Climate champions have formed an emergency task force in Budleigh Salterton in a bid to influence East Devon’s planet protection policy.
Budleigh’s town councillors this week declared a climate emergency and announced they would take action to ‘stop the planet from frying’.
The town council is on a mission to make Budleigh carbon neutral by 2030 and plans to enlist the help of schoolchildren, residents and traders to achieve its aim.
The town’s climate champions – councillors Peter Duke, Penny Lewis, Roger Sheriff, Henry Riddell, David Hayward, plus Devon county councillor Christine Channon – on Monday evening formed a task force; they will develop ways Budleigh can lead in influencing change across East Devon.
The task force formed after Budleigh Town Council affirmed a climate emergency.
Councillor Penny Lewis said the council must be proactive in its approach; working with Budleigh residents, schoolchildren, traders, agencies and partners would be crucial in changing attitudes.
She said: “There definitely are structural things that need to happen; most of them are outside our control. But we can influence and give power to the elbow of our council what can happen as individuals or organisations. We do have the power to do that.
“What we do may be the same or it may be different to other towns; because we are different to other towns.
“2030 is eleven years away – not very far away. We have got to start the town thinking about the simple things. If we believe it’s a climate emergency, each individual has their part to play.
“There are all sorts of creative things we can do that puts the influence in the right place.
“Working with different parties of the system is absolutely fundamental. We need to – and can be – the instigators of change and show just how that can happen in a small seaside town.
“I think there’s a lot of willingness and acceptance we have got a problem; we are actually at the forefront of a lot of this I think we need to be part of instigating this and work with young people, our community, the chamber of commerce.”
Budleigh’s climate change task force, led by councilor Peter Duke, will report back to town council clerk Jo Vanstone in six months’ time.