Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: via Remote Video Link
Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Direct Line: 01403 215465
To receive the notes of the meeting held on 26 February 2020
The notes of the meeting held on 26 February were received.
Reducing the Council's carbon emissions
The Group will receive an update from the sustainability experts Anthesis, who are working with the Council to agree a target date for the council to become carbon neutral and an associated action plan.
The Cabinet Member welcomed Freddie Cooper and Nicole Dalton, consultants from Anthesis, a sustainability focussed consultancy that is working with HDC on achieving organisational carbon reduction.
Freddie gave a presentation on the development of a Carbon Reduction Action Plan for the Council. The plan will focus on Council operations including buildings used by the council, buildings leased out by the council, fleet and procurement contracts.
A carbon audit of HDC’s buildings, fleet use and other activities carried out in 2019 was being used as a baseline from which to work.
The presentation explained a number of emission-reduction pathways that worked towards different targets for achieving a carbon neutral organisation. The plan would include energy demand reduction (including retrofitting of existing buildings), low carbon energy, behaviour changes, contract and procurement methodology, natural capital and offsetting.
The Cabinet Member emphasised that the plan would be costed. It would also draw on examples from other local authorities. The Group discussed the ambition of the project and how it would need to be balanced with other priorities.
A draft action plan and report would be ready for the next PDAG in September, before being presented to the Cabinet meeting on 24 September.
Wilder Horsham District project
The Director of Conservation Policy and Evidence, Sussex Wildlife Trust, will give an update to the Group on the Wilder Horsham District Project.
The Cabinet Member reminded the Group that, whilst the Wilder Horsham District project related to the Leisure & Culture Portfolio, it was also relevant to his own, and that organisational carbon reduction, district-wide carbon reduction and the Wilder Horsham project were all interlinked.
He welcomed Henri Brocklebank, Director of Conservation at Sussex Wildlife Trust (SWT). Henri gave an overview of the five-year project, which sought to create a more resilient landscape that would enhance biodiversity and create wildlife connectivity across the district. Two new posts were about to be appointed which would work with landowners and organisations across the district to support them in taking steps to enhance biodiversity.
A formal steering group with HDC and SWT would monitor progress, including maximising potential for engaging with community groups and landowners. The Group noted that Parish Councils will be involved in the process.
The Group discussed the project in the context of the Local Plan and it was confirmed that SWT had submitted a detailed consultation response to the Local Plan Review.
The Environmental Coordination Manager was working with the Head of Strategic Planning to ensure initiatives resulting from the Wilder Horsham District project, and work on carbon emissions generally, fitted with the timetable and decision making process of the Local Plan. She also advised that Biodiversity Net Gain events for Members and officers from the Planning and Property departments would be arranged.
The Cabinet Member thanked Henri for her presentation.
District wide carbon emissions
The Group will receive a briefing from the Environmental Coordination Manager.
The Environmental Coordination Manager updated the Group on the Council’s project to reduce carbon emissions across the district. Although an action plan had not yet been produced, a number of projects were already underway. The scope of the project required working with a number of stakeholders, including the Highway Authority.
The rollout of electric charging points had been approved by Cabinet and was going ahead with other districts and boroughs. This was a long-term project that would deliver a network of charging points across the county.
Community grants would be available to support community projects. An initiative to install photovoltaic panels on domestic properties would commence this autumn.
The Cabinet Member advised that the Group would be kept informed of progress.
To note the Forward Plan extract for the Environment, Recycling and Waste Portfolio
The Forward Plan extract was noted.