Agenda and draft minutes

Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee - Tuesday, 11 January 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: virtual meeting

Contact: Candida Mckelvey, Democratic Services Officer  07895 213820

Items
No. Item

127.

Chair's announcements

To receive any announcements from the chair and general housekeeping matters.

Minutes:

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 has reminded officers.

 

 

128.

Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence and the attendance of substitute members.

Minutes:

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

129.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.

Minutes:

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 work.

 

130.

Urgent business

To receive notification of any matters which the chair determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent.

Minutes:

None.

131.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 287 KB

To review and agree as a correct record the minutes of meetings held on 7 June and 27 September 2021, and for the chair to sign them as such.

Additional documents:

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

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

None.

133.

Task and finish group update

To receive any updates from task and finish groups of the committee. 

Minutes:

None.

134.

Climate Action Plan pdf icon PDF 194 KB

For committee to review the draft Climate Action Plan and provide recommendations to Cabinet (paper to follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Cooper introduced the report.

This Plan is 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 looks at council operations, measuring actions and outputs and also how we engage and involve communities. The CAP is 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 need 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 is.

Changes will be reported at the next quarter after they have 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, as per 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 are waiting on the budget to understand what resource we will have to achieve a certain timescale. The example is officers to work on bidding for funding.

 

·       Will we see the CAP post-budget to see the impact of budget on resource level? It was responded that the actions are 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?

·        

 

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 was working on (PAZCO) delivery plan, and that county-wide had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 134.

135.

Environment Advisory Group - Future Oxfordshire Partnership update

To receive a verbal update from Councillor Andrea Powell.

Minutes:

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

For committee to discuss potential agenda items and upcoming items for the committee.

Minutes:

None.

137.

Greenhouse gas emissions report pdf icon PDF 398 KB

For committee to review the annual report to increase awareness of council emissions, and for public promotion of report (report to follow).

Minutes:

Since 2011, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has required local authorities to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions from their estate and operations. 2020/21 is the eleventh year of reporting and 2009/10 represents 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 are 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. Listed in the report.

 

 

 

 

138.

Tree planting update

For committee to receive a verbal update on applications received for tree planting on council land.

Minutes:

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 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

For committee to review Quarter 2 of the Council’s Corporate Plan performance reporting and provide any comments on relevant themes to Cabinet (report to follow).

Minutes:

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 is 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: Is 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 on 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 – progress was queried. It was responded that it was ongoing work, monitoring of biodiversity. 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.