OTLEY’S Town Council is set to become one of the first in the country to declare a Climate Energy.

Councillors on Monday, March 25 will be asked to back a resolution that pledges ‘to do everything within the Town Council’s power to make Otley carbon neutral by 2030’.

Proposed by the Liberal Democrats and seconded by the Green Party, it also calls on the Government to provide the resources needed to hit that target.

The move is similar to that being made by Leeds City Council - which will consider a Climate Emergency motion next week - and follows two recent youth climate ‘strikes’ in Leeds.

Town Councillor Mick Bradley (Green, Danefield) said: “As a Green town councillor I am strongly supporting this enabling resolution from the Lib Dems which is both urgent and timely.

“Brexit is consuming virtually all of Parliamentary time, with less than 40 MPs attending a recent debate on climate change - one of whom, to his credit, was local Labour MP Alex Sobel.

“We need to seize the opportunity here to safeguard our children’s future. This can be done through creating green jobs to upgrade our energy leaking homes and provide employment in areas of the country that have missed out, and by providing energy security through switching away from importing oil and gas to more renewables.

“Locally, we are making a start with the Otley Energy Company looking to work with schools and the library on solar power. By working across party lines and with the community we hope to come close to reaching this ambitious target of a carbon neutral town by 2030.”

Chair of the town council’s Liberal Democrat group, Councillor Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield), said: “Climate change needs to be an issue that transcends party politics, it is the critical issue of our age and for all who follow us.

“It is our duty to lead and energise our community towards a vision for a cleaner, safer town and planet. Carbon neutrality by 2030 is not impossible it is essential, and we will do everything in our power to help make this a reality.

“It needs government interventions, new incentives for business and support for individuals and families to make the essential changes we need to the way we use energy, travel and consume resources - but we must make a start and be part of the solution.”

Mr Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West), meanwhile, addressed last Friday’s youth climate protest in the city centre. He praised the city council’s announcement, saying: “We will be the biggest council in the country to have declared a climate emergency.” Mr Sobel’s 11 year old son, Jakob, also spoke at the event.