Demands for the Government to speed up work on tackling climate change have been unanimously backed at a Cumbria County Council meeting.

However, the 84-strong authority stopped short of declaring a climate emergency, with some councillors questioning the evidence.

Councillor Rebecca Hanson, the Liberal Democrat for Cockermouth, won cross-party support for her motion that the Government deliver a clear plan of action and resources for councils to tackle the issue.

John Hall, a dentist in Kendal and a Kendal Mountain Rescue Team member for 20 years, called on the council to declare a climate emergency.

He outlined flooding in Kendal in 2015, Cockermouth in 2009 and Carlisle, as well as record temperatures and flash flooding this summer.

Mr Hall suggested the council disinvest from the fossil fuel industry and pump Local Government Pension Scheme funds into low-carbon industries.

Coun Celia Tibble, the cabinet member for the environment, outlined things the council had done to cut emissions but said it could not solve the issue alone.

Coun Tibble, the Labour councillor for Seaton, said: “Government leadership and funding is essential if partners are to come together and work collaboratively to tackle climate change.”

Coun Gareth Ellis did not disagree with the motion but questioned some of the statements. “Let’s work together and explore the potential for solar, hydro-electric and wind generation,” said Coun Ellis, the Conservative member for Belah, Carlisle.

Coun Nicholas Marriner did not deny human activities had damaged the environment, but said climate change had existed since time immemorial.

“How many people here know that 10 million years ago the ice age covered all this country in thick ice and disappeared in 100 years?” said Coun Marriner, the Conservative member for Wetheral.

Coun Andrew Connell, the Liberal Democrat for Appleby, pointed out that he had attended the meeting by bus and was going back on the train.

“There’s always the argument that it’s India and China’s fault so what can we do about it? You can only start where you are and you can only do what you can,” said Coun Connell.

Coun Tony Lywood said the idea that major weather events were coincidental was ridiculous. “

What I hear from the opposition is a lukewarm welcoming of this,” said Coun Lywood, the Labour councillor for Keswick.

Coun Chris Whiteside urged every councillor to vote for it. “This is not the sort of subject where we should be quibbling about the odd word,” said Coun Whiteside, the Conservative member for Egremont North and St Bees.