A South West London council has been told to ban meat and dairy at its events and consider booting them off school menus.

Richmond Council was also asked whether the move could be extended to schools if it was green-lit.

But the proposal was rejected at a full council meeting on Tuesday (September 27).

Resident Cleve West and Green councillors said the move would help tackle the climate emergency. 

The council agreed to become carbon-netural by 2030 after declaring a climate emergency in 2019.

Lib Dem council leader Gareth Roberts said council events already offer vegan or vegetarian options and the authority’s schools have meat-free Mondays.

Mr West asked him if the proposal to switch to vegan-only would extend to schools if it was approved. But Councillor Roberts said that wouldn’t be guaranteed.

Green councillor Andrée Frieze put forward her motion later in the evening asking the authority to transition to fully plant-based catering at all events by April 2023.

This would ban meat and dairy products from being served.

She said the move would help the authority cut waste, cater for different requirements and be cheaper in the cost of living crisis.

She said the motion isn’t about personal contributions but leadership and achieving the council’s targets.

She said: “This motion is not about telling people not to eat meat, not to eat dairy, not to eat fish which I know as liberal democrats… or as people, we’re not about telling people not to do things.

"We want to give people the choice. But it is about saying that we are taking every possible step as a council to reduce our carbon emissions of which the council’s catering is a small but important part.” 

But the motion proved unpopular with other councillors who said people should have a choice and questioned how much difference it would make.

Lib Dem councillor James Chard said: “I just think we should all exercise our own opportunity individually to set an example… we should be very, very careful about requiring of others more than we require of ourselves.”

Hitting out at the response, Councillor Frieze said: “Our young people are facing having a society of no choice.

"If we don’t act on the climate crisis, parts of the country, parts of Europe are going to become inhabitable.”

She added: “This is a sign and a symbol that we are taking this seriously.”