Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee


HELD at 6.00 pm on Tuesday 11 January 2022

virtual meeting


This meeting was broadcasted live and can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUFwu4mEMYo



Councillors: Sam Casey-Rerhaye (Chair), Sue Cooper, Kate Gregory, Kellie Hinton, Lynn Lloyd, Jane Murphy, Caroline Newton, Andrea Powell, Leigh Rawlins, Sue Roberts, David Rouane and Celia Wilson

Officers: Harry Barrington-Mountford (Head of Policy and Programmes), Suzanne Malcolm (Deputy Chief Executive – Place), Candida Mckelvey (Democratic Services),Heather Saunders (Corporate Energy Officer) and Michelle Wells (Insight and Policy Manager).





127     Chair's announcements


Chair opened the first meeting of 2022. Councillor Murphy requested that item 12 be moved to the front of the agenda as she had to leave early. It was agreed to consider this item after item 7, task and finish group update.


Chair mentioned the film “Don’t look up” and recommended watching it for its take on lack of climate action.


Public speakers had been identified, but due to the workload today, they would be invited to another meeting.


Councillor Newton had raised an item on biodiversity and household applications but there was no progress to date – chair had reminded officers.





128     Apologies for absence


Councillor Gawrysiak sent his apologies, and Councillor Hinton was substituting for the first hour of the meeting, before she had to attend another meeting.









129     Declarations of interest


Committee was reminded that cabinet members were not to take part in the corporate plan item – in a previous meeting, the committee had raised the potential issue of cabinet members reviewing their own areas of work.




130     Urgent business






131     Minutes


The minutes of the meeting on the 7th June 2021 were reviewed and no comments or changes raised, and therefore agreed as a correct record.


The  minutes of the meeting on 27th September 2021 were also agreed to be a correct record.




132     Public participation






133     Task and finish group update






134     Climate Action Plan


Councillor Cooper introduced the report.

This Plan was the key delivery vehicle for demonstrating our Corporate Plan commitment of taking action on the Climate Emergency and our outcome and target of becoming a carbon neutral council by 2025.


The CAP looked at council operations, measuring actions and outputs and also how we engage and involve communities. The CAP was one piece in a larger picture to tackle the climate emergency.


Councillor Cooper will bring a quarterly progress report to the committee, to monitor the progress of the CAP, and to provide Cabinet with recommendations on this live document. Policies and strategies needed to evolve over the length of the plan to become more ambitious.


Thanks to involvement from councillors and officers, we produced a robust and deliverable CAP.


Questions from the committee:

·         Timescale to make changes? – it was confirmed that as there would be quarterly reporting, changes on a quarterly basis could occur, depending on what the change was.

Changes will be reported at the next quarter after they had taken effect. Changes as a result of the Environment Act will be considered and updated in the CAP. Chair had a slot at Cabinet to inform them of the comments and recommendations made by this committee. There will be a similar monitoring process for targets, like the corporate plan quarterly monitoring. Ways of working items should be completed and then crossed off the list.


·         Suggestion of SMART objectives. Suggested categorising tasks by timescale for completion – 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months etc. Identify items that can’t start due to policy outside of council remit.

It was responded that some items were waiting on the budget to understand what resource we will have to achieve a certain timescale, for example, officer resource to work on bidding for external funding.


·         Will we see the CAP post-budget to see the impact of budget on resource level? It was responded that the actions have been absorbed into existing teams and had been already agreed and allocated, and teams manage their own staffing and delivery plan.

·         Want to see timescales and milestones – do we need a delivery plan? Prioritisation – which items would give a better pay-off?

·         Was there a sense of our target for 2025 being achievable through this plan?


Comments from the committee:

·         A lot of items were based on current resource, but others were more open ended and what could be achieved depends on further resource.

·         Rank system on what can be done? Red/green coding

·         Periodic highlighting of items (starring) - to look at in the next quarter.

·         Appendix of completed items

·         A view was expressed that we should adopt a plan so we can press on with progress, and we get to review it again and input into it – forward progress was important and we should start work. Items had been chosen due to being deliverable.

·         Some of the work in the CAP was already in progress, rather than waiting on the plan to be adopted.

·         Future Oxfordshire Partnership Environmental Advisory Group (EAG) was working on the Pathways to a zero carbon Oxfordshire (PAZCO) delivery plan, and that county wide partners had agreed for officers to accelerate the delivery of the PAZCO option. Our CAP should reflect that.

·         Anthesis report - it was responded that this was not related to council data, and therefore not useful enough to impact the CAP. It was intended to circulate it – there was no officer involvement in it and the CAP was not reliant on it.

·         Targets were ambitious but there were many variables that could impact it. E.g. the emissions from homes was a large portion of emissions, but retrofitting was a costly process. There was a strong statement of intent from our 2025 target.

·         Measures should support objectives of corporate plan. Testing monitoring of achievements.

·         Demonstrating progress to the public and leading by example was important.



To agree that CEEAC recommends the Climate Action Plan to Cabinet for adoption.

Cabinet should consider the comments and changes raised by the CEEAC.









135     Environment Advisory Group - Future Oxfordshire Partnership update (EAG)


Councillor Powell updated the committee. The EAG met on 26 November 2021. There was a county wide officer group to coordinate input from councils. There was a lot of agreement on priorities. There was an overview presentation on domestic retrofit.


EAG was now looking at a delivery plan for the PAZCO report. The PAZCO route map shall complement and integrate with individual climate action plans. Officers had been asked to accelerate work by EAG, and this would need approval at the next FOP meeting on 25 January.


Collaboration on communications was discussed – county led work stream - pool resources, amplify campaigns. A key area for authorities to provide education and signposting to residents.


Reports were received that cover government policies (build back better policy and strategy). Potentially share with CEEAC. Documents were -

Net zero strategy for buildings

Heat and buildings strategy


Committee discussed a previously used document sharing link / library.





136     Future items






137     Greenhouse gas emissions report


Since 2011, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy had required local authorities to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions from their estate and operations. 2020/21 was the eleventh year of reporting and 2009/10 represented the baseline year.
Their guidance draws on the principles of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, an internationally recognised standard for corporate accounting and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.


There were 3 scopes. Corporate Energy Officer explained that we were using a standard protocol –

Scope 1 - Direct emissions from fuel use

Scope 2 - Indirect from electricity purchase

Scope 3 - Everything else – discretionary -  we do report on mileage of staff and contractors, contractors activities. These were listed in the report.





138     Tree planting update


This item was placed ahead of the quarter 2 corporate plan monitoring report.


Councillor Cooper updated the committee. The tree planting policy had been approved for adoption.


The policy had been promoted. Since going live, we had received 2 full applications as follows:

·         Friends of Wallingford and Cholsey Green Spaces

·         Radnor Road Resident’s Association.


Both were subject to further investigation and site visits. Visits are arranged for 17th January 2022, with hopefully a prompt decision made afterwards.


Councillor Roberts was working with planting groups and hoped progress was made soon, in light of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.


Queen’s green canopy project. Tree champion, Cllr Dragonetti, spoke at a meeting in Wallingford to explain our tree planting policy at Parish level.





139     Corporate plan performance report - Quarter 2


This item was reviewed last to enable cabinet members to leave early if they wished, considering the arrangement for cabinet members to not take part in this item.


The report sets out the activities and achievements during quarter 2. The focus for CEEAC was priorities 1 and 3. Cabinet member Andrea Powell left after introducing the item.


Comments raised by committee for the cabinet member:

·         Long term stated aim of ACE1: Was this the intention, what were the shorter term aims? Shouldn’t we have quarterly objectives? It was responded that there would be annual figures from the emissions report and also the CAP. This was the wording as per the corporate plan. The general discussion was whether such long-term aims should have a regular measure. This may come under the CAP.

·         ACE7 / 9: Has covid affected these, hence no progress? Promotion of circular economy. No progress on Q2 – why, what was the longer-term ambition? It was responded that waste reduction was an area of work that was developing and had done in Q2. There was an initiative after Q2 on reusing materials to make Christmas decorations. Ongoing communications in place regarding waste and reducing it. It was suggested that specific case studies would be helpful, rather than just stating work was ongoing.

·         An observation raised regarding multiple forms / data input areas, with similar data being put in multiple places.

·         PRN1, page 31: mapping and surveying of ecosystems – lack of progress was queried. It was responded that monitoring of biodiversity was ongoing work. A lot of this was business as usual, which was difficult to measure. Chair would like a case study to show work being done, and at least a 12 month  / quarter 4 update as stated.


The cabinet member was asked to consider these comments.</AI13>




The meeting closed at 7.52 pm


Chair                                                                           Date