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 Wainwright and seconded by Cllr C R Slade)
Reason for Decision – there is a need for the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan to be in place in order the further the Net Zero aspirations of the Council
Note: *Report previously circulated, copy attached to the minutes.