We’ll declare a “climate emergency” if elected, vow Lib Dems

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Protesters take to streets
Climate change protesters took to the streets of Canterbury in December

The Liberal Democrats are warning they will declare a “climate emergency” in the district if elected at the impending local elections.

Launching their manifesto ahead of polling day in May, the party is making the environment a central component of its vision for Canterbury.

It is aiming to capitalise on mounting concern over issues such as clean air and energy use, which have prompted a number of days of action in the city since December.

The Lib Dems – who presently have four of the 39 city council seats – say they will follow the lead of other UK local authorities and declare a climate emergency if they overturn the Conservatives’ majority.

Their manifesto states: “Climate change is the biggest threat this planet has ever faced, and it’s up to us to take action now.

“Let’s breath fresh air and protect young lungs, plant trees, improve rubbish collection and tackle graffiti.

“A Lib Dem council will declare a climate emergency. We will immediately draw up plans to make Canterbury carbon-neutral by 2030. We will take steps to end our dependency on single-use plastics and support initiatives to cut our carbon footprint.”

Other measures will include tree planting and introducing solar panels and electric car charging points at housing developments.

Elsewhere, the Lib Dems have promised to find Canterbury City FC a new home. The club has been homeless since 1999 when a Lib Dem-controlled city council demolished Kingsmead Stadium to make way for the Kingsbrook Park housing development.

This year’s Canterbury City Council elections take place on Thursday, May 2. The council presently comprises 28 Conservatives, four Labour councillors, four Lib Dems, two independents and a representative of the newly formed Foundation Party.

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