Wiltshire Publications

Save our planet! Westbury’s youth call for action on climate change

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STUDENTS from a local primary school marched through the streets of Westbury last month, calling for the community to take action against climate change.

The protest by year 5 students from Westbury Leigh Primary School focussed on two local concerns – reducing the amount of plastic used in the town, and the amount of air pollution caused by traffic on the A350 through the town.

The students’ concerns were heard by Westbury’s mayor, cllr Mike Sutton,  and deputy mayor, cllr Sheila Kimmins, who pledged to continue the work of the town council to adopt ‘greener policies’ and encourage the community to make changes in their own homes. 

The protest climaxed in the High Street, where several students read out speeches to the mayor, deputy mayor, parents, and shoppers. One student said, “We are here in Westbury because we want our town to stop using plastic bags in our big and local shops. We want you to understand the effects of climate change and the melting of the polar ice-caps, which makes the sea level rise. 

“Even though we are a town of 18,000 people, which is not a lot compared to most towns and cities, we can still make a change if everyone participated and told our shops in Westbury to either use biodegradable plastic or paper bags.”

Another student added, “Please make a difference before it’s too late, we need to make a difference now, so we have a future. Please make our future worth it.”

Talking to White Horse News about the protest, cllr Sutton said, “I think this protest is very noble, because with the best will in the world my lot aren’t doing too much to save the planet. I think it’s really encouraging that people of this age are starting to think about their future – and that’s the point, it’s their future, not ours, and they need to be involved and cry for change, as my generation haven’t done that much for the planet.

“The town council has already begun work to combat climate change – we have adopted some ‘greener’ policies such as becoming a plastic free council; buying an electric van so we don’t pollute the atmosphere with diesel; and we’re doing lots of things like encouraging everyone in the town to adopt a greener agenda, recycle where they can, and not use single-use plastic.”