Senior Labour councillor claims youngsters are ‘more interested in raves’ than climate change
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
A senior Labour councillor has slammed young people after accusing them of being more interested in “games, fast cars and raves” than climate change.
Cllr Derek Butler, a member of Flintshire Council’s ruling Labour administration, made the comments as the local authority discussed plans to reduce its carbon footprint.
A report presented to cabinet members today (Tuesday, 15 February) highlighted efforts to educate school-age children on the issue.
Pupils were praised during the meeting for taking part in an initiative which saw them send letters to their future selves to describe what they hope will be achieved in the next 50 years to address climate change.
However, Cllr Butler claimed teenagers and young adults were less passionate about attempts to tackle the climate crisis.
The council’s cabinet member for economic development said: “Flintshire Council have been ahead of the game on this and over a decade or more have implemented schemes such as the solar panels on our sheltered accommodation.
“The programme board has consulted widely, including with the youth, but I do have a caveat with the youth.
“Children in schools are very enthusiastic about it but there seems to be a lack of impetus when they become teenagers and young adults, when they’re more interested in games, fast cars and raves.
“The impetus falls off then and something needs to be done so that is carried through.”
Cabinet members backed the council’s strategy to address climate change between now and 2030 during the meeting.
It includes proposals to support schools to reduce emissions and identify proactive measures to prevent flooding in the county.
In response to Cllr Butler’s comments, the authority’s chief officer for education and youth said she believed climate change was an important subject for youngsters.
Claire Homard said: “Just to hopefully provide some reassurance to Cllr Butler, this strategy is not just about our schools.
“Our youth service plays a significant role in continuing to support young people from the ages of 11 to 25.
“I know through our youth council and our representatives in the Youth Parliament that this is a very important topic for our young people.
“It is challenging as they become older and more independent as there are more exciting things for them to get involved in, as Cllr Butler alluded to.
“But this is something that is really on the minds of our young people and inspiring them and exciting them.”
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