Insulate Britain: Scarborough councillor arrested four times in eight days for climate change road block

A Scarborough councillor who has been arrested four times in eight days for taking part in climate change roadblock protests has said “a lot of people won’t understand” why she has done it.

By Caitlin Doherty
Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 5:19 pm
Cllr Theresa Norton.
Cllr Theresa Norton.

Theresa Norton, a councillor for Eastfield ward, was arrested on four occasions between Monday September 13 and Monday September 20 for taking part in the Insulate Britain action blocking major roads around London.

Protesters have received widespread condemnation from the Government and the public after they have been pictured gluing their hands to the road and walking into moving traffic as part of their campaign to get ministers to commit to insulating homes.

Cllr Norton, 62, said the group will continue with their actions “until we get a meaningful statement from the Government.”

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She told The Yorkshire Post: “I think for a long time we’ve known how urgent the situation is with the climate and although on other occasions we’ve called on the Government to take action on the climate emergency [...] in real terms they’ve done nothing.”

When asked what she thinks the residents of the Eastfield ward she represents may think of her actions, Cllr Norton said “I think there are a lot of people that won’t understand.”

She added: “I represent the Eastfield ward and some of the poorest families in our borough are in that ward and if this campaign wins many of them will actually benefit from the Government getting its finger out and getting its job done.”

According to the Department for Transport more than 200 arrests have been made since the action began last Monday, and yesterday the Government successfully applied to the High Court for an order which prohibits anyone from blocking the M25.

Anyone who breaks the injunction could be found to be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the “important injunction” means “people can get moving again” on the UK’s busiest motorway.

“We will not tolerate lives being put at risk,” she said.

A Government spokesperson said: “People’s day-to-day lives should not be disrupted, especially on busy motorways where lives are put at risk and resulting traffic delays will only add to vehicle emissions.

“We are investing £1.3 billion this year alone to support people to install energy efficiency measures, and our upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy will set out how we decarbonise the nation’s homes in a way that is fair, practical and affordable.”

Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill said: "This is criminal behaviour which damages the cause of climate change in the eyes of the general public."