A COALITION of community and environmental groups will gather at County Hall on Tuesday to protest about Cornwall Council's lack of action on the climate crisis.

Environmental groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace will be joined by people who are angry about the proposed closure of leisure centres in Falmouth, Saltash, Launceston and Wadebridge and the hydrotherapy pool in St Austell. 

They will be protesting the council's decision to give nearly £500,000 every year to Eastern Airlines to subsidise empty seats between Newquay and Gatwick which contrasts with plans to close leisure centres and a hydrotherapy pool.

A petition on the public consultation on leisure centre provision across Cornwall will be discussed when Cornwall Council meets on Tuesday.

The meeting, which will take place at County Hall, Truro, at 10.30am, is open to the public, and will be available to watch live online via a webcast.

Other agenda items for the meeting include public questions, the council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy and questions from councillors to the Cabinet.

The leisure centre petition, organised by Cllr Robin Moorcroft, has received more than 5,000 signatures, over the threshold to mean it must be considered before full council.

Kay Ecclestone, from Cornwall Climate Coalition said: “We are going to County Hall to remind the councillors that their community wants to see action taken here”

Christine Leiser, from Cornwall Climate Action Group, said: "This is not a protest, but a public display at County Hall by citizen voters of our concern about the climate emergency. We wish to impress upon our elected representatives, that we face dire consequences if they fail to ensure that Cornwall achieves Carbon neutrality by 2030."

Tom Scott, speaking for Cornwall Green Party, said: “Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency nearly three years ago, but since then the only really significant drop in emissions has been through the big reduction in flights to and from Newquay Airport as a result of the pandemic. This brought down civil aircraft emissions by more than 50%.

“It’s extremely concerning that the council has decided to subsidise renewed flights to London from Newquay – as many as three a day in the summer season. The council’s portfolio-holder for transport says this offers people ‘an alternative to a five-hour plus journey by road’. Has he forgotten that there is a rail service from Paddington to Penzance, and that rail is a far less damaging alternative to driving, let alone flying?

“Subsidising carbon-intensive flights in this way is a terrible use of our council tax and suggests that the current Council administration has no real understanding of the seriousness of the climate emergency, or of what needs to be done to address it. That money would be so much better spent on things that help to cut emissions while improving people’s lives in Cornwall – on improving public transport, for instance, or insulating cold homes, or investing in green jobs to help Cornwall move away from its dependency on the tourism sector.”