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West Norfolk Council plans working group to shape climate change response

A new working group, which is intended to help shape West Norfolk Council's response to the threat of climate change, is expected to be set up next week.

The move follows calls for both members and the wider public to be given the chance to influence the development of future policies.

But no formal discussions are expected to take place until the new year, because of the continuing response to the coronavirus crisis.

GV ofthe Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn. (22770034)
GV ofthe Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn. (22770034)

Last month , the authority published a draft document stressing its commitment to tackling the issue, with detailed proposals following in the coming months.

The council has so far resisted calls from Extinction Rebellion activists to formally declare a climate emergency, even though it insists it recognises the scale of the problem.

The working group, which is likely to have five members, is expected to be formally established during a meeting of the authority's environment and community panel next Tuesday, after the idea was backed at an earlier session in September.

Minutes from that session record: "Concern was expressed that there had been no member involvement in the creation of the policy and that members should have the opportunity to input into the action plan and strategy."

Calls were also made for the public to be given the opportunity to have their say on what should be part of the council's strategy.

But papers published ahead of next week's meeting confirm the group is unlikely to meet formally this year.

They said: "Subject to any restrictions imposed by Covid-19, for instance redeployment of officers, or the need to concentrate on critical services, the Informal Working Group to hold their first meeting in January/February 2021, which is when work on the Strategy and Action Plan will commence."

The papers added that the group's remit would be to "input and monitor" the development of the council's strategy and action plan, as well as reporting back to the panel as appropriate.

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