Sun, 15 Sept 2019
Tickets for West Berkshire's first climate conference are now available.
The conference will be held at Newbury College on Monday, October 28 from 10am until 4pm.
It was organised following the council's declaration of a climate emergency last month.
It's one of the first initiatives to come from a new environment board established by the council which will create a new environment strategy and coordinate and oversee environmental projects to help work towards carbon neutrality in West Berkshire by 2030.
The conference also supports the council's priority to maintain a green district as set out in its four year strategy.
The conference will look at how residents, communities, organisations and the council can help tackle the climate crisis.
It will be opened by Newbury MP, Richard Benyon who is a former DEFRA minister.
The keynote speaker is Tom Heap, the rural affairs correspondent for BBC News.
The television, radio reporter and presenter is best known for his contributions to the BBC One programme Countryfile, the Panorama programme, and the BBC Radio 4 programme Costing the Earth.
He will be speaking specifically around the challenges facing West Berkshire.
There will also be break-out sessions covering the science of climate change, climate and land use, sustainable transport, renewable energy, green district, circular economy and waste and more.
There will also be an exhibition and a chance to shop with some of West Berkshire's eco-friendly businesses.
A number of speaker-led sessions and information exchanges will take place throughout the day.
West Berkshire residents are invited to attend the conference by booking tickets in advance, however numbers will be limited to four tickets per person.
Tickets will be available from noon on tomorrow on the West Berkshire climate conference tickets page.
Speaking about the conference, councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, West Berkshire's executive member for the environment said: "We're excited to be hosting this event, which will bring together academics, industry figures, local organisations and residents to discuss how we can tackle the climate crisis here in West Berkshire.
"Climate change is an important issue that affects us all and about which our community feels very passionately.
"For this reason, we feel that the conference will be a great opportunity for local people to be involved with our work and to contribute their views, ideas and experiences as we look at shared solutions we can adopt in the district.
“We have an impressive line-up of speakers for the day and a great chance for everyone to join together to enable real change. I would encourage people to book their places as soon as possible."
Steve Masters, councillor for Newbury Speen said: "I welcome the conference and would encourage members of the public to attend.
"The challenges we face locally and internationally are grave and only through wider understanding and action can we move forward.
"If we as a council are to take the public with us on this journey we must engage in a two way dialogue.
"Communication is vital and this conference not only allows the council to speak to the residents of West Berkshire but also offers an opportunity for residents to speak directly to the council. As a council we must first listen and then act."
Adrian Abbs, shadow environment spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, seconded the motion to declare a climate emergency.
He said: “The conference is an essential step in what needs to be a rapid program of both near term tactical steps and the setting of a strategy that will have implications across West Berkshire for the coming decade.
“To achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, it is essential to engage the public and business and I want to encourage as much participation in this event as possible.”
More information about the conference can be found by visiting: www.westberks.gov.uk/climateconference or by checking the West Berkshire Council climate conference Facebook and Twitter pages.