Agenda item

Public Speaking

To note any requests to speak on any items that are on the agenda in accordance with the Council’s Public Speaking Scheme (see footnote to this agenda).


Councillor Izzi Seccombe (Leader of Council and Chair of Cabinet) welcomed two public speakers to the meeting. These were Mr Dominic Harrison and Mr Keith Kondakor.


1. Mr Dominic Harrison


Mr Harrison read out the following statement.


“Hello, I am Dominic Harrison, one of the co-founders of Warwickshire Climate Alliance (WCA), and a Warwick Resident. I am ex-National Grid and also a member of Extinction Rebellion, and I would like to briefly speak about Agenda Item No.9, the proposal to join UK100 Climate Change Network.


I am speaking on behalf of WCA, an umbrella group bringing together a wide range of groups concerned with climate change, including Clean Air Warwick, Clean Air Leamington, Action 21, Friends of the Earth, Transition Town Rugby, Extinction Rebellion, Low Carbon Warwickshire Network, Cycleways and Stratford Climate Action.


I am encouraged by WCC’s wish to join the UK100 Network as I believe that through working with other local governments this will increase the opportunities for shared experiences, greater support from Central Government, access to funding, and also understanding some of the pitfalls other councils may be experiencing. Most importantly it signals real intent that WCC are taking the climate crisis seriously in the run up to COP26.


Since 1992, when the UN IPCC published its first report on climate change and soon after the first COP meeting took place, despite all the pledges and declarations that have been made CO2 levels have continued to increase, such that the current levels we now experience have not been seen on our Earth for over 4 million years. As we approach the 1.5 deg. limit, again a level we have not seen for millions of years, the consequences to our livelihoods will become increasingly more severe. When looking outside, from our narrow perspective, it is tempting to think the changes are minor or over-played. But if I can refer to a metaphor used by the Irish Author and Philosopher Charles Handy in his book “The age of unreason” he suggests that a frog, when placed in hot water will jump out, but when placed in cold water that is slowly heated will not sense any danger. The suggestion is that the frog will allow itself to be cooked slowly to death, since slow and gradual changes become normalised and hence any escape is delayed until it is too late. We are now at 1.1 deg. above the long-term average – we cannot befall the same fate.


From a financial perspective, the costs on inaction as quoted by a number of newspapers at the G7 summit , could represent 8-9% of GDP each year for the industrialised nations if temperatures are allowed to exceed 1.5 deg, twice the economic loss Covid-19 has brought about, every single year.


Therefore, WCA supports this proposal but I would like to stress the importance of interim and ongoing targets to measure progress, as it is the progress we make between now and 2030 that are by far the most crucial. We would also suggest the appointment of an independent expert auditor who would quantify and report on real carbon reductions from 2021 onwards, as has been done by Warwick DC and Stratford DC in their carbon reductions plans.


2. Mr Keith Kondakor


Mr Kondakor asked two questions.


1) On item 6 - The graphs on economic outlook, page 5 of 37, clearly shows Warwickshire has lost around £1.4billion of economic activity and some 23,000 jobs in 2020. Why does the report ignore the consequential loss of population as many thousands of very mobile overseas nationals, and their families,  have left Coventry and Warwickshire since March 2020?

2) On item 8 - WFRS, What is planned for the Fire service provision in Nuneaton and is the possible plan to relocate on of the two Nuneaton appliances  to Bedworth being approved on the quiet by today's vote?


Councillor Izzi Seccombe thanked both members of the public for their contributions.