Testimonial from the Mayor of Wakefield

Thu 12 Jan 2023
Today I saw a vision of the future. 
If today's politicians do not engage with that vision or ignore it, they do so at their peril. I had the privilege today to be invited to the 'Student Voice Conference 2023 Climate Change and Sustainability'. The Conference was organised by the Outwood Grange Academies Trust, organised and led by very inspirational teachers. The participants represented each of the OGAT schools across the North of England and took place at Elland Road. The conference involved a range of subjects many of which were focused on how OGAT academies can be more climate friendly and response to global warming. My role was to take part in the Q&A along with the Chief Exec Sir Martyn Oliver, Teacher Paul Laird and Dr Amanda Maycock from Leeds University. The questions were challenging but clearly demonstrated the excellent understanding of young people of climate change issues and the expectation that 'Decision Makers' will do the right thing. Our Council's vision and policies for Climate Change are now well established. However, as a Council we still have many challenges. I did suggest that all the young people should go back to their home Councils and start asking questions of their elected representatives. So let's wait and see what happens. I can imagine the opening will be...'The Mayor of Wakefield says we have to ask you to tell us what you are doing about climate change?' And to Headteachers "The Mayor of Wakefield says we have to ask you to plant trees on spare land on our playing fields'. Well those were some of the points I made.  Thank you to Niamh Longbottom and Paul Laird for leading on this important conference. Also to Andy Wormald of Leeds United Foundation for the scarves and interviewing me for LUTV in the Press Conference Room.