West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Climate Conference 28 October 2019

Tickets available from midday on 16 September

2019 Climate Conference graphic for website

Issued on: 16 September 2019

West Berkshire Council will host a Climate Conference on Monday 28 October at Newbury College from 10am until 4pm.

The event has been organised by West Berkshire Council following its 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 the new West Berkshire Council Strategy 2019-23.

It will look at how residents, communities, organisations and the council can help tackle the climate crisis and will be opened by Richard Benyon MP for Newbury, former Parliamentary Secretary at the Department of Environment and Wildlife Minister (DEFRA). 

The Keynote speaker is Tom Heap, the Rural Affairs Correspondent of BBC News. The television and 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. Tom will be speaking specifically around the challenges facing West Berkshire.

There will 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 session and information exchanges will take place throughout the day. 

West Berkshire residents are invited to attend the conference by booking admission in advance but numbers will be limited to four tickets per application. Tickets will be available from noon on Monday 16 September on our 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."

Councillor 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 will be published in the coming weeks on our website and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.