Malvern Councillors and Community Fight Climate Change Together

On the 25th of September, after hard work from local Labour Councillors, Malvern Town Council voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency. For many this represents a shift in the debate when it comes to environmental issues as Councils and the Community accept something needs to be done to save our planet. For the Councillors that proposed the motion, the declaration was the very beginning. We spoke to Sharon Taylor, Malvern Town Councillor for Malvern Link Ward, about the work the Council has done since declaring the climate emergency.

Why did you think it was important for Malvern Town Council to declare a Climate Emergency? 

I felt it was important that Malvern Town Council declared a climate emergency because Malvern Hills District Council had already, and the Conservative-led County Council had rejected it which is pretty incredible considering the evidence across the world. If we declare a climate emergency then we make this number one on our agenda and everything we do must be viewed through a new green lens. Even in a small organisation by a town council there are things we can do.

How does the MTC Environmental Panel work in practice, and what are its goals?

As a result of the declaration of the climate emergency, I helped set up an Environmental panel which I chair. The panel was divided into four groups; Ecology, Waste, Energy and Education. Each of these four also had chairs and could meet separately, as the agenda is very large and ongoing.

In the months before the pandemic we did meet and involved people who were interested in one or all of the areas we were discussing. Some were specialists in green energy, some were interested in rewilding and pollinators, and some were from other environmental groups and organisations.

The Environmental Panel is building bridges with developers to preserve our pollinators by planting more wild flowers and shrubs.

What work has the Panel done so far and what has it achieved?

Due to the pandemic a lot of our ideas had to be put on hold, however I have been chairing a rewilding group on zoom which has made some significant progress. MTC agreed to identify areas for tree rewilding including 500 trees on Greenfield and Yates Hay road Malvern Link .

I have also been working with MHDC and Platform to create a community garden in Beauchamp Road Malvern Link as well as rewilding areas on the new housing estate on Pickersleigh Grove, Malvern Link.

As an outcome of the Education group an “Earth Day on Zoom” has been planned by MTC on 22nd April involving local schools showing and telling about making wildlife gardens, how to make bee houses and with a talk by the RSPB.

We are looking as part of our waste strategy to introduce a number of new bins for recycling and we have agreement for new cycle racks around Malvern.

Cllr Taylor at the site where 500 Native British trees including Oak and Alder will be planted by the Town Council

How can members of the public and interested organisations get involved in the MTC Environmental Panel? 

We are currently rewriting MTC environmental strategy, as this is important if we are to seek extra support from agencies such as Natural Networks.

So despite being very restricted by the pandemic we have, by phone and email and Zoom, remained as active as we can. I’m hopeful that we can start to involve the community more when we are able to meet face to face.

If you want to get involved with the Environmental Panel’s work you can contact the Malvern Town Council on 01684 566667 or Cllr Taylor directly at cllrsharontaylor@malvern-tc.org.uk. Sharon has been a Malvern Town Councillor since May 2019 and is the Labour Party County Council Candidate for Malvern Link.

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