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Bury Council has been accused of not acting on its pledges seven months after declaring a climate emergency.

The local authority voted through an “aspiration” to become carbon neutral by 2030 in July.

It also committed to creating a cross-party stakeholder panel to develop a strategic plan and report back to the council within six months.

But speaking at a town hall meeting, Bury Climate Action campaigner Susan Sollazzi asked councillors why a plan has still not been published.

She said: “The time has come. The months have gone by without any action. I do appreciate without a plan its difficult to take the decisions.

“If the months have gone by with absolutely nothing happening, I think you can understand that whatever warm words you say, there’s a huge level of concern. There’s no money allocated. Without the money allocated, it may never happen. That’s a matter of immense concern.”

The comments came as the overview and scrutiny meeting discussed the council’s proposed budget for the next three years.

Cabinet member for finance and housing, Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, admitted that there was no money specifically allocated for the Climate Emergency Strategic plan.

But he said the issue is “incredibly important” to the council.

He said: “Taken in full context, some of the work we’ve done already as a council reinforces our commitment to protecting the environment.

“Declaring a climate emergency wasn’t a case of virtue signalling or bandwagon jumping.

“The scale means that we have to come up with comprehensive proposals to meet the scale of that challenge.

“When we have that in place, as soon as possible, we will be presenting that to council.”

Newly-appointed executive director of operations Donna Ball confirmed that the council is following guidance from Friends of the Earth.

She told the scrutiny committee that the council is working on plans to make its building carbon neutral as well as boosting cycling, walking and recycling in the borough.

The former Bolton Council director said she has been meeting with officers from other councils in Greater Manchester to help create the plan.

She said: “There’s a great deal going on behind the scenes. I’m meeting with Manchester City Council who are a lot more advanced that we are.

“I’ve only been in post for four weeks. There’s a lot happening. But I understand the frustration that you feel that it’s not progressed.”


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