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Extinction Rebellion forces brief suspension of Bromley council meeting

PUBLISHED: 11:14 17 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:15 17 January 2020

Extinction Rebellion protesters unfurled a banner and began chanting. Picture: Lachlan Leeming

Extinction Rebellion protesters unfurled a banner and began chanting. Picture: Lachlan Leeming

Archant

A meeting of Bromley Council’s executive was briefly suspended on Wednesday, January 15 after it was interrupted by six Extinction Rebellion protesters.

Roughly 10 minutes into the meeting, a band of six activists sitting in the public chamber unfurled a banner and began chanting: "What do we want? Climate action".

Council leader Colin Smith suspended the meeting immediately, with councillors briskly leaving the room.

Their absence was short-lived, with the still-chanting band of protesters swiftly moved on and the meeting resuming within minutes.

Extinction Rebellion's high-profile exploits have captured worldwide attention in recent years; with their actions in London including blockading bridges and delaying public transport with protests in a bid to draw attention to the world's climate change plight and government policies.

It's not the first time they've courted controversy in Bromley's council halls either.

As recently as August 2019, the group staged a peaceful protest at a meeting of the authority's environment and community services committee.

The group's most recent Bromley action was done in a bid to hasten the council establishing more details, including terms of reference and a benchmark, around it's Net Zero Carbon Emissions scheme.

The council voted in July last year to pursue the 10-year plan which would see the authority achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2029.

According to the council, work to move towards the net zero emission target will include tree planting, an energy efficiency programme, expanding renewable energy and LED street lighting.

Bromley's first Carbon Management Programme operated from 2008/09 - 2012/13 and resulted in a 14 per cent reduction in the council's greenhouse gas emissions. A second carbon management plan, running from 2013/14 to 2017/18, achieved a 33 per cent reduction against a 2013 baseline.

Once the meeting resumed, the executive voted unanimously on two items: one being the approval of an additional £115k to replace a cracked and bulging retaining wall at the council's Central Depot, and the other being the granting of landlord's consent for a new hotel and aviation college at Biggin Hill Airport.


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