Harrow Council will not immediately replace the single-use plastic cups used at the civic centre.

But Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said it will reassess how it supplies drinking water to staff and visitors.

He rejected the idea that the council should remove the cups “overnight” – as was suggested by opposition councillor Norman Stevenson – but should use up the existing stock.

He said: “I’m the chair of the West London Waste Authority and one thing I don’t like is complete waste.

“So, we will use them up as speedily as possible and we will be looking at alternatives moving forward.”

Cllr Stevenson argued the impact of immediately replacing the cups would be “significant” and would show that the council is committed to tackling the climate emergency it declared in July.

He first raised the issue at the meeting where the motion was passed and said he was “appalled” to see the council still using disposable plastics in its main building.

In March, Bristol City Council banned the sale of drinks in single-use cups at its city hall.

It followed on from its decision to serve water in glasses at council meetings, install a water bottle ‘refill’ station, and remove freestanding water coolers and plastic cups.

Cllr Stevenson questioned the administration over its action on climate change since the emergency was declared, suggesting that it was waiting until councillors had returned from their summer break.

But Cllr Henson assured him that it is “not resting on its laurels” as he reeled off a list of initiatives in place.

These include working with schools to install solar panel systems, introducing more electric car charging points and setting up a working group to help meet the target of carbon neutrality by 2030.