Agenda item

To receive any questions from members of the public under paragraph 17 of Part 2 (The Council and District Council Members) of the Constitution.


One question had been received from a member of the public in accordance with paragraph 17 of Part 2 (The Council and District Council Members) of the Constitution.


Question 1: Leo Manston


Question 1

“Hi, my name is Leo and I’m an 11 year old boy. On 25th June 2019, Gravesham Council declared a climate emergency and I asked them to include children and young people in their climate change plans. Tonight, I’m here to ask Sevenoaks Council to do the same.


Floods, storms, heatwaves and droughts happen every year in the UK and it’s worrying to think about what other things might happen in the future. Our air is dirty, our rivers and seas are polluted and even the nature and wildlife that surrounds us is under threat.


I don’t want to spend my time worrying about things like this. But I’d rather help fix what’s gone wrong and help put things right than ignore it and hope it goes away. It won’t go away. It will just get worse. We need to start taking it seriously and working hard to make things better and to make sure my siblings, my friends and all the children and young people in Sevenoaks - and everywhere - have a healthy and happy environment to grow up in. So I urge you to please show you care for children and young people by voting for this motion and making climate change your top priority.


I also think that your plans would be even better if children and young people were involved in the decision making. We will have to live and work in the District that you are creating so we would like to help shape it.


Will you please consider creating a way for children and young people to take part in all your climate change plans - and all decision making - at Sevenoaks Council?”


Response: Leader of the Council


The Council, as part of its commitment to tackling climate change had already engaged with young people in the District. Most recently, through the idling campaign which all schools were invited to take part in the poster competition to encourage parents to stop idling in cars whilst parked around schools. It was unfortunate that not all schools had engaged with the process but it was a successful campaign and there were new banners being made up for those schools.


The Kent network for air quality had created an interactive pollution resource which could be provided to primary schools if they wanted to know about pollution.


Further initiatives for next summer included ‘walk to school’ and working with schools who had either had eco clubs and or other climate change projects. 

The Council was working with the climate change youth forum which involved students from local secondary schools. However, due to a lack of engagement from the schools and low numbers had resulted in the past two meetings being cancelled. 


A particular area where the Council was directly facilitating a climate resilient district was through the development of its emerging Local Plan. The need to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change were central to the plan. The Plan sets out the local policy that ensures all future development was built to significantly reduce and offset carbon emissions and be resilient to a changing climate.  It was however, not just limited to build development, but local policies on design, flood risk and water management, transport, open space, biodiversity and more to ensure a robust and joined up approach to tackling climate change over the plan period.


The consultation on the local plan starts on Thursday 23 November and it created a way for young people to take part in policy setting, which affects all decision making.


There was no further discussion.


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