XR Luton Town Hall for Climate Emergency motion

A summary from Colin Hall, our Political and Lobbying WG coordinator, about yesterday’s Council meeting outcome

“Some of us attended the debate at Luton Borough Council on the two climate change motions yesterday evening (30th July 2019)

The Bad News

The Liberal Democrat motion which called for a declaration of climate emergency by the Council was defeated, with the Labour group voting it down. The reason given for not declaring a Climate Emergency was that the Council need to assemble the scientific evidence. This seems absurd.

The Lib Dem Councillor commented: “What message does this send to our young people?” “We know that we are in a dreadful state…We want to be doing it now.”

The Good News

The competing Labour motion was passed. It was said that the motion has been toughened up, but we did not see that version on paper, and I have asked Tom Shaw, the lead Councillor on it, to send me a copy of the new wording and also his speech.

All who spoke appeared passionately committed to the cause. It was said more than once that this is the most important item that has come before the Council. The Labour justification for not declaring now seemed to be that they wish to build a strongly prepared, evidence-based action plan, to be in place for Jan 2020. At that point, the Council would declare a climate emergency [if the evidence so concludes].

A Citizens Assembly will be set up (to advise and scrutinise, I think) with the participation of young people of particular importance. It will be to able act outside the normal framework for such bodies if need be.

A powerful Working Group will be set up, with a cross-party approach agreed on all sides, starting next week. There will be opportunities for others to be involved in this.

Some positive references were made relating to XR during the debate.

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