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MINEHEAD Town Council is being asked to declare a climate emergency and take urgent action against climate change. The recommendation, from the council’s amenities and environmental committee, follows similar decisions from the county council and the shadow Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWAT). The committee’s recommendation will now be considered by the full town council, which will be asked to ratify the decision and issue a public statement on how the initiative will be supported.

Proposing the move, Cllr Oliver Harvey said: “Having done that, we must ask what we can do. For example, our developing tree management programme and new tree planting policy is a step in the right direction.” He also suggested there would be ecological benefits from a rail link to Taunton and referred to an open letter from the Minehead Rail Link Group to Minehead mayor Cllr Norman Hercock. In the letter, Alex Mendoza and Cllr Benet Allen, chairman and secretary of the group, said: “As awareness of the climate emergency increases, it’s vital that we play our part in reducing our carbon footprint. “It is environmentally suicidal and illogical to drive from far away parts of the country to Minehead and then take a nostalgic trip on a steam train to Bishops Lydeard and back, when you could make the whole journey by rail.” Mr Mendoza said this week: “Following endless features on the effects of air pollution on our health and the growing problem of climate change, why are our transport leaders and providers not getting round the table to work out better ways to use the infrastructure we already have snaking across our region?”

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