Socially distanced demonstration outside Dorset Council offices

Socially distanced demonstration outside Dorset Council offices

Published by George Sharpe at 12:45pm 19th May 2020. (Updated at 1:22pm 19th May 2020)

Extinction Rebellion campaigners staged a socially distanced demonstration outside Dorset Council's offices.

It comes exactly a year since the authority declared a Climate and ecological Emergency on the county. 

10 protestors came together to hold a two-minute silence outside South Walks House while maintaining two meters social distancing and wearing face masks. 

Dorchester's chapter of the Extinction Rebellion group gathered outside the same offices, which are currently empty, a year ago on 16th May 2019.

Extinction Rebellion campaigners in Dorchester staged a demonstration exactly a year ago outside Dorset Council offices.

Now, the group are calling for more action from Dorset Council, claiming the climate emergency should prompt as big a Council response as COVID-19 has in recent months.

The environmental group were also gathered to protest against the severe flooding the UK has seen in the last year and other events such as the April 2020 wildfires.

Andy Smith from Extinction Rebellion says:

"Dorset Councils woeful inaction in producing strategy and action plan is worrying.

"Whilst we understand and appreciate that COVID-19 has presented some unexpected challenges for the Council, we know the Climate Emergency has the potential to present similar, if not bigger problems."

Their main concern is that the Council acted within a matter of days to the Coronavirus outbreak and don't understand why the authority has done to act towards the Climate and Ecological emergency.

Cllr Ray Bryan, chair of Dorset Council’s Climate Change Executive Advisory Panel, said: 

“We will be discussing the draft strategy and action plan at our Executive Advisory Panel (EAP) for Climate Change meeting this Friday (22 May). A lot of hard work has gone into this already and I want to thank Councillors and officers for their efforts so far.

"Once agreed by the EAP, we hope to publish the draft for the public to see during the summer. In the meantime we continue to ask for patience and understanding at this difficult time, especially as we begin to consider the long-term challenges the Council faces as a result of the pandemic.”

Andy says they maintained a safe and sensible approach while protesting:

“We’ve maintained a safe and sensible approach to undertaking our small protest and ensured that we didn’t put rebels, the public or front line workers at risk.”