Spontaneous applause broke out for Helston Town Council when members agreed to declare a climate emergency in the area.

Councillors were unanimous in their support of a motion from mayor John Martin, which also pledged that the council would work towards making Helston carbon neutral by 2030.

The council will now also "act as a voice for the community to lobby for action on climate change, raise the profile and share lessons with higher levels of government."

It will continue to work with people in the town and surrounding areas to make this happen.

And as a member of the newly formed Helston Climate Action Group, the council will help prepare a plan of action, within the next six months, to tackle the emergency.

Councillor Dave Potter, who has become chair of the newly formed action group, said: "I'm really pleased we're looking at having a climate audit in Helston, to see what is required and how much that will cost to the environment and the economy.

"We can't change it on our own, but let's lead by example within the council and in the wider community. We should lobby our MP and Cornwall Council. Cornwall Council, in turn, should lobby central government.

"If we speak, enough of us, as a voice, I think we may be able to change."

The decision was met with delight by the 18 members of the public, including many from Transition Helston, who had attended the meeting in support of action being taken.

Earlier in the meeting some of them spoke, thanking councillors for listening to them.

At the same time, members were urged to fully get behind what they were agreeing to, with George Lewis saying: "Please sign it because you want to own it. If you want to act as a voice for the community, if you want to work with the community, if you want to assist the community. We'll work with you and support you.

"But if you're going to lead we can't be sitting here in six months time, still buying our gas from the Big Six energy suppliers - and I mean that individually and as a council.

"You're leading a community of 11,000 people in Helston and up to 40,000 further afield - how do we encourage them and lead them to get their energy from renewable sources?"

"Talk to Derek Thomas about what we need him to do, if we're not doing it ourselves.

"I look forward to working with you."