IT has been a ‘monumental’ week for Chard after two councils declared a climate emergency.

Chard Town Council set the tone for the week by declaring the statement on Monday (February 18) before Somerset County Council followed suit.

The second meeting was held in front of a room packed with protestors, who launched into applause after the vote.

The vast majority of county councillors supported a cross-party proposal to take urgent action against climate change, exploring what it can do to reduce the environmental impact of its services and activities.

A total of £25,000 has been allocated towards drawing up proposals, which will be scrutinised over the coming months.

SCC has also agreed to work with its regional partners to address the issue and will lobby the government to devolve the powers necessary to make effective changes.

Protestors gathered outside Shire Hall before the meeting, with many displaying the logo of the Extinction Rebellion activist group.

Tim Eggins, member of green group Sustainable Chard, was among them.

He said: “This week has been monumental for those fighting Climate Change.

“Chard Town Council supported a motion tabled by Dave Bulmer to declare a Climate Emergency and set the wheels in motion to make Chard Carbon Neutral by 2028.

“A team of councillors and the public will work together to take on the massive task with a list of actions that would make any hardened eco warrior take a second breath.

“Reducing energy, boosting recycling rates, planting trees, promoting cycling, walking and public transport, involving schools, community energy, insulating, educating both organisations and businesses.

“The list is extensive, but not exhaustive. Calling on enthusiastic folk from Sustainable Chard, which has depth and knowledge, will prove valuable over the coming years.”

The mayor of Chard, councillor Garry Shortland, said some of the green initiatives which had been proposed were already in motion within the town council.

He added: “It is something that we have got to get to grips with and play our part.

“We would like anybody interested to turn up at the first meeting and have a big community involvement.

“We will then see where we can go from there. The town council already has some initiatives in the pipeline that are on Tim’s list.

“This is more of an awareness thing, trying to everyone involved.”

Somerset County Council set itself a target of 2030.

Councillor David Hall said: “This is a decision not just for us but for future generations. It’s such an important issue that the goals we set and the decisions we take are achievable.”

Mr Eggins added: “Both councils received cheers and applause from the public who had come along to witness an historical moment for town and county.

“Many people believe that a turning point has been reached where the majority now understand the implications of inaction and are willing to play their part in battle ahead.”

The details for the Chard working group’s first meeting are set to be revealed in the coming days.