THE first hustings for Bromsgrove candidates of the upcoming Worcestershire County Council election was held virtually last night (April 6) without the presence of a tory representative.

Dr David Nicholl standing for Bromsgrove South represented the Liberal Democrats, Councillor Peter McDonald standing for the Beacon divison represented Labour and Councillor Steve Colella standing for Clent Hills attended as an independent candidate.

Prospective candidates answered questions put forward by the public and chair of the hustings, Dean Smith, about public transport, climate change, road maintenance and trading standards.

Each representative agreed that the issue of climate change was important to their party, with Dr Nicholl claiming it is “an even bigger challenge than coming out of the pandemic.”

Dr Nicholl added: “When Lib Dems were elected in in the last election, we wanted to move a motion of Bromsgrove becoming carbon neutral by 2030/35 but were struck down by the Tories. If we are elected again, our first step will be calling for a climate emergency.”

Councillor McDonald also said Labour would call for a climate emergency and when questioned on the issue of electric cars he said: “We have to get away from combustion engines but there’s not enough charging stations around Bromsgrove so it puts people off having them. How can someone who does not have off road parking have an electric car? There needs to be an introduction of kerb side charging stations.”

Independent candidate Steve Colella is calling for a clearer environmental strategy from the county council, he said: “We need to get the community to embrace the impact of climate change and the biggest change comes form grassroots level. However, we also need a clearer environmental policy as there is no direction form the county council on environmental strategy.”

All three candidates agreed that to tackle climate change, waste such as air pollution should be targeted due to the increased congestion and decreased green land in Bromsgrove.