UPDATE: the motion to reaffirm the climate and ecological emergency was backed unanimously by councillors.

The leader of Herefordshire’s Greens is seeking to get all political groups in the county including the now ruling Conservatives to re-commit to addressing the “climate emergency”.

Coun Ellie Chowns will use a full meeting of Herefordshire councillors in a week’s time (July 28) to propose that the council, now under minority Conservative control, re-declare its earlier recognition of the climate and ecological emergency.

This would oblige council decisions to take into account climate mitigation and adaptation with the goal of “a zero-carbon, nature-rich Herefordshire by 2030”, as well as “accelerating reduction of the council’s own carbon footprint”, Coun Chowns’ motion says.


All councillors backed a motion recognising the climate emergency in March 2019, when the Conservatives were last in power.

In December 2020 the council, by then under joint Independent-Green control, voted to strengthen its commitment by declaring a “climate and ecological emergency”.

The move appears to be an attempt by the Greens to stop the new administration back-sliding on the county’s environmental commitments.


Non-aligned councillor Jim Kenyon will also use the meeting press for the council to help make up the £70,000 shortfall in the £450,000 project to resurface Hereford's athletics track.

Meanwhile the council, along with local police, health and fire services, “have raised a number of concerns” with the Home Office over its plans to use the Talbot Hotel in Leominster as contingency accommodation for asylum seekers, the council’s chief executive Paul Walker says in a report for the meeting.

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“The Home Office will be carrying out due diligence checks over the coming weeks to assess the suitability of the property, following which they will inform the council of their final decision,” he said.

The council will also publish on August 2 the outcome of an Ofsted monitoring visit to its children’s services department on June 28 and 29, according to a report for the meeting by council leader Jonathan Lester.

“We recognise we still have much progress to make and we are not complacent in this regard,” he said.