The Liberal Democrat group on Wiltshire Council have announced their new shadow Cabinet spokespeople, following their group AGM on Saturday 8thJune 2019.
The meeting also saw the re-election of Ian Thorn as the leader of the opposition on Wiltshire Council.
Cllr Thorn commenting on the appointment of the new spokespeople said, "With less than two years to go until the next Wiltshire Council election, it is now very important to challenge the Conservative administration at every opportunity and these appointments will play a crucial part in doing so."
Wiltshire Council today narrowly adopted the Lib Dem call for the Council to acknowledge a climate emergency and to seek carbon neutrality by 2030
Below is the text of Brian Mathew's motion that was adopted:
To consider the following motion submitted in accordance with the constitution:
Full Council notes:
1. Humans have already caused serious climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre- industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) 1. This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity2 and will continue to rise if no action is taken.
2. In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from the current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes by 2030.3
3. Individuals can accept responsibility for living in a more sustainable way, but cannot be expected to make all these reductions on their own. Greenhouse gas emissions primarily result from burning of fossil fuels, incineration of the products of fossil fuels (waste plastics), unsustainable agricultural practices and the production of cement. Thus, governments at all levels: national, regional and local, must change legislation, standards, infrastructure and their approach, to meet the need to reduce CO2eq emissions and thus make low carbon living easier to achieve and the new norm, while protecting the most vulnerable in society from poverty.
4. The County of Wiltshire is already at the fore in the field of solar electricity generation, where it has the highest UK local authority area level of photovoltaic (PV) capacity at 581.1MW4, the second highest number of installations 9193 (large and small), and the second highest actual generation of solar electricity 530,719MW(h) per annum. Wiltshire Council has installed 5 rapid electric vehicle (ev) charging points with a further set of fast charging points being installed at 15 Wiltshire Council car parks and it operates a fleet of 3 fully electric vehicles and 10 with ultra-low emissions, it has become largely paper free with its adoption of lap top computers for all councillors and staff. It has also reduced carbon consumption by consolidating its offices into fewer more energy efficient buildings, as well as increasing the 'roll out' of LED street lighting and within its offices.
Reacting to the news of Wiltshire Council's last minute U-turn to drop Sunday car parking charges due to start this Sunday, Leader of the Opposition and Lib Dem Group Leader on Wiltshire Council Ian Thorn said,
"I'm delighted that Wiltshire Council's Cabinet have finally seen sense. These Sunday parking charges were a terrible idea.
Wiltshire Liberal Democrats are calling for a Brexit Summit on the potential impact on local residents, businesses and vital services of leaving the European Union next Spring, in a motion toWiltshire Councilon Tuesday in Trowbridge.
Last August a Lib Dem Freedom of Information request revealed Wiltshire Council had held no meetings about exiting the EU and had undertaken no Brexit impact assessments.
Chippenham Cllr Clare Cape who is proposing the Lib Dem motion will say, "Brexit is only a few months away. Whether you think that is a good or bad thing, there is an urgent need for frank discussions on its impact on Wiltshire.
Wiltshire Council should be bringing together local leaders in business, agriculture, tourism, education, health and social care experts and elected representatives. We need open and comprehensive Brexit risk and impact assessments.
Brexit will have a massive impact on our country and county. Wiltshire residents and businesses need to be well informed, involved and reassured that any short- and long-term impacts on our vital services and local economy are identified, mitigated and managed."