The role local councils can play in minimising the effects of climate change are the basis of a motion councillors in Swindon will debate and vote on this week.

The Conservative administration's cabinet member for housing and public safety Coun Cathy Martyn has brought a motion urging Swindon Borough Council to take action.

It says: "Climate change is a reality and a word-wide effort is essential to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid a catastrophic temperature rise of more than two degrees.

"Local authorities have a big say in how we heat and power our homes and how we get around, and are vital to building low carbon communities and meeting our national climate commitments. It makes good economic sense to continue to take action now to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions. If we delay acting on emissions, it will only mean more radical intervention in the future at greater cost, and larger impacts on society."

The motion refers to the fact that the borough council, like hundreds around the country, is responsible for planning matters,and could, perhaps, ask housebuilders to install solar panels on the roofs of the homes they build.

When the council's planning committee recently voted to approve the design of the indoor snow centre at North Star, Coun Jane Milner-Barry voted against, with one of her reasons being the roof of the building will not carry solar panels.

The council is also responsible for building and maintaining the borough's road network, and trying to encourage more walking, cycling and use of public transport.

The meeting starts at 7pm on Thursday at the Euclid Street civic offices.