TACKLING climate change in Wiltshire will be headed up by a team of councillors keen to make Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030. However some councillors argued the council should not be responsible for the whole county, arguing businesses and members of the public have their part to play.

Wiltshire’s full council voted to acknowledge a climate emergency and seek to make Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030 in March.Despite being part of the County of Wiltshire, Swindon will not be included in the area that councillors will be working on. Being carbon neutral means people take out as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they create. Now the Environment Select Committee agreed to set up a task group of councillors to create a plan to achieve the goal. Councillors said the local authority could not be entirely responsible for the eco-friendly task across the county.Cllr Jacqui Lay: “This subject is extremely important. as we see the public momentum and particularly with children. But the public need to understand the Local Authority may not be the answer to everything. I don’t think we as council can make Wiltshire carbon neutral. We need to find out what we as a council can do and who else we need to work with to achieve what the public are asking for.” Cllr Tony Jackson said: “The scope and ambition should be limited to Wiltshire Council services." I don’t think this committee and council can be responsible for the whole county’s carbon footprint. The motion is just slightly alarming. If we agree there’s an emergency, we need emergency responses.”

Cllr Steve Oldrieve said: “The motion was passed by full council to acknowledge a climate emergency, that is not for us to change. Wiltshire should take some pride, we should congratulate ourselves we’ve already put the wheels in motion. My expectation is that in six months time we will send back to full council a strategy for seeking to be carbon neutral by 2030 and our job is to put the mechanisms in place.”Cllr Brian Mathew added: “Wiltshire Council can deal with its own buildings but it should also be thinking beyond that and what it can influence. Farming is a very important sector and we can have a massive impact on gaining carbon neutrality.”