COUNCILS in West Oxfordshire have declared a climate emergency and pledged to call on residents to help them fight the issue.

Climate change motions at the district council and Witney Town Council passed unanimously yesterday, with promises to set up a citizens' assembly to formulate plans to make the area greener.

The ruling Conservative group's motion was criticised before the district council meeting, with opposition councillors saying it 'lacked urgency'.

But Norman MacRae, the cabinet member for environment, revealed several steps to help West Oxfordshire become carbon neutral by 2030.

Read also: district 'determined' to fight climate change

This included continuing the council's work to cut down on single use plastics, introducing electric vehicle charging points across the district and potentially requiring all licensed taxis to be emission free by 2025.

Mr MacRae said: "This is not a council problem, it's an issue for every resident in West Oxfordshire and beyond.

"This motion is simply a starting point along the road of doing our very best on the issue of climate change."

At the town council meeting, leader Rosa Bolger called for a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2028.

Ms Bolger is also keen for the council to hold a public meeting 'as soon as possible', with a view to setting up a working party.

The leader suggested exploring the expansion of community energy 'to keep the benefits of our local energy generation in our local economy'.

It is hoped the public meeting will take place this summer and the working party formed shortly after.