can to ensure Dorset joins other councils in the South West to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Melanie Costas (Labour): Yes, but I’m sad to see the action of Devon Council in only committing to a target date of 2050 rather than 2030 like the other councils. No wonder there were shouts of ‘shame on you’ from the public at their debate.
Lester Dibben (Independent): Yes, I will [because] this is due not just to my own view but as a result of others raising concerns.
Andy Hollingshead (Independent): Yes, but I would prefer Green Party members to lead on this as I’m conscious this campaign is being led by them and it would only be good manners to defer to them in this. But if they don’t lead or no Green Party members get elected I would be very happy to initiate the proposal at the County Council.
William Kenealy (Labour): Yes, our manifesto doesn't directly promise it but it is totally in keeping so yes.
Julian Prichard (Conservative): Yes, I would be happy to propose a resolution to declare a climate emergency in-line with Government targets and look what Dorset would need to do to reach a target of being carbon neutral by 2030.
Lester Taylor (UKIP): I would be unhappy to put forward or second a motion asking fellow councillors to support declaring a climate emergency, unless it contained fully budgeted and concrete actions that could be taken by that particular council to deal with it. I would, of course, be happy to look at and debate any such motion were it put forward.
Steve Unwin (UKIP): No, I would definitely not propose such a thing and it is even questionable whether I would support it if someone else did. I’m not a hippy.
Peter Yeo (Independent): Yes, and I'll be particularly pushing for car charging points everywhere as soon as possible to help promote the change to electric cars and good quality cast-iron bins in high streets and other key points with dual recyclable and non-recyclable sections in one bin as in places like London.