TWO Green councillors are leading calls for a new unitary authority to declare a climate emergency.

Councillors Chris Rigby and Simon Bull say “not enough” had been done by BCP Council’s preceding bodies and said they hoped the move would give environmental issues a stronger focus.

And, although it will not be considered until July, the Conservative group has already backed the move.

Dozens of councils across the country have declared climate emergencies and Cllr Bull, a former member of Bournemouth council, said he hope the new conurbation unitary authority would follow their example.

“We are facing a climate emergency,” he said. “This issue has been acknowledged by a number of other councils, including Dorset, and nationally and it’s time it was recognised here too.

“Not enough has been done by the former councils in taking the environment seriously and I hope that declaring a climate emergency would give it a sharper focus in all the work the council does.”

His new Green Winton East ward colleague, Cllr Chris Rigby, said he hoped the conurbation could become carbon neutral by 2025.

Cllr Bull said he understood the motion would be considered at the first regular full council meeting on July 16 rather than the annual meeting on Tuesday (May 21).

Dorset Council declared a climate emergency at its first meeting on Thursday (May 16) following promotions from a number of groups, including Extinction Rebellion, before it began.

The move by the two Green councillors to follow in their suit has already been backed by the Conservative group on the council.

In a statement published on Monday, its leader Cllr Bob Lawton said they would look to expand the target set by Bournemouth council in 2007 to reduce its carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2030.

“We know that our towns are successful because of our wonderful beaches and parks,” he said.

“We will continue to prioritise them and promote our ‘Leave Only Footprints’ campaign to keep them litter and plastic-free.”

The motion put forward by Cllr Bull and seconded by Cllr Rigby will, if approved, require the council to call on the government to support it in its aim to become carbon neutral by 2025 and for council officers to report back within six months outlining actions the council will take.