AN EVENT to promote climate change awareness has been criticised as a means to "extract taxpayers money" by a Herefordshire town councillor.

A £2,000 budget has been set to allow a Herefordshire town council to put on climate change awareness events.

A meeting of Ledbury Town Council's Environment and Leisure Committee in January heard that the council's Climate Change Working Party want to take part in the national Great Big Green Week event in June.

Deputy town clerk Julia Lawrence said in a report presented to the council that the committee was seeking an overall budget of £2,000 to cover this and other "related opportunities" throughout the year.

The aim of the week, the council heard, would be to raise awareness and provide practical steps for locals to help try and mitigate the effects of climate change, with a series of events which could include music, quizzes, and comedy acts to involve local schools, NMITE, traders, and other organisations.

The events would "need to produce good memories to encourage people to maintain their new behaviours", the report said.


Councillor Matthew Eakin said he thought that the budget was reasonable and proposed that the recommendation was accepted.

But the idea was not popular with all committee members, with Coun Dean Whattler stating that he believed anything to do with climate change was not cost effective on the basis that the UK only produces two per cent of the world's CO2.

And Coun Ewen Sinclair told the meeting that if CO2 levels are the problem, then "the Chinese can be blamed", the minutes revealed.

The councillor said, according to the minutes, that it was his belief that the Green Party had set up the organisation as a charity "to extract taxpayers' money and to campaign".

Want to stay up to date with all the latest news for your local area? It's easy, just sign up for our free weekly email newsletter here and all the important stories that matter to you will be delivered straight to your inbox.

"He added that he believed that they are trying to encourage people to obtain new behaviours, as it sounds like they are trying to confuse peoples' minds," the minutes said.

Other members pointed out that the event has nothing to do with the Green Party, the minutes said.

Five councillors voted to approve the £2,000 budget, while two councillors voted against and one abstained.