Following consideration of a report of the Group Manager for Corporate Property and Commercial Assets, the Environment Policy Development Group has recommended that the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan be approved.
Following consideration of a *report of the Group Manager for Corporate Property and Commercial Assets, the Environment Policy Development Group had made the following recommendation that: the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan be approved.
Prior to the debate, a Member question was raised with regard to a budget being allocated to the Carbon Zero Agenda.
The Cabinet Member for Climate Change responded that she was in agreement and that a specific resource was required so that the Council could deal with Climate Change like the emergency it was. She referenced the action plan and stated that work was underway.
The Deputy Chief Executive (S151) explained that the Council had been at the forefront of carbon reduction in implementing solar power on its council houses and leisure centres, installation of a biomass boiler and additional electric car charging points. He stated that officers were looking at grant schemes and that the carbon pledge required a plan with clear targets. He stated that a key action was going to be the appointment of a dedicated Climate Change officer.
The Cabinet Member for Climate Change outlined the contents of the report and explained that she had enjoyed working on the plan but there was no dedicated officer resource in place at this time. She stated that the timings of the roll out of the plan had been affected by the pandemic but that a lot of work had still been completed. She stated that the Climate Change officer would bring all of the work required together.
The Group Manager for Corporate Property and Commercial Assets explained that the Environment Policy Development Group had provided questions with regard to the Action Plan and he updated the Cabinet on the actions and suggested delegation to complete amendments in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Climate Change.
Consideration was given to:
· The amendments suggested by the Environment PDG
· The actions taken to address these amendments
· The number of electric car charging points in the District
· The status of the DCC task force and that due to Covid the citizens assemblies would commence again in 2021
· Tree planting opportunities in the District
· Carbon reduction measures as a requirement for new planning applications
· The scope of the post of Climate Change officer
· A commitment to a costed Climate Change plan for the 2021-2022 budget
· The Climate Change Plan did not carry the same weight as policies in the adopted Local Plan for the refusal of planning applications
· Local developers taking the lead in the implementation of carbon reduction solutions in new build developments
a) That the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan be approved, subject to incorporating those changes proposed by the Environment Policy Development Group as reported to the meeting; and
b) Delegated authority be given to the Group Manager for Corporate Property and Commercial Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, to finalise the wording of the Strategy and Action plan to incorporate such changes
(Proposed by Cllr Ms E ... view the full minutes text for item 237
To receive the 4 yearly review of the Climate Strategy and Action Plan from the Group Manager for Corporate Property and Commercial Assets
The Group had before it a *report of the Group Manager for Corporate Property and Commercial Assets setting out the 4 yearly review of the Climate Strategy and Action Plan.
The officer outlined the contents of the report stating that the revised strategy built on actions taken within the 2016-2020 action plan. Engagement had taken place across all services in the authority linking policies and procedures, district wide community engagement had taken place led by the Cabinet Member for Climate Change and there had been the creation of the Net Zero Advisory Group.
He highlighted the achievements of the past 4 years and identified the handbook that had been created (and would be a living document) which set out the UK regulations and legislation, the national indicators and the reporting criteria for green house emissions which had been split into various scopes identified within the document as well as the baseline emission figures. The document also set out the links to the Council’s Corporate Plan and Local Plan, how the climate crisis would be addressed and what MDDC were already doing to tackle this issue. He spoke of the collaboration that was taking place Devon wide and how the work of the Council overlapped with the Devon Carbon Plan. ‘Community Conversations’ were already taking place engaging with local residents and community groups with a view to increasing opportunities for sharing knowledge, resources and capacity to address local issues. Internal meetings were also taking place and the Net Zero Advisory Group (of Members) had been created. He identified the issues addressed within the action plan and the key climate priorities for 2020-24, also how performance would be tracked and the possibility of grant funding to progress projects.
Consideration was given to:
· Whether the use of electric charging points were being monitored
· Largescale tree planting schemes
· How the authority could promote sustainable farming
· The use of the car in rural areas due to poor public transport
· The new developments proposed in the area possibily being built on good productive agricultural land
· The use of the website to signpost and encourage large scale tree planting
· External lighting at the Exe Valley Sports Centre and whether this could be made more efficient
· The need to encourage taxi drivers to drive hybrid cars
· Funds available from the solar panel rent a roof scheme on council housing to assist with the replacement of solid fuel appliances
· The need to increase the number of electric charging points
· The need to focus on the young people and provide an education scheme and the possibility of a youth council to address climate issues
· The need to communicate with the farming community and the importance of communication with the provision of a dedicated climate website and the provision of training
· The time it took to charge electric cars
· Encouraging different methods of transport
· The need to include the availability of the charging points in the multi-storey car park
· Collaborative working to reduce air quality issues
· The need for an active ... view the full minutes text for item 22