POLITICIANS of all parties in Swindon’s council chamber will work together to fight climate change.

But it took a while to get agreement and many, both opposition Labour and Lib Dem councillors, and green campaigners, think it is not enough.

Before Thursday’s full meeting of Swindon Borough Council, a dozen members of Extinction Rebellion, a nationwide group calling for urgent action on emissions, waved flags and banners on the steps of the council offices.

Inside they unfurled a banner from the public gallery and urged the council to take radical action to declare a climate emergency and make major steps towards cutting emissions in Swindon.

Cathy Martyn, the Conservative administration’s cabinet member for housing and public safety, introduced a motion to counteract climate change.

She said: “This is about what we can do, as a council, and what we can do as individuals. Decarbonisation is an infrastructure problem – the largest humanity has ever faced.”

The motion called on the Government to provide additional powers and resources to ensure the council can help deliver on national targets for a reduction in global warming to less than two per cent and asked the administration to ensure that climate change was considered in all key decisions.

But as councillors spoke about the responsibility of individuals, campaigners from the gallery shouted: “You have to lead. This is a failure of leadership.”

Labour’s Coun Jane Milner Barry introduced an amendment to use planning powers to ensure new buildings were as close to carbon neutral as possible in construction and use. She said: “There’s no use denying there’s a climate emergency - declare one now. This is an existential threat and we must rise to the challenge.”

But Conservative members were against the amendment. Coun Dale Heenan said: “Some say we shouldn’t have the indoor snow centre because of its carbon use, but we still need a thriving economy and jobs.It is our pledge to have a growing but low carbon economy.”

After negotiations the amendment withdrawn and Coun Martyn’s motion was changed to include the set up of a cross-party working group to see how the authority can work on emissions and climate change.