LOCAL election candidates are to be questioned about their attitudes to climate change at an event organised by Ilkley campaigners.

Climate Action Ilkley will run a local election husting in the town on April 29 to allow candidates to be quizzed about their policies on the issue.

The group has sent a pledge to all candidates standing for Bradford or Ilkley Town Council setting out its vision for the future.

In the statement a founding member of the group Kath Steward says: “Climate change is the challenge of our time and we don’t have much time left to make a difference.

“I will be signing the Climate Action pledge and I will encourage all candidates for Ilkley Town Council to sign the pledge. I will also be encouraging Bradford Council to follow up its declaration of a Climate Emergency with an ambitious plan of action.”

She said: “We need to be unflinching in our efforts to cut our carbon emissions to zero by 2030. This is a very ambitious target but it is essential. We have the know-how to do this, but we need the will to do it and it needs to be done urgently.

“We need a new vision for Ilkley. A reimagining of how Ilkley will be.

We need to assess Ilkley for the potential to produce renewable energy and take advantage of all the options available. We can create a community energy company, where energy is produced locally for local people helping make us more resilient to future problems and helping to reduce fuel bills.

“We need to think about transport and the way we move about the town and how we travel further afield. We need to walk and cycle more and use our cars less and cut flying to an absolute minimum. We need to convert the vehicles we do have to electric power. To do this we need new infrastructure in the town - electric charging points in the town centre and in streets where houses do not have driveways, we need car clubs and car shares to reduce the number of vehicles, we need safe cycling routes throughout the town and between local towns and areas for safe cycle parking. “

She added: “We need to look at housing, which is a huge source of carbon emissions. We can ensure that all new housing is built to Passivhaus standards, requiring very little energy to heat them because no energy is lost. All older houses will need to be retrofitted with insulation, again this reduces energy input and loss, so reducing fuel bills drastically. All of this will provide skilled jobs for our area.”

The group is also calling for a reduction in waste and is stressing the need to conserve water. Campaigners are also stressing the need to think about what we eat and where it comes from. They want to see people reduce the amount of meat and animal products that they eat, and to consume more locally sourced fruit and vegetables.

The local election hustings will take place at 7.30 pm in the lower hall at Christchurch. The event is free but places should be booked on Eventbrite as numbers are limited.