CONSERVATIVE councillors in Wychavon have been accused of “burying their heads in the sand” on climate change.

A plan, put forward by Wychavon District Council's Liberal Democrats, which called for the authority to commit to cutting 80 per cent of its carbon emissions by 2030 was rejected last week.

Councillor Charles Tucker, who helped propose the Liberal Democrat motion, said the council’s leadership would rather congratulate themselves on installing water-saving taps in public toilets than take the lead on climate change and their wilful ignorance on the subject was shocking.

However, the council's Conservatives hit back at the claim when amending the Liberal Democrat motion saying the council had an impressive record on 'environmental stewardship.'

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Cllr Bradley Thomas, leader of Wychavon District Council, said the council should not "jump the gun" and blindly commit to a resource that may not slot into what the aspirations of the council may be.

Cllr Tucker said: “We’ve come to expect complacency from this council but their wilful ignorance on this vital subject is shocking.

“One councillor couldn’t tell the difference between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Institute for Public Policy Research.

“The Liberal Democrats will take no lessons from the Tories on the environment.

“Climate change is the most important issue facing mankind, yet the council’s leaders, rather than take meaningful action to tackle it, preferred to congratulate themselves on installing water saving taps in public toilets."

Cllr Bradley Thomas said the authority already had a very strong environmental record and had one of the best records of environmental stewardship anywhere in the country.

He said the council had already been working on the majority of the issues the Liberal Democrats had raised for a number of years.

He said: “We really are at a point that, in terms of environmental awareness, it could not be better and as much as the environment is a concern, it is a concern for all of us, but a concern in the sense that we are environmental stewards.

"We have to do this in a sustainable way.

"I am a little disappointed that this motion has come forward without any engagement with our [Conservative] group."

An amended motion, which Cllr Thomas said would “crystallise” the council’s commitment to environmental sustainability as well as sustainability across all the council’s work, was passed.

Wychavon District Council was ranked as one of the worst authorities in the country for CO2 emissions per person using figures by energy bill comparison website Migrate and is one of the few remaining authorities in Worcestershire to declare a climate emergency.