Wallingford Town Council is due to meet on Monday evening (29th June) and on the schedule is the cancellation of the Car Rally, Bunkfest and Bonfire night in 2021.

This discussion comes after the last full council meeting. Convening on 18th May, and handily covered here, where the council voted to declare a climate emergency. The council resolved to:

RESOLVED: THAT Wallingford Town Council accepts that there is a national and global climate emergency. Wallingford Town Council declares that we join with South Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council in seeking to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2030, and that we will take environmental considerations into account in all our decisions when supporting our community. We will make all reasonable and pragmatic steps to,
1. Reduce and offset the environmental impacts of the daily operations of the Council
2. Work actively and positively with local groups and organisations “

So why would adopting a climate emergency lead to the cancellation of these events? The long and short of it is that they are not carbon-neutral.

How bad for the climate exactly are these events?

The submission for minutes breaks down the evidence to be provided to the council, the key points are;

Car Rally

“The Car Rally contains on average 400 petrol driven vehicles including tanks! The vehicles drive and loiter for 40 minute to an hour doing nothing else but pumping fumes into the environment”


“The event is powered by diesel generators using 1200 litres of fuel.”
“Bunkfest is a contributor to global warming and air pollution”

Bonfire Night

“Burning a colossal pile of wood that could be recycled is simply not acceptable in a “Global Climate Emergency”
“Fireworks contain chemicals which inlcude gunpowder, metal salts and oxidisers. Long after the firework has been lit these ubstances linger in the atmosphere. Eventually they find their way in the local water supplies” (sic)

These resolutions are followed by another moving to null and void the climate emergency passed at the prior meeting. Abandoning the Climate Emergency would allow the council to endorse these events without contradicting its prior climate declaration. This stance is not without its own controversy, as the climate emergency declaration was hotly debated and is an issue close to many hearts.

The agenda for the upcoming meeting can be found at the council website, while the council meeting itself is scheduled for 7pm on Monday 29th June.