Council Watch – May 2023

CA-WN watching West Northants Council for us all

Council Watch – May 2023
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Elsewhere on CA-WN Exchange you will see accounts of the Climate Chaos event and the UoN Sustainability Summit. Both were attended by West Northamptonshire Council’s Leader, Jonathan Nunn, and by members of the council’s Sustainability Team. Jonathan Nunn had a formal speaking slot at the University and used it to good effect, talking about WNC’s commitment to addressing climate change, and highlighting their membership of UK100 among other achievements and plans.

The Summit was a business-focused event, where it would have been surprising not to see the council. In contrast, WNC might have chosen to side-step Climate Chaos, organised by Transition Town Northampton with the express purpose of bringing together groups and individuals from right across the spectrum of climate action; an occasion that was inevitably going to involve robust challenge from XR activists and others. Instead David Garlick of TTN was able to say after the event “Thank you to Cllrs Johnathan Nunn, Sam Rumens and Adam Brown who were willing and able to attend, listen and respond.”

We’ve said many times that successfully tackling the climate and ecological emergency requires everyone to work together, and it is good to see the council’s members and officers putting its pledge to provide community leadership into action.

The most recent full council meeting was the Annual Meeting on 18 May (WNC’s AGM), which while not short of vigorous debate, covered very little on the environmental or climate front. The one point worthy of note is that the role of Assistant Cabinet Member for Climate, previously held by Councillor Colin Morgan, appears to have been abolished in the revised Constitution (no reason given). A shame, as a committed and energetic holder of this post might do much to progress the council’s sustainability agenda.

Finally, a shout out to the WNC Waste Education Officer David and his series of short films on recycling, giving helpful advice on some of the tricky issues such as takeaway boxes, disposable cups and toothpaste tubes.