THE leader of Sedgemoor Labour has supported plans from five Somerset councils for a carbon neutral Somerset by 2030 but said he recognises the plans are 'only a start.'

All five councils - Somerset County Council (SCC), Mendip District Council (MDC), Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) and South Somerset District Council (SSDC) - declared or recognised climate emergencies in 2019 and came together to agree on a Climate Emergency Strategy.

The draft strategy was launched on October 6, and has now been approved by all five councils at their full council meetings.

It was developed by the councils after a public consultation in January 2020, during which Somerset residents had the chance to decide what the priorities should be.

The councils have agreed this is a "landmark" decision for the county and they will work together to "tackle climate change."

READ MORE: Carbon neutral Somerset by 2030 plans given the go-ahead

Cllr Brian Smedley, leader of Sedgemoor Labour, said the party supports the plan but recognises that it is 'only a start.'

“As I reminded people at executive this morning, Noah didn’t save all those animals by just passing a motion at council, there was quite a lot of infrastructure that had to be put in place first," Cllr Smedley said.

"And to add to this point I would say ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ if it had been it would have probably fallen straight down -particularly if this government had appointed the contractors”

Cllr Smedley said 'climate change needs to be at the top of all agendas' and members of Bridgwater Transport Forum discussed the issue at a meeting on Wednesday (November 25).

"People enthused about cycling, walking and public transport ..agreeing that was the future.

"People said electric vehicles might not be the answer for everyone – and hybrid vehicles certainly weren’t – what you give with one hand you take back with the other- a bit like the Chancellors statement.

"People said that maybe we should focus on electrifying public transport and people should accept that the age of personally polluting the atmosphere from the comfort of your own private carbonator is over.

"Electric vehicles for busses, trains, trams, electric bikes, and delivery vehicles. A very important increase in public sector infrastructure – home delivery, shopping local- cutting down the need for private vehicles.

"At Climate Change Forums people have said food production and land use is unsustainable as currently envisaged.

"People say recycling yes -but its not the only answer – and certainly not when it comes to plastics- the all pervading creep of plastics across the world just has to stop at source and alternatives found.

"If we want a carbon negative world we have to rapidly move to alternative energy sources – wind, solar, water.

"We’re not just asking for a few electric charging points here and there and then we’re done."