DISTRICT councillors were ‘appalled’ by decisions that they believe go against the council’s climate emergency declaration.

At a Council meeting on Monday, Cherwell District Conservatives voted in favour of council leader, Barry Wood’s motion to let officers assess the implications of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway while the council keeps an ‘open mind.’

The motion - although voted against by the Lib Dems - was amended by the party (seconded by the Green Party) to ensure that the council’s declared climate emergency was taken seriously.

ALSO READ: Council declares climate emergency but agrees to build homes on Green Belt

However, because it was passed, the second motion put forward by the Lib Dems to completely oppose the Expressway was not debated, as motions on the same issue cannot be debated within six months of each other.

When Councillor Barry Wood proposed his motion, he said: "There will be the opportunity for members to debate about the council’s position in this chamber. My concern is not to leave out the necessary process, the necessary evidence, that I believe are essential for us to do a proper job."

The Lib Dems also teamed up with the Green Party to propose a motion calling on Oxfordshire Local Government Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels, but all Conservative councillors opposed, leading it to be unsuccessful in passing.

ALSO READ: Ombudsman raps council for not giving visitors information about challenging parking tickets

Green Councillor Ian Middleton said: “I was astounded at the blinkered attitude of the Conservatives on both our motions. Councillor Wood’s motion was a transparent procedural trick to remove ours which called for opposition to the expressway.

"One has to wonder why he would seek to do that. Perhaps it’s because he’s the Chair of the Arc Leaders Group appointed by the Government to promote the expressway plans. Since passing the climate emergency motion they have now voted three times against motions seeking to protect the environment, but this really is the most damning vote of all."