A report of the Head of Planning and Regeneration providing members with an update on the progress with implementing the Climate Change Strategy.
Considered a report of the Head of Planning and Regeneration providing members with an update on the progress in implementing the Council’s Climate Change Strategy (item 7 on the agenda filed with these minutes).
The Chair confirmed with the Cabinet Lead Member of Transformation and Head of Planning and Regeneration attending the meeting virtually to assist with the consideration of the report that they could hear the proceedings before considering this item.
Summary, key points of discussion:
· With reference to the planned move of offices for the Council, it was noted that although the move itself was unlikely to be carbon neutral any changes made would significantly assist the Climate Change Strategy by reducing the Council’s carbon footprint.
· With regard to the current Council offices located at Southfields, short term solutions were being considered to improve its carbon and environmental footprint. For example, the electricity supply was being provided by a carbon neutral source, and a carbon offsetting gas supplier was being sourced. It was important to ensure money and resources were not wasted on unnecessary improvements as the long-term plan was to move out of the building. .
· To ensure tree planting across Charnwood to offset CO2 emissions was being recorded, a spreadsheet had been created to document committed planting, big planning applications, annual ‘Tree Giveaways’ by the Council and the Hathern Woodland project. Although the data was approximate it did enable officers to assess the number of trees on a yearly basis, identify any gaps and provide assurance that the target was achievable.
· There had been limited consultation with the public during last year, which explained why some of the targets were flagging up as amber. It had not been possible to engage with the community and businesses as wished to widely communicate the Council’s strategy to be carbon neutral by 2030. However, the Communications team had engaged with different sectors using different platforms (social media) with smaller but more frequent activities.
· The Council were taking part in a National Pilot for on-street parking which would involve installing more electric charging points into council owned car parks, three locations had been identified across the borough. The Local Plan indicated new residential housing applications could be favoured if electric charging points were part of the application. It was noted that the situation was changing very quickly and more work was required for on street facilities where there were no driveways or garages, although this was likely to be driven by national government.
· Difficulties with respect to parking outside of terraced homes were highlighted and that the limited number of charging points in car parks tended to be fully occupied very early in the day. It was important to focus on what the Council could achieve by introducing more charging points in its own car parks, by encouraging more private sector installations and by taking part in the national pilot scheme. New technology was being developed that could improve charging times and Council owned vehicles were being switched to electric.
Members wished to understand what percentage of Charnwood Borough residents were unable to install personal electric charging points due to the type of property they lived in.
RESOLVED that the Committee noted the contents of the report.
To ensure progress on the Action Plan is monitored, in accordance with the Committee’s work programme.