A WORKING group of councillors from three parties have met and agreed on a wording to declare a climate emergency.

West Berkshire Council could now vote on July 2 to declare a climate emergency and work towards a target of 2030 to get the district to become carbon neutral.

More than 2,000 signed a petition calling on the council to do so, which was debated at an extraordinary meeting on May 30.

Demonstrators filled out the council chamber at the meeting, when councillors voted to set up a working group, because of problems with the petition’s wording.

Specifically, it is unclear what the wording now is, but councillors on the working group from each party say they have reached a consensus after a private meeting on June 13.

Councillor Richard Somner (Con, Tilehurst South & Holybrook), the lead member for transport and countryside, said: “[It was a] very positive meeting. Hopefully we should have something very soon.”

The motion, likely to be put forward to the full council on July 2, first has to be taken back to the individual Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green groups for confirmation.

Cllr Carolyne Culver (Green, Ridgeway) said: “As the authors of the original petition … the Greens are delighted there is now cross-party consensus on this issue.

“Urgent action is needed to tackle climate breakdown, and we look forward to working with the other parties, the public, and local businesses to make the district carbon neutral.”

Cllr Adrian Abbs (Lib Dem, Newbury Wash Common) said: “All the parties seemed to have a meeting of minds. There was a lot of debate, but it was very balanced.

“It’s only unfortunate that the wording was as such that it didn’t go through the first time. Really not expecting for there to be any further delays. As far as I’m aware, it’s a done deal.”

More detail should be announced on July 2 on what happens next, and how the council will plan its strategy for becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Three councillors each from the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens all sat on the working group.