A PACKED public gallery in Leominster erupted with applause last night (March 25) as civic leaders backed calls for urgent action to prevent irreversible climate change.

Leominster Town Council unanimously agreed a motion recognising the dire need to change society to avoid a climate crisis within the next 12 years.

Councillors agreed to make their due contribution to the international effort to cut carbon emissions.

Councillor Jacqueline Herschy, who proposed the motion, said: “In 2013, Herefordshire Council and other key local partners, including Leominster Town Council, committed to the ReEnergising Herefordshire policy document, aiming to achieve an 80% carbon reduction on 1990 levels by 2050.

“This has led to much good work in many areas of Herefordshire Council’s operation, and is on target after five years.

She said it was now time for the council to take urgent action in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s findings on global warming.

Coun Herschy said they would support the county council in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the area and commit to an accelerated reduction reduction of its own carbon emissions with the aspirations to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The council also backed deputy mayor Clive Thomas’ calls for the local authority to strongly encourage the use of solar panels on all new buildings.

Local resident Elaine Harper said backing the motion was probably the most important thing the councillors will have done in their role.

“Let Leominster lead by example and set proud standards and play our role in radically reducing our damage to the planet,” she said.

“The town could be a beacon of hope and action. We are so privileged to live here but my goodness there is a lot to change.

County councillor John Stone said he fully supported the motion and endorsed what the previous speaker had said.

He said people needed to change the practical things that they do in their everyday lives.

“They may seem very small but they do make a difference,” he said.