Young people call for district-wide support at climate strike

PUBLISHED: 08:24 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:43 04 February 2020

Climate protesters in the Saffron Walden Market Square during the September 20 global climate protest last year. Picture: ANDRA MACIUCA/ARCHANT.

Climate protesters in the Saffron Walden Market Square during the September 20 global climate protest last year. Picture: ANDRA MACIUCA/ARCHANT.


A climate strike will take place in front of the Saffron Walden Town hall on February 14 from 12.30am.

Young people are preparing to take a public stand in their fight for the future of the planet.

The Strike for Solutions will be taking place in front of Saffron Walden Town Hall on Friday February 14 from 12.30pm, and aims to unite all parishes in Uttlesford and beyond to highlight issues such as climate change, inefficient waste disposal and the slaughter of wildlife.

Olivia Whittle, student and environmentalist, has penned a public letter on behalf of the youth of Saffron Walden regarding the environmental crisis.

She said: "We, the young people of Uttlesford, demand that immediate action is taken by the district council to protect the future of our ecology and environment.

"In light of the recent declaration of a climate crisis by the Uttlesford District Council, we urge the reversal of drastic amendments that have watered down the bill and made it solely symbolic, in preference of a more ambitious program that truly protects our area, and secures the right of future generations to enjoy it.

"We may not be able to solve the world's climate crisis, but as a united district, we can start to make a difference.

"Our community won't suffer the inconvenience of road closures, or exposure to the negativity surrounding strikes. We aim to demonstrate that peace will make the difference.

"The young and the elderly, the ideological opposites, and all members of our community, will take to the streets in solidarity to support our united appeal that the Uttlesford District Council must act upon its declared climate emergency swiftly and effectively."

R4U's Councillor Louise Pepper, Uttlesford District Council's (UDC) environmental and eco portfolio holder, said the district is in a "unique" position to play a part in tackling climate change.

"UDC's recent refusal of the Stansted Airport expansion is nationally, if not internationally, significant. A huge expansion, which would pump yet more carbon into the atmosphere, is incompatible with UDC's climate emergency and government carbon reduction targets," she said.

"Residents can be proud of the eco-agenda that the new council has adopted - this is a refreshed council with a fresh agenda. Since R4U took the reins in May, the council has declared a climate and environmental emergency; committed to a carbon net-zero 2030 goal; adopted R4U's 'ABC for life' programme to tackle the three biggest environmental issues: air quality, biodiversity and carbon reduction; and established a cross-party climate working group.

"That group is specifically designed to give environmental organisations a seat at the table. They are invited as external advisers to review, prioritise and recommend the council's actions to speed up delivery. In truth, all of this is just the tip of the iceberg - there is much more to do and the government needs to step up. Instead of more hollow worlds, what we actually need from central government are tough new laws and powers so that councils can act more quickly on Climate Change."

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Saffron Walden Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter