DORSET Council’s ruling Tory group has ruled out making climate change a designated cabinet post.

Council leader Spencer Flower says he is told that the panel is driving the agenda forward ‘at pace’ and there is no need for a specific cabinet post.

The council’s climate change group has met three times behind closed doors since May but has not, as yet, made public any of its work or recommendations, if it has any.

The panel is chaired by cabinet member Cllr Ray Bryan who combines the job with his other cabinet duties overseeing highways, travel and environment. His climate change role if not a specific cabinet post.

Lib Dem’ leader, Cllr Nick Ireland, says he believes it should be, given the warning that within a decade the planet could be facing unprecedented, and possibly irreversible change, with the risk of more floods, droughts, extreme heat and poverty.

“It is no longer enough to have some green policies. In a world where we must move to zero-carbon, every policy must be green,” said Cllr Ireland, who argues that it needs a specific cabinet post to drive the agenda forward.

“Whilst Cllr Bryan has picked up the climate emergency baton with the enthusiasm and focus that those of us who've worked with him previously would expect, I am concerned that when combined with his cabinet role, this council will not achieve what it must due to the scale and enormity of the task ahead..

“I ask that Dorset Council recognises this and commits to establishing a cabinet role straddling all directorates, with the sole remit to address our organisation's move to net zero carbon.”

Ruling out the specific cabinet post council leader Spencer Flower said that in addition to the work of the climate change panel there had been “a considerable amount of additional time and effort invested in preparation and research by both officers and members.”

“The work of the panel, with membership drawn from all political groups has, I am informed, has been very productive and a great credit to those members involved in driving the climate change agenda forward and importantly at pace…Climate change has been afforded the highest priority. I can therefore offer a reassurance to Cllr. Ireland that this council anticipates achieving its commitment to the task ahead in a timely and diligent manner.”