Leader of the Opposition on Harrogate Borough Council, Pat Marsh, has resigned from the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition.
The Liberal Democrats first proposed declaring a Climate Emergency in April 2019, but faced fierce opposition from Conservative councillors.
The party has continued its fight and in November 2020 brought the issue back to council, along with the proposal of the establishment of a Citizens' Assembly on Climate Change, "bringing the whole community together to find solutions".
They were once again shot down by the Conservatives.
Commenting, Councillor Pat Marsh has said:
"A 'Climate Coalition' was never our preferred option. We were always concerned that it would be plagued by inaction. Nevertheless, I and others joined the committee to push for positive change from the inside.
"However, our initial fears have been proven correct and it's clear that the only by engaging with residents across the district – brining them into the process – do we have any hope of tackling this crisis.
"Liberal Democrat campaigners and I will continue working with local residents for a greener district, fighting to declare a local Climate Emergency and for bold solutions."
A full copy of the resignation can be found here:
Dear Phil and HDCC Colleagues,
It is with great regret that I will be standing down from HDCC. I started this journey over 2 years ago when I took my first Notice of Motion to the Council to ask the Council to declare a Climate Emergency, since then another one has failed. In my naivety, I never thought that 2 years later there would have been nothing achieved.
It was a struggle to get the issue on the table in the first place and made more complicated than it should have been by the Conservative Group. The hope was with the setting up of the Climate Coalition things would start to happen but that too has stagnated and genuinely other than the setting up of an online presence there has been little else achieved in the last year, not even a high profile objection to the Harrogate Water Application.
The reorganisation has created structures within structures and I do not believe the quick actions needed for the Planet can be achieved. It would have been better for the whole Group to focus on one topic at a time, achieve something and move on. For instance, in Planning, we are still allowing Developers to build houses that are not Carbon neutral and who are installing Gas Boilers!! Why could we have not done work on this and achieved something that would be impactful.
I wish the Coalition all the very best and look forward to some positive actions in the coming months, the Earth cannot wait for years action is required NOW.