Agenda and minutes

Oxfordshire Local Environment Partnership
Friday, 28 June 2013 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, District Council Offices, Crowmarsh Gifford. View directions

Contact: Mrs Jennifer Thompson  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of disclosable pecuniary interest

Minutes:

Mr D Harvey reminded the partnership that he was appointed by West Oxfordshire District Council as a director of the United Sustainable Energy Agency.

2.

Addresses and questions to the partnership

Members of the public wishing to speak to the partnership for up to five minutes must register with the committee clerk named above by noon on Thursday 27 June.

Minutes:

There were no addresses or questions.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting

Purpose: To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Oxfordshire Environment Partnership meeting held on 22 March 2013 (attached) and to receive information arising from them.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Oxfordshire Environment Partnership meeting held on 22 March 2013 were agreed as a correct record and signed as such by the Chairman.

 

The partnership noted that member councils were in the process of confirming their Climate Local commitments with a view to publishing these in July, and that Groundwork have agreed the proposed five month contract extension.

4.

Bicester Eco- town pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Presentation                                                                                    20 minutes

 

Purpose: to share practice and information about the Bicester eco-town development.

Minutes:

Mr Andrew Bowe, Implementation Officer at Cherwell District Council gave a presentation on the development of the Bicester Eco-Town and examples of best practice in the project.

 

He explained the development of the long term vision for the new and existing parts of Bicester and the multi-agency work to promote a project covering much more than just new housing. Demonstration projects for retrofitting existing buildings, the re-use centre, and community events helped promote sustainable choices. Work with developers to design zero-carbon housing (Code level 6) was on-going and planning permission for the north-west of the site was in place. The cost of a house should be close to normal market values and have lower running costs.

 

The partnership noted the presentation and the work on developing the eco-town.

5.

Climate resilience work and climate projections pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Report attached                                                                              20 minutes

 

Purpose: to give a brief summary of Oxfordshire County Council’s weather and climate resilience work during the past year. The report will be accompanied by a short presentation which illustrates some climate projections for Oxfordshire.

 

Recommendations:

1.      To note the report;

2.      To agree to consider a report about participating in the Severe Weather Monitoring System (SWIMS) at a future meeting of the Partnership.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The partnership considered a report and heard a presentation on climate projections and planning for resilience to extreme events.

 

Mrs Ohlenschlager explained that the Severe Weather Monitoring System allowed data to be collected on the location, impact, and cost of events to help with prediction and prevention of future events. Data about all severe weather related incidents could be collected from individuals county-wide. Current climate predictions were for warmer and less predictable climate with more and more extreme severe weather events through the year, from more heat waves to more days of heavy rain. Local authorities had good plans and procedures for emergencies but more contingency planning for dealing with the impact was required. This year there would be a full audit of the budget and management capability for dealing with the damage from weather events.

 

Members of the partnership commented that there was a need to be aware of the financial pressures and complexity of dealing with severe weather, and councils relied on other agencies to help get funding for protection measures. Could other countries’ methods of mitigating and coping with extremes, or historical methods of coping be used to reduce the impact of severe weather? It was better to be properly prepared for severe weather regardless of the accuracy of the predictions.  

 

The partnership:

1.      noted the report; and

2.      asked for a report about participating in the Severe Weather Monitoring System (SWIMS) at a future meeting of the Partnership.

6.

Update on collective switching pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Report attached                                                                              20 minutes

 

Purpose: to report on the outcome of a collective switching scheme undertaken by Cherwell District Council (CDC) and West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC).

 

Recommendation: to note the outcome of the Better Together Oxfordshire collective switching campaign.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The partnership considered a report on the outcome of the collective switching scheme undertaken by Cherwell District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council.

 

Cherwell District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council councillors said they had been disappointed with the eventual tariffs and the numbers who had switched. The level of interest had been good, and there was a role for local authorities in helping people navigate the market either through this scheme or something less labour-intensive.

 

The partnership noted the outcome of the Better Together Oxfordshire collective switching campaign.

7.

Chairman's announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman noted that Mrs Ohlenschlager will be leaving Oxfordshire County Council in September and the Partnership wished her well for the future.