TEST Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has declared a climate emergency.

TVBC is stepping up its fight to tackle climate change as leader of the council, councillor Phil North, put forward the motion at a full council meeting on September 4 in Romsey.

Having gained the approval of councillors, the authority has already begun plans to eliminate its carbon footprint.

Cllr North, said: "It was fantastic to see a number of members of the public not only in vocal support of the motion, but actually speaking to councillors, too.

"This is a vital issue that I am passionate and committed to. I would encourage people to contact me with any ideas they may have as to how we can tackle this."

He added: "We are now focused on drawing together an action plan to eliminate our carbon footprint as soon as possible, and, with cross-party support, this can be done before the government target of 2050."

The authority has began to implement changes to become more environmentally sustainable.

Those changes have included installing LED lighting and solar panels at its Portway depot, growing its fleet of electric vehicles and progressing plans to install 18 electric vehicle charging points in Andover and Romsey.

Cllr Celia Dowden, added: "We need everyone to contribute and evaluate their choices as we aim to bring about change on a national scale.

"Everything counts as we step up united in the national fight."

The council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee will now draw together a plan over the next six months for how the authority can eliminate its carbon footprint.

This comes as flood protection work was implemented by TVBC.

The works are part of the £6 million Romsey flood alleviation scheme and are now taking place in Middlebridge and Mainstone to make Romsey more resilient to flooding, while working closely with the Environment Agency.

Hampshire County Council has given approximately £1.49million to the Romsey flood alleviation scheme as part of the partnership funding and £325,000 has been donated from the council.

Cllr Rob Humby, said: “Romsey was badly affected by flooding during the winter of 2013/14, from a mixture of groundwater, sewer, surface water and fluvial sources.

“Since then, we’ve been working with the Environment Agency and Test Valley Borough Council to develop solutions to manage flooding from all sources in the area.”