EXTINCTION Rebellion members from Salisbury have asked Wiltshire Council what its emergency plans are in the county, should climate change issues not be addressed in the next decade.

Elizabeth Robertson, from the city, called on county chiefs to outline whether food shortage plans have been considered.

She was joined by group members from Salisbury, as well as Bradford on Avon, on Tuesday to call on the council to do more as part of its bid to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Wiltshire Council has set up a task group to look at a way of making Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030 and appointed Ashley O’Neil as portfolio holder for climate change.

The group is to meet officers from across council services like housing, planning and waste to create a plan of action.

But Ms Robertson believes more should have been achieved in the six months since the climate emergency was acknowledged by full council.

Speaking to the Environment Committee she asked: “Why have emergency powers not been put in place to make it the absolute priority?

“It seems the politicians think it’s either frugality or business as usual but it isn’t, it’s either the option of frugality or disaster.

“Other councils like Cornwall declared a climate emergency at the same time and have already got a plan in place.”

In July Cornwall council outlined its Forest for Cornwall flagship project, securing £30m to help tackle climate change.

Chairman of the climate change task group, Graham Wright, said that work was being done to make changes at the council.

He said: “We have been stifled by summer recess which couldn’t have come at a worse time but we are back now.

“Councillors and officers are engaged in reducing carbon emission. This will be an ethos embedded throughout the whole of Wiltshire Council. But there is a bigger issue of engaging Wiltshire residents to help make the county carbon neutral by 2030, which is just 11 years away.”

Plans are in place to work with university students on research for Wiltshire, to add “academic rigour” to the council’s final plans.

Lawyers from legal organisation ClientEarth have written to 105 councils including Wiltshire Council, warning that they face legal challenge if plans are not put in place to meet their climate emergency commitments.

They have given Wiltshire Council eight weeks to explain what carbon reduction targets have been set. ClientEarth climate lawyer Sam Hunter Jones said: “There is a collective failure by local authorities across England to plan adequately for climate change. Too often climate change is perceived to be solely the responsibility of central government.

“Yet so many of the daily decisions around new and existing infrastructure, such as new buildings, roads and utilities, are made at the local level.”