EXTINCTION Rebellion (XR) activists from across Powys converged on Llandrindod Wells on Tuesday, demanding that Powys County Council maintain their climate emergency declaration.

A motion to declare a climate emergency will be re-run at a full council meeting on Thursday after it emerged that a vote for a motion at the end of July should not have been held – because the outcome of a vote beforehand to defer the ballot was miscounted.

XR members from the group’s Newtown and Welshpool arm demonstrated outside council headquarters in Llandrindod on Tuesday, ironically where a statue of ‘Gaia’ (Mother Earth in Greek mythology) is situated.

“The protest was held next to a statue of Gaia that stands outside Powys County Hall, yet many councillors haven’t noticed she’s dying,” said David French, XR’s Powys press officer.

The rebels are attempting to put pressure on councillors ahead of Thursday’s meeting, demanding PCC maintain their climate emergency declaration and act to prevent climate and ecological breakdown and mitigate the risk of social collapse.

“We are deeply within a state of emergency whether or not we admit it,” added Mr French.

“Thousands are already dying in the global south. We’ve heard fears over the cost of taking action, but our continued inaction is coming with a much higher price, measured both in money and in human lives.”

The online voting system for the July 30 vote on whether to refer the motion to a working group of councillors six months later caused confusion, while broadband connectivity issues meant some members had to vote verbally in the original meeting.

It should have seen the vote on a climate emergency put off – but instead the vote still took place, leading to questions over the validity of its outcome.

Councillors will vote on Thursday whether to join with other councils across Wales in declaring a climate emergency‬ and whether to make the council a net zero carbon local authority by 2030.‬

XR said in a statement on a petition it has started on change.org that: “We urge Powys County Council to support both parts of the motion on September 24.

“If agreement over part two of the motion cannot be reached, we ask all councillors to show commitment to their constituents by supporting the first part of the motion immediately, without prevarication or prior costing, and declaring a climate emergency.”

The petition – seeking to gain 500 signatures by Thursday, had collected 460 by Tuesday afternoon.

You can sign the petition by visiting the following link: https://www.change.org/p/powys-county-council-call-on-powys-county-council-to-declare-a-climate-emergency-now?redirect=false.