Canterbury councillor says changing school times will tackle climate ‘crisis’

Canterbury City councillor suggests that schools should ‘stagger’ start times to tackle climate crisis.

 After MP’s endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s call to declare ‘climate emergency’ this week, Canterbury City councillor Joe Howes, said that it is the ‘small’ steps that make all the difference, he suggested one way that we could tackle this issue, would be by staggering school start times.

He said: “We need to be working with organisations looking at staggering start times for schools, rather than panicking to get everyone in at the same time. Its proven that children learn better at 10am anyway. If you have thousands of children coming into the city at the same time, it’s no wonder the city has a problem with stop start traffic, with lots of pollution created.”

Joe also explained that the most-harmful factor in the city towards global warming was air pollution, suggesting that if we change school start times, air pollution would be reduced.

He said: “Air quality in Canterbury has always been relatively poor, so we’ve got to encourage people to take small steps and take a look at our own actions. I would love to see more people using public transport as the level of traffic in Canterbury is also at a poor level”

The council has introduced a variety of ‘small schemes’ in the past with the purpose to make the city greener. Electric car charging points across the city, local community groups and the ‘refill scheme’ are all actions that the council have previously implemented for the result of an eco-friendly city. Joe explained that climate change isn’t a ‘political’ problem, but a societal, where if the problem is tackled locally rather than as a whole, it will be more efficient.

Speaking on the recent MP declaration of a ‘climate emergency’ Joe said: “sadly the government use the term ‘climate change’ as a political weapon. It is constantly changed to appear ‘more scary’ or ‘less scary’. Action needs to be taken locally, it’s not a political issue, it is something that we as a society need to change… small changes made by every person will have a larger impact in the long run”

After hundreds of students were involved in the climate change march across the city last month, Joe explained that student impact makes all the difference in spreading awareness for global warming and the need for Canterbury residents to go green.

He said: “residents need to recycle, we have a recycling programme across the city which works. The most important thing is that young people have a voice and get involved. Whether this is through strikes or attending council meetings, it’s their future and we have got to make sure we are not ruining this planet for them.”

See Joe’s full interview below:

Click here to see what other schemes the council have planned to make Canterbury greener.


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