CHILDREN’S shoes were laid against Woking Town Gate by Extinction Rebellion members on Saturday, in a demand for more action by the borough council to combat global warming.

The shoes represented the lives of children who have died and those who will die because of climate and ecological breakdown.

They were laid on the Jubilee Square side of the gate by members of Woking, Staines, and Elmbridge branches of the organisation known as XR, near the second anniversary of the council declaring a climate emergency.

Those who took part dressed in black to place the shoes, while three “ghostly” white pushchairs were taken around the square and the Peacocks Centre to raise awareness of the impact of air pollution on the borough’s children.

XR says children in the UK and around the world are already suffering the consequences of climate change. They believe this is now leading to devastating wildfires and flooding, linked to extreme heat and rainfall, which will get worse if local and national governments do not take effective action.

Andy Malcher, an engineer who is a member of Woking XR, said: “Air pollution kills 40 people a year in the borough, but the council says that the air quality is ‘quite good’ and has no plans in place to improve it. This is shown in the council’s local air quality management annual status report 2020.”

Local member Dr Lizzy Harley, who has two children aged under five, added: “The disregard that local and national governments show for the future of my children, and children around the world, is horrifying.

“These children are too young to vote and so our broken system and cynical politicians would deny them the chance to live in a safe, stable climate with clean air to breathe. Shame on every one of them.”

Woking XR members are asking people from the area to join them at a national demonstration in London on Monday 23 August to demand more action on climate change from the Government.