East Devon elects new leader at second attempt after chaotic meeting

The new leader of East Devon District Council has been elected – at the second attempt – after the first livestreamed meeting ended abruptly shortly after a councillor was recorded swearing into his microphone.

Cllr Paul Arnott, leader of the Democratic Alliance, has now been voted into the top role on Friday morning, following the resignation last week of the previous leader of the council, Cllr Ben Ingham.

This article contains the list of the new cabinet.

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com 

 

The extraordinary full council meeting began on Thursday night but was adjourned midway through the initial vote to elect a new leader when the live stream of the meeting was removed from YouTube for violating its terms of service. This happened moments after one councillor was heard swearing in the background having not muted their microphone.

A message appeared on the screen saying that the video had been removed for violating Youtube’s terms of service. It happened moments after one of the councillors – believed to have been Cllr Tom Wright – was caught swearing on his microphone while the vote to elect the new leader was ongoing. It is unknown as to whether that was the reason why the video was removed from Youtube.

At the second attempt Cllr Arnott was voted in by 32 votes to 20, with eight abstentions, over Cllr Andrew Moulding, leader of the Conservative Group, who had also been nominated as a potential leadership candidate. The previous leader of the council, Cllr Ingham, had voted for Cllr Moulding.

Cllr Paul Arnott, leader of East Devon District Council

Cllr Paul Arnott, leader of East Devon District Council

The 60-strong council is now being run by an administration of 31 councillors from both the Democratic Alliance and the Independent Progressive Group.

The Democratic Alliance consists of the East Devon Alliance, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, and three Independents, while the IPG consists of seven Independent councillors.

Speaking on Friday morning at the extraordinary council meeting, Cllr Arnott, the East Devon Alliance leader, said: “In May 2019 the East Devon electorate sent a clear message to the council that after nearly five decades of Conservative dominance they wanted change. People voted to reduce what had been 45 Conservative councillors five years earlier to just 19.

“Despite the huge defeat, the new leadership went for a business as usual approach, and last month, this approach collapsed after the Conservatives pushed for a vote of no confidence in the leader and his own group split down the middle.

“The Democratic Alliance and the Independent Progressive Group now have a majority on the council and it gives it the stability it has lacked since Cllr Ingham attempted a council of no overall control.

“It is essential that at this of all times, East Devon has a stable majority leadership. It must also have a keen eye on the district’s future wellbeing when this troubling period comes to an end. The electorate spoke and hoped for a reformed and improved council last year and our aim is to deliver that now with hard work and pride in the wonderful place that we are fortunate to call home.

“We wish to work with everyone for the benefit of East Devon, but if your interest is working friends and allies outside the council then I’m afraid that your time is up.”

Cllr Paul Arnott, leader of the Democratic Alliance (Image free to use by all LDRS partners)

Cllr Arnott, in appointing his cabinet team, announced that three new roles would be created, with the corporate resources portfolio also looking at the recovery from COVID-19, a new climate change portfolio and a democracy and transparency portfolio created. Five assistant cabinet roles will also be created.

Nominating him, Cllr Eileen Wragg, said: “Paul is an excellent leader, a very good listener and is respectful of everyone on the council. He will fully consult with everyone on his cabinet and I fully support his nomination as leader. He will lead the council into a better place than it has been for the last year.”

The new cabinet consists of:

Cllr Paul Arnott – Leader of the council

Cllr Eileen Wragg – Deputy leader of the council

Cllr Jess Bailey – Corporate Resources and COVID recovery

Cllr Megan Armstrong- Sustainable homes and communities

Cllr Geoff Jung – Coast, countryside and environment

Cllr Marianne Rixson – Climate change

Cllr Dan Ledger – Strategic Planning

Cllr Jack Rowland – Finance

Cllr Paul Hayward – Economy and Assets

Cllr Paul Millar – Democracy and Transparency

Following last May’s elections, the Independent Group, led by Cllr Ingham, took control of the council, but held just 20 of the 60 seats and so ran the council as a minority administration. But following defections from ten of the group, last week Cllr Ingham resigned from his role as leader of the council and the remainder of the cabinet quit their roles.

In a Monitoring Officer’s (MO) office somewhere in the Universe.

So Councillor Tom/Dick/Harry (TDH), I seem to have 200 complaints here saying you brought the council into disrepute by swearing loudly in a public meeting and causing the meeting to end at a crucial point in the votes.  What do you have to say for yourself?

TDH: wasn’t me.

MO: but it was obviously you.

TDH: no, it wasn’t.  It was on Zoom and you couldn’t see my face, so you couldn’t see my lips move.

MO: but TDH, old boy, your voice is so distinctive …..

TDH:  let me stop you there – it could have been anyone .. there is no proof ..

MO: well, I must say that’s a relief … I wasn’t looking forward to having to deal with that one mate …

TDH: no problem, old boy.  Now I have a complaint of my own.

MO: oh yes?  How can I help?

TDH:  I distinctly heard at least 30 people sniggering when my pals were lauding our choice for Leader, and I identified all of them as being the Opposition, every single one of them, even though I couldn’t see anyone so I couldn’t see their lips move …

MO:  now that’s more like it – that’s something I can really get my teeth into!  See you at the usual place tonight?

EDDC Tories in denial. They have finally lost what they thought was theirs by right.

The overriding impression Owl got during last night’s “extraordinary” debates was the indignation shown by Conservative Councillors that they could lose power; that anyone else could possibly run EDDC.

Take Conservative Cllr. Stuart Hughes, Chairman, and his rambling introduction.

He said that initially he had agreed that there would be a full council meeting on June 18 to deal with the matters that would have been discussed at the annual meeting and that it would be up to the members of the council as to if they wished to hold a meeting to hold the meeting for the chairmanship and the leadership of the council.

This is being economical with the truth. He did not say or explain why he had cancelled the Annual meeting in the first place, although this became very clear during the debate.

What it boils down to is that Conservatives have a deep tribal sense of entitlement. For example:

Cllr Dean Barrow spoke against the need for the EGM to be held, saying that the pandemic had a significant impact on the council and that an experienced chairman to lead is needed, while Cllr Moulding added: “Residents would expect the council to be focusing on the response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Cllr Alan Dent added: “It is vital that we have stable leadership and in Cllr Hughes we have someone with the experience and the link with County Hall. To replace him would jeopardise the recovery process and demean the work he has done. To change in the middle of the crisis could be a monumental mistake. This is not the time to hold an EGM.”

Cllr. Moulding said the public does not expect change. One Cllr. (Owl thinks it was also Moulding) said that having a meeting would deny Cllr Hughes his “second year as Chairman”. This was corrected by Vice Chairman Val Ranger who pointed out that constitutionally the posts of Chairman and Vice Chairman are voted annually (at the cancelled Annual meeting – Owl)

This was not the time to change, they argued, even though they had lost their majority in last year’s elections and now the coalition they had supported had also lost its majority.

Listening to him, and the proposers of Cllr Andrew Moulding for the post of Leader, one would be forgiven for thinking they had been in power this past year, rather than the junior partner of a losing coalition.

From their point of view, no one else could be trusted to run things during the epidemic. Owl would retort that in this regard Conservatives are no more experienced than anyone else. Owl has posted a number or articles critical of EDDC’s slowness to act. 

On managing things, Conservatives have form and the voters have rejected it.

The argument for change is quite simple – it’s all about democracy. Ben Ingham’s coalition with the Conservatives had lost their majority.

The Council comfortably voted to have a meeting to select a new Chairman as Owl has reported.

Now to the even more extraordinary meeting to elect a new leader.

Two candidates were proposed:

Cllr Paul Arnott, nominated by Cllr Eillen Wragg and seconded by Cllr Paul Hayward.

Cllr Moulding, proposed by Cllr Tom Wright, seconded Cllr Helen Parr.

(Yes the same Helen Parr Owl featured the other day as the councillor who morphed from “Independent” to “Build, build, build” Conservative).

With 57 of the 60 cast, Cllr Arnott had received 31 votes, with 18 for Cllr Moulding and eight abstentions. Three councillors had yet to vote when the stream crashed.

The disgraceful swearing which appears to have caused youtube to pull the plug included Cllr. Tom Wright, one time Chief Superintendent,. (Owl has had a number of confirmatory reports  of this – his voice is quite distinctive). The proposer of the losing candidate, Cllr Moulding. 

As one correspondent put it: “When you think the Tories have taken us to a new low…. they manage to dig even deeper…”

The conclusion Owl draws is that the Tories are in denial. How can anyone take their power away!.

The other arresting development was when Cllr Ben Ingham came out of the closet and voted for Cllr Moulding to replace him as Leader. How can an “Independent” vote for a Conservative Leader? 

Not surprising to find a number of his “Independent” group not voting the same way as him (the cause of the swearing). 

Explanatory footnote added 29 May

Owl has been asked to clarify who is who in this political saga which is obviously creating interest beyond East Devon. Very briefly, since its creation the East Devon District Council has been in the hands of the Conservative party. At last year’s council election the conservatives lost their majority. The remaining councillors were split between two Independent groups: the East Devon Alliance, led by Paul Arnott and the Independent Group led by Ben Ingham; and the Libdems and Green parties. Ben Ingham had been the official leader of the opposition prior to the election. After a frantic weekend of negotiation, Ben Ingham declared that he had formed a coalition with his group of Independents and the Conservatives rather than with either the Lidems or East Devon Alliance. The clear message from the electorate was that they wanted change but many thought that this coalition simply brought more of the same. Over the past year a  number of the original Ben Ingham Independent group have defected resulting in him losing his majority followed just recently by his resignation. A new coalition then formed between the remainder of Councillors and this coalition, having a narrow majority, has now taken control.

All the councillors named above are Conservatives apart from Paul Arnott and Ben Ingham who’s roles are explained above, the Vice Chairman Val Ranger who is  East Devon Alliance and  Paul Arnott’s proposed and seconder who were Libdem and East Devon Alliance respectively.

Council meeting to elect leader ends abruptly as councillor is heard swearing

Conservative Cllr Tom Wright, one time Chief Superintendent, is named as the councillor whose swearing is thought to have been the one caught swearing during the meeting.

It has now been confirmed that Cllr Arnott has been elected as the leader of the council, with his appointment set to be ratified at the resumed meeting at 11am on Friday.

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com 

East Devon District Council remains leaderless after the meeting to elect a new leader was adjourned due to ‘technical difficulties’.

Cllr Paul Arnott, leader of the East Devon Alliance, was on the verge of being elected as the council’s new leader when the live stream of the meeting, which was being broadcast on Youtube, abruptly crashed.

A message appeared on the screen saying that the video had been removed for violating Youtube’s terms of service.

It came moments after one of the councillors – believed to have been Cllr Tom Wright – was caught swearing on his microphone while the vote to elect the new leader was ongoing. It is unknown as to whether that was the reason why the video was removed from Youtube.

Councillors had been voting as to whether they wanted Cllr Arnott or Cllr Andrew Moulding, leader of the Conservative group, to become the new leader of the council following the resignation of Cllr Ben Ingham from the position last Monday.

With 57 of the 60 cast, Cllr Arnott had received 31 votes, with 18 for Cllr Moulding and eight abstentions. Three councillors had yet to vote when the stream crashed.

Cllr Ingham, the former leader of the council, had cast his vote in favour of Cllr Moulding, while the eight other members of the Independent group who were previously in charge of the council who had the chance to vote had abstained.

The item on the agenda – which was to elect a new Leader for the remainder of the civic year and that Council receive the Leader’s appointments of the Deputy Leader and the Cabinet and their Portfolios – had not been completed by the time that the technical difficulties struck.

An East Devon District Council spokesman said: “Unfortunately the Extraordinary meeting of council has been adjourned due to technical difficulties. We will keep you informed as to when it can be resumed which will be at the earliest opportunity.”

They added that they were unsure as to whether the meeting would be resumed later this evening or at a later date, but at the start of the meeting, Cllr Stuart Hughes, chairman of the council, said that in the event of a break in connection for which they were unable to reconnect within 15 minutes, the meeting will be adjourned and reconvened at a later date.

It has now been confirmed that Cllr Arnott has been elected as the leader of the council, with his appointment set to be ratified at the resumed meeting at 11am on Friday.

It was the second of two extraordinary meetings held on Thursday night by the council, with the first seeing councillors vote by 37 votes to 22 to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on June 8 at 6pm to elect the positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council.

Cllr Stuart Hughes, the chairman of the council, said that initially he had agreed that there would be a full council meeting on June 18 to deal with the matters that would have been discussed at the annual meeting and that it would be up to the members of the council as to if they wished to hold a meeting to hold the meeting for the chairmanship and the leadership of the council.

He said: “I am still of the view that the membership should decide if they want to elect a new chairman and that is what this meeting is about.”

Cllr Dean Barrow spoke against the need for the EGM to be held, saying that the pandemic had a significant impact on the council and that an experienced chairman to lead is needed, while Cllr Moulding added: “Residents would expect the council to be focusing on the response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Cllr Alan Dent added: “It is vital that we have stable leadership and in Cllr Hughes we have someone with the experience and the link with County Hall. To replace him would jeopardise the recovery process and demean the work he has done. To change in the middle of the crisis could be a monumental mistake. This is not the time to hold an EGM.”

But Cllr John Loudoun said that ‘democracy must continue regardless’.

He added: “We normally have annual elections and we should be continuing with that,” and Cllr Eileen Wragg added that with Cllr Hughes having a lot on his plate with his cabinet role on Devon County Council, ‘maybe it is time for someone else to have a go’.

 

Is this the reason why the EDDC meeting crashed? Conservatives swearing?

As one comment has already observed:

“Was an interesting meeting until it crashed. However shows how democracy in EDDC works when you listen to the comments from councillors, during the vote, who had forgotten to mute their microphones.”

Another has pointed out

“Chaos… thanks to Conservative swearing,  YouTube’s Terms of Service were violated. Thereafter, once the feed was cut, the meeting was no longer lawful…

When you think the Tories have taken us to a new low…. they manage to dig even deeper…”

Owl heard the swearing when an unexpected (to the Conservative cause) abstention was announced and also, regrettably, when Paul Arnott was nominated.

At least one of the voices was identifiable, he should be ashamed of himself. This behaviour needs to go to the standards committee PDQ.

The previous vote to have a vote shows that the Conservatives have lost it.

Post updated at 20:56

Owl hopes that the remaining votes can be ratified as a matter of urgency so a new administration can get to work, rather than re-run the meeting.

Owl now understands that the remaining votes are to be ratified at a meeting at 1100 tomorrow after which the new Leader will announce his deputy and the Cabinet

Breaking News: Setback for Cllr Stuart Hughes’ attempt to remain Chairman of EDDC

 

After Cllr. Stuart Hughes, Chairman EDDC, cancelled the Annual Meeting due to be held this month, the full council has just decided to hold an election for the positions of Chairman and Vice Chairman on Monday week by passing the motion. below 37 votes to 23.

Constitutionally, EDDC must elect its Chairman each year. Cllr Stuart’s argument for cancelling the Annual meeting, when this election takes place, was that there should be no change during the pandemic. 

Motion: to determine whether to hold a meeting to elect positions

‘Should the Council hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on 8th June 2020 at

6pm to elect the positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council.’

Contact tracing begins again but system is weeks away from being “world-class”

From today, an unexpected phone call from a new number may be more than just a nuisance. The UK’s test and trace system has launched and will ask those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 to self-isolate for 14 days.

Owl’s view is that it has been launched prematurely so as to distract from Dominic Cummings. Boris is playing dangerous games.

By Daniel Capurro, Telegraph Front Bench Editor

The news was announced by Boris Johnson during his appearance in front of the Commons Liaison Committee, at which he also faced a grilling over the Dominic Cummings affair.

Laura Donnelly, our health editor, explains the full details of the system and how it will work here. For now, the crucial question is: how ready is it?

The woman in charge of the scheme, Baroness Dido Harding, admitted yesterday that it would be some weeks before the system is “world-class” but claimed that it would get “better and better” as we head towards the autumn.

– Civic duty doesn’t put food on the table –

There’s always the possibility of the unexpected, but at the moment the doubts surround several key issues.

The first is that the system is voluntary. While Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, and Johnson have both warned that they will make quarantining compulsory if necessary, that could prove incredibly difficult to enforce for potentially hundreds of thousands of people at a time. Fines could go some way to maintaining compliance, but ultimately it will come down to individuals.

The Government is clearly trying to frame self-isolating as a civic duty, but as with lockdown, the reality is that it will only be as effective as the systems in place to support those who need to self-isolate. The need to go into quarantine will be sudden and immediate and it’s entirely plausible that it could cover the majority of someone’s social and support network.

In those circumstances, how does someone pick up their children from school or get food for a fortnight? And will their employer be supportive of their need to quarantine?

– A big dose of trust –

The UK is also not going down the route of some Asian countries of having quarantine centres where those who test positive must stay. That is seen in government as incompatible with British culture and personal freedoms. But for anyone not living in a large home, it means they are likely to infect their family members too.

Another big hurdle the system faces is trust. If you are contacted and told to self-isolate, you will get tested for the virus. But even if you test negative, you will still have to complete the full fortnight of isolation because those who are yet to display symptoms may test negative falsely. That is going to be a hard message to get across.

The biggest fear, alongside compliance, is that the system simply won’t be fast enough. For one, Britain doesn’t yet have enough rapid testing capacity, meaning people could be left waiting several days for a result. But also, the NHS’ contact tracing app is not yet launched. While the app is only an aid, without it contact tracers can only work so fast.

– South Korea lite –

And again, the Government’s reluctance to embrace East Asian-style systems because of (legitimate) civil liberties concerns will make the system less efficient. In South Korea, contact tracers have access to CCTV, credit card transactions and GPS data.

That will slow the work of contact tracers, but it will also increase the reliance on the British public to be honest. There has been much focus on the potential for malicious use of the system, but perhaps the bigger risk is that people are reluctant to admit to all their contacts for fear of costing their friends and family employment.

Again, the support will need to be in place to make sure that no one is having to make an undue sacrifice by self-isolating.

– Still a big moment –

It’s not impossible to make such a system work without going into full surveillance state mode. Germany, for example, has been successful so far with a system far closer to Britain’s. But clearly there are issues, seen and unforeseen, that will need fixing on the fly.

Yet for all the potential problems, the significance of this moment should not be lost. Today, the Government will officially review the UK’s lockdown and its coronavirus alert level, which Johnson is believed to be planning to reduce to level three.

The test and trace system, should it hold together, is what will enable the country to move from a crushing national lockdown to relative freedom for the majority, and only short-term lockdown for a specific few.

‘Things have to change’: tourism businesses look to a greener future

No planes in the sky, empty hotels and deserted attractions: with the world at a standstill, tourism has been one of the industries worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. International arrivals this year could be down by 80% compared with 2019, according to the World Tourism Organization, and more than 100 million jobs are under threat.

But as destinations slowly start to emerge from lockdown and borders tentatively reopen, many in the sector are wondering if this is a chance for tourism to rebuild in a greener, more sustainable way.

“Of course, it’s completely devastating – but it’s also provided a much-needed chance for introspection,” said Sam Bruce of Much Better Adventures, who is a co-founder of campaigning group Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency. “Things needed to change. It’s an opportunity for everyone from tourist boards to tour operators to reset and to look at how things can be better – for the planet, for local communities and for travellers.”

In Venice – one of the most overtouristed cities, with an estimated 25 million foreign visitors a year – officials are using the pause to rethink “an entire Venice system”, with sustainability and quality tourism at its core, said Paola Mar, the city’s councillor for tourism. Part of the plan is to lure locals back to live permanently in the city. The mayor is in discussions with universities, aiming to offer tourist rentals to students, and old buildings are being restored for social housing. Measures to control visitor numbers – including a tax on day trippers, which was due to be introduced in July – will go ahead next year, while the debate around cruise ships continues.

“Our goal is to trigger a renaissance of the city,” said Mar. “We want to attract visitors for longer stays and encourage a ‘slower’ type of tourism. Things can’t go back to how they were.”

City authorities in Amsterdam – which was struggling to cope with an estimated 18.3 million overnight tourist stays in 2019 – are also quietly hopeful that the pandemic will be a catalyst for change. Last week the mayor urged extreme caution in reopening to tourists, while nonprofit group Amsterdam&Partners believes the tourist hiatus pushes to the top of the agenda plans to cut numbers, give Amsterdam back to locals and attract the “right” kind of visitor, and has launched a sustainability taskforce to map the way forward.

“We are working with partners to discuss how we can restart in a more sustainable and responsible way,” said Amsterdam&Partners spokeswoman Heleen Jansen. “The main focus is that we want a sustainable visitor economy that doesn’t harm the livability of our city. If you have the right balance between living, working and visiting, you can have the right visitor economy. That’s what went wrong in the last years in the old city centre, and we have to entice locals to discover their city centre again.”

Meanwhile, the suddenly empty streets of Barcelona have made local businesses and the tourist board re-evaluate their priorities too. “While we couldn’t continue at the speed things were, this is showing us that no tourists is no good either – there needs to be a more moderate way,” said Mateo Asensioof the Barcelona tourist board. “Our first task is getting locals back out into the city, then the domestic market and our neighbours. When the international market returns, we’ll focus more on specific sectors. It’s an opportunity to change the rules.”

With the world’s “new normal” including social distancing, an increased fear of crowds and busy places – and the future of airlines in the balance – over-tourism may not be a pressing issue for some time.

Other changes in cities around the world include reshaping in favour of cyclists and pedestrians: Athens is accelerating plans for a car-free historic centre, Berlin is introducing 14 miles of new bike lanes, and Paris is also significantly increasing its bike lanes, to ease potential overcrowding.

Destinations likely to see the first surge in visitor numbers are remote coastal and rural areas, places seen as “safe”, said Patricia Yates, acting CEO of Visit Britain/Visit England. It will be longer before cities bounce back.

“Our weekly consumer sentiment surveys show that the domestic market is very nervous – so we will be focusing initially on reassurance,” she said. “But beyond that we will be looking at promoting areas outside the honeypots. What is needed is destination management to rebuild tourism more slowly and keep residents, visitors and businesses that depend on tourists happy – it’s quite a balancing act.”

Some of the progress made on sustainable tourism is likely to go into reverse at first, she added – with people eschewing public transport in favour of car travel and infection control measures leading to more single-use plastic.

Many tour operators, however, believe the pandemic could engender a positive change in client behaviour. Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton said: “During this hibernation period we’ve seen the benefit to nature and the climate – fish spotted in Venice’s clearer canal water, the Himalayas visible in India – and people have had time to reflect. I think customers will be more aware of the impact of travel on the environment and the communities they visit, and make more considered choices.”

A renewed focus on slower travel, including train journeys and cycling, as well as keeping experiences as local as possible and offering more off-season departures are part of Intrepid’s post-Covid plans, with wilderness and wellness trips tipped to be of most interest.

Launching new adventures in even more remote destinations to assist with economic recovery is on the agenda for Much Better Adventures when tourism opens up again. “The crisis has shown just how much communities in less-developed parts of the world rely on tourism,” said Sam Bruce. “We will look to spread tourism to areas that would genuinely benefit. But it has to be done in the right way. We risk a flood to remote places that aren’t prepared and could be taken advantage of.

“I’m hopeful that a new, slower tourism will emerge – but the recovery needs to be slow enough for the industry to make the right decisions as it rises from the ashes.”

G Adventures founder Bruce Poon – who has just published Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still, an e-book looking at the impact of the pandemic on tourism – believes the industry can emerge as a stronger force for good.

“People will travel again. We don’t yet know when, but we know that they will. I want to challenge everyone who travels to ‘unlearn’ what they think they know. We have the opportunity to use this reset to be more conscious about how we can improve, as individuals and as a wider travel community.”

The biggest issue in the move to a more sustainable tourist industry, though, is air travel – aviation accounted for 2% of global carbon emissions in 2019 and was one of the fastest-growing polluters. With airlines grounded, emissions from aviation declined by about 60% in early April compared with 2019, according to the journal Nature Climate Change.

With the pause likely to be temporary, campaigners from Greenpeace to Flight Free are demanding that airline bailouts come with strict conditions on their future climate impact and say Covid should be the catalyst for greening the world’s airlines.

But in a race for economic recovery, rebuilding the industry quickly could sideline climate change and aviation issues, said Justin Francis of Responsible Travel, who is calling for a “green flying duty”, with more regulation and tax revenues invested in renewable fuels.

The cost of flights is likely to rise in the long term, he added. “Short term, the where and how we travel has had to change. But new, more entrenched, norms could form from that. Many people were hooked on frequent short breaks, but key to more sustainable tourism is taking far fewer flights – we may now see a return to longer, less frequent holidays, with more time spent getting to know a place, and a rise in slower forms of travel.”

Whatever happens, it’s unlikely travel will ever be the same as in pre-Covid days. An industry known for its resilience will find a new way forward, adapting to an unknown global market, but whether sustainability can be at the heart of a new model of tourism is hard to predict.

“Tourism will be smaller, and so more sustainable per se. Fewer flights means less C02, fewer guests means less waste, and there will be much more focus on localism, at least initially,” said Graham Miller, professor of sustainability in business at the University of Surrey.

“How the nature of the product changes, however, remains to be seen. There are huge vested interests to contend with – like the cruise industry in Venice and big businesses – but it feels like the moment we have been waiting for. If we are going to redesign tourism, this is about the best chance we can wish for.”