A ONE year action plan to help save Southend from smog and pollution has been criticised as all talk and no action.

Southend Council plans to take a year to come up with a plan after declaring a climate emergency with campaigners claiming it is far too long.

Tory councillors added their voices to claims wasting a year on plans was too long when the council has given itself just a decade to become carbon neutral.

Councillor Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for the environment, claimed the council will be installing extra electric car charge points and stepping up campaigns against plastic waste in the meantime.

She said: “We will be producing an action plan seeking grant funding and budgeting where necessary.

“We will have to be bold and  to take difficult decisions and it will cost.”

Alicia Hegarty, joint founder of Southend’s Extinction Rebellion, criticised the council for failing to produce any actual plans.

She said: “We are moving into our last decade now, we were saying last year that we had just 12 years left and now at the end of 2019 we’re looking at just ten years - one decade – if they are going to mess around for 12 months and not be serious then we’ll have nine years, the clock is ticking.

“It is no good declaring a climate emergency and then there not being any action. We have not been invited to any form of discussion despite wanting to be part of a community group where we can put forward ideas.

“I spoke to a potter who told me he had approached the council to ask them to help putting up solar panels where he would use the electricity once a fortnight for a kiln and the rest of the time put it back into the grid but he didn’t get anywhere.

“There are people out there who have ideas and want to help but we need the council to listen and invite us in.” She claimed this is happening in Colchester and Chelmsford and Southend “needs to get a move on”.