A prominent councillor has sparked anger for claiming over-negativity about climate change is 'stopping people from having babies'.

John Fisher, Conservative vice-chairman at Broadland District Council and a county councillor, made the claims after a call for the authority to declare a climate emergency was dismissed.

His comments were labelled as 'Trumpian fake news' by opposition councillors.

Green Party Councillors Eleanor Laming and Jan Davis put forward a motion to the council on Thursday evening, calling for it to recognise the impact of climate change and ecological destruction and declare an emergency.

Eastern Daily Press: Brundall's Green Party councillor Eleanor LamingBrundall's Green Party councillor Eleanor Laming (Image: George T)

But councillor Fisher said that while he recognised there was an issue, the council were already ahead of others.

He then blamed the media for putting out negative messaging, which he said harmed children and stops people from wanting babies.

He added: “In my other role as portfolio holder for children's services, I see children affected by the negativity that goes out.

"This is another example of the media picking up on negative issues and, unfortunately, our children are suffering because the negativity of last year ‘there are no jobs, you’re going to have no jobs’.

“In fact, there are more jobs now than there ever has been."

Eastern Daily Press: Thorpe Lodge / Broadland District Council. <2 of 2> edp 29/6/00Thorpe Lodge / Broadland District Council. <2 of 2> edp 29/6/00

“People are now picking up on the fact that now, because of the negativity they will not have babies because they will not bring babies into this world.

“I believe a positive message, which is what we have done in Broadland, is a better one to give out.”

He said the council's strategy must work pointing to grants awarded by the EU to insulate homes.

Liberal Democrat Julie Neesam responded saying children already know about the climate emergency, with Boris Johnson, the Queen and David Attenborough having all acknowledged it.

Labour's Natasha Harpley branded Mr Fisher’s comments “bizarre” and “whiffs of Trumpian fake news”.

She added: “We all know it’s happening, the kids know it’s happening.”

Lib-Dem group leader Dan Roper said the motion was about the "why" not the what and acted as a call to action.

But conservative councillors questioned what it would achieve.

Trudy Mancini-Boyle, the deputy leader of the council, said the proposal was "virtue signalling" while Judy Leggett, cabinet member for environmental excellence, called their plans a "glossy brochure".

Councillors voted 14 for and 22 against the motion.

Speaking after the meeting, councillor Laming praised the council for having an environmental strategy in place, but said the motion would have sent a positive message that the council would work with everyone to take urgent action.