We are writing to express our disappointment, frustration and anger at the council’s continued inaction following its declaration of a Climate Emergency.

We were so hopeful when the council declared the Emergency at the end of August, particularly as it had cross party support.

However, it is now apparent that you have little intention of implementing any of the measures outlined in the Climate Emergency motion.

We have attended the two full council meetings that have followed the declaration. Whilst we appreciate the recognition that, as an over-arching issue, discussion of climate and carbon neutrality should be brought to the Vision Partnership, we do not feel this goes nearly far enough.

This is not an issue to be tagged on to an existing agenda and framework; this is the single biggest issue our population faces and needs robust strategies and measures to make real changes.

We are also acutely aware of the budget constraints that the council faces; we are residents of Bolton – we have felt them for ourselves.

And we fully appreciate the need to prioritise spending on front—line service delivery.

However, we know, and a large proportion of the scientific community suggests, that the cost of not acting now will not only be higher, but catastrophic.

If we do not slow the rate of global warming and repair the damage we have done to our soil and air, our food supply, infrastructure and economic systems will all fail: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/27/climate-emergency-world-may-have-crossed-tipping-points

We do not expect the council to have answers for these huge issues right now. It would be unrealistic to expect councillors to know how to achieve carbon neutrality. However, the Climate Emergency motion contains within it the intention to establish a Citizens Assembly, a measure which would see specialists appraising Bolton’s carbon footprint and putting forward policy suggestions to achieve neutrality.

This model is being implemented in other boroughs and offers what is clearly a good starting point: https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20011/environment/1343/oxford_citizens_assembly_on_climate_change

We urge you as our representatives to follow through on the actions set out in the Climate Emergency motion, passed in the Council Chambers in August.

Bolton has a strong history for being an innovative town.

We believe that this is a great opportunity for us to lead the way and pioneer new ways of working towards a sustainable future.

A group of concerned Bolton residents