Discussion stifled on Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

15 April 2021

Councillor Kelvin Clayton has voiced disappointment after a motion he is promoting to gather support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill was ruled out of order.

Councillor Clayton, who represents Bridport as one of four Greens on Dorset Council, had asked Dorset Council to support the Private Member’s Bill and to write to the county’s 5 MPs to ask them to support it too. The Council meeting where he was hoping to get it discussed took place this evening (April 15).

Questions were also raised at the meeting by the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill Alliance about the lack of support. Councillors replied that it was too early to ask MPs to support it and it did not sufficiently relate to Council business. 

The Council's original response mistakenly described the Bill as “an early day motion” which doesn’t allow discussion. In fact the Bill is a Private Member’s Bill sponsored by 12 MPs and has 107 MPs from 7 political parties already signed up as supporters. Private Member’s Bills can pave the way for legislation later introduced by the Government and are used to test cross party support.

Cllr Clayton said: “The draft Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy which the Council is promoting says it will lobby the Government to secure the urgent changes needed. What I’m proposing is in line with that commitment”.

“Not allowing discussion about this is a failure in democracy – the Council should be taking every opportunity to address the Climate Emergency”.

The Strategy itself is on the agenda for the July meeting of Dorset Council.


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