At the meeting of the Town Council on 23-7-19, chaired by Mayor Tim Cook, the agenda included motions proposing the declaration of a climate emergency, and council support for Shaftesbury to become a 'plastics free community'. Both were passed, the former unanimously.
Credit is due to recently elected councilor Alex Chase for presenting both these proposals, coherently and concisely, and for supporting them through the debate that followed. He stressed, with regard to climate emergency, that it was not sufficient merely to make the declaration - it should then be integrated into council policy on all relevant matters. So the proposal included a 'plan of action' to be drawn up and presented by the end of October this year. To this end he hopes to set up a working group, consisting not only of council members but also members of the public, including representatives from Planet Shaftesbury.
The decision to support Plastics Free Shaftesbury requires less of the council, since its work will consist principally of community led initiatives. Nevertheless it was agreed amongst councilors that they will undertake a review regarding the replacement of single-use, disposable plastics in council use with more sustainable alternatives.
These welcome developments are evidently indicative of a change of perception that we all hope will eventually filter up to national and international levels and lead to the far-reaching and visionary change needed to ameliorate a disastrous future for the planet. Your blogger suspects that there could well have been one or two councilors who might once have opposed these motions. Rumblings along the tired lines that there were other countries whose climate crimes exceeded those of the UK were at one point expressed. But on the whole the support was both forthright and thoughtful. We look forward to news of (and participation in) the actions to follow.