Sign to stop change

COUNCILS across Comet country are gearing up to pledge their commitment to combating climate change in our region. Four out of the five councils which cover North Hertfordshire and Mid Bedfordshire are pondering whether to sign the Nottingham Declaration

COUNCILS across Comet country are gearing up to pledge their commitment to combating climate change in our region.

Four out of the five councils which cover North Hertfordshire and Mid Bedfordshire are pondering whether to sign the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change - a voluntary pledge to address issues affecting the climate in each council's own area.

A fifth, Stevenage Borough Council, signed the document last week and this will come into force from January 1.

The declaration, originally launched in 2000 but relaunched last December, has already been signed by over 150 local authorities across the country.

By agreeing to sign up, Stevenage Borough Council has shown a commitment to develop plans to address climate change locally, support organisations that are tackling the issue and reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions.

The leader of the council, Cllr Sharon Taylor, said its commitment to tackle climate problems was the reason for signing.

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"Climate change concerns all of us as well as future generations," she said.

"The Nottingham Declaration will help lead the way to a sustainable future and we are proud to be involved."

As for the other councils, North Hertfordshire District Council's cabinet committee will discuss at a meeting next Tuesday (December 19) whether to sign and this will then go to a full council meeting in January.

At a meeting last week of Hertfordshire County Council's planning and partnership panel, councillors called for the declaration to be signed.

Richard Roberts, chairman of the panel, said: "We must all do our bit and signing the declaration would be a good start for us here in Hertfordshire."

The final decision will be discussed by the council's cabinet in January and then this will be reported to the full council in February.

Mid Bedfordshire District Council will be discussing the declaration over the next few weeks and Bedfordshire County Council hopes to sign up by the spring.

Cllr John Scott, Bedfordshire County Council cabinet member for planning and economic growth, said: "This will demonstrate our commitment to tackling climate change issues and ensure we put in place plans to reduce our carbon footprint further.

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