Green councillor exposes shallow climate commitment of Cherwell District Council

At a Cherwell District Council meeting on 22nd July, the Green Party's recently elected councillor, Ian Middleton, spoke to two important motions. The first was a climate change emergency motion, which Cllr Middleton supported, although expressing reservations about the council’s true commitment to the difficult decisions that will need to be taken if the district is to become truly carbon neutral by 2030.

That motion was passed unanimously, but then as if to prove Ian's point, the council went on to debate a motion that he himself had brought, calling for a rethink on plans to build on the green belt in south Cherwell. That motion asked for a temporary pause to allow for new evidence to be taken into account that casts doubt on the number of houses needed to support Oxford’s unmet need. When the motion was defeated, Cllr Middleton said "It’s clear that neither Labour nor the Conservatives are prepared to take the difficult decisions that are needed to combat the climate emergency."

The council might not have been persuaded to pause in its plans for massive overdevelopment, but the motion attracted much support locally and was well reported in the Oxford Mail: see And Cherwell District Councillors have shown themselves oblivious to the need for the change of direction that combating climate change demands.

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