Climate Change Board - Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 10.30 am

Proposed venue: Room 6 - Hurtmore, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: Carrie Anderson 

Note: Also on Teams. See your Outlook invitation for joining instructions. 

No. Item


Welcome and introductions


The Chairman, Councillor George Potter, welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Those present were regular members and no introductions were necessary.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Ben McCallan (SCC), Prof. Bob Nichol (UNIS), and Chris Wheeler (Executive Head of Technical Services)

It was noted that Prof. Nichol had been unable to attend a meeting so far. The Chairman would contact him to understand if there were obstacles preventing him from joining.


Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2022 were approved.

The Action Tracker was now uploaded to the CCB Teams site and was shared with the meeting. The actions marked in green had been completed.

Anyone unable to view it should contact Nat or Carrie.

The Action Tracker would be reviewed at the next meeting.


Update on next steps with Climate Change Action Plan


The draft Action Plan had been submitted to the Corporate Management Board (CMB) in October. Following that, it had been submitted to each service area for review to understand what was achievable, especially in terms of finance and timescales. The matter of budget was critical to the Council and there had to be a full evaluation of was deliverable over the time-period. An example was the Spectrum Leisure Centre which was the largest contributor to the Council’s overall emissions. A decision on the future of the Spectrum was significant with many ramifications. Central Government funding, the option of using reserves and community schemes were, it was suggested, a way forward to the challenges.

It was anticipated that service leads would respond before Christmas.

The schedule thereafter was for the Climate Change Officer to review the feedback from service leads and to finalise the Action Plan for submission back to CMB and then onward to committee during January 2023. It was noted that the emissions data for the Council and for the borough had recently been received from APSE which would also feed into the document.

The Action Plan would follow the Executive committee pathway and be considered by an Executive Advisory Board. A date for this had not yet been set. It was the Board’s view that all councillors should have an opportunity to comment on the Action Plan prior to it being considered by the Executive. It was explained that without an understanding of how service managers would respond to the consultation, a firm date for committee was not possible. Officers would come back to the Board with a timeline once feedback had been received and understood. It was also proposed that the Action Plan should be endorsed by full Council.

The Action Plan had been written to submit goals for each service area and overall, with those goals achieved, for the Council to reach net zero by 2030 and the borough by 2050 with around 733 kilotons of carbon left to offset, probably achieved through the Council generating its own power. A solar farm proposal for Guildford was in the Action Plan, albeit this might not be the only solution open to the Council as technologies developed through to 2030. If the Council could produce its own energy this would not only reduce emissions but also increase resilience and adaptation for the future.

It was noted that because of the collaboration with Waverley Borough Council a new Joint Management Team (JMT) was in place heading up service areas for Guildford and Waverley. The Chairman had met with the new JMT and was appreciative a certain amount of delay was to be expected whilst the new management team familiarised themselves with their new teams and areas of responsibilities.

The headline of the Action Plan would be a revised wording of the climate declaration.

The Climate Change Officer was asked to provide a written update on the CCAP for the next meeting.


Climate Emergency Definition


The Climate Change declaration was made by the Council in July 2019, since then there had been a development in understanding of the issues and terminology involved. As the Council moved forward it was important that its ambitions were clear. It was proposed that the original declaration be updated and clarified. It was proposed this revised statement form an introduction to the draft Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP).

Firstly, the Council should be clear about what was understood by Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions and how these would be addressed. Scope 1 was understood to be the emissions created by the running of the Council itself, such as gas and electricity usage. Scope 2 was understood to the emissions created by the activities the Council, such as refuse vehicles etc. and Scope 3 was the indirect emissions arising from the Council’s third-party relationships, through the procurement or supply of goods and services. There was not, as yet, a defined methodology for calculating or influencing Scope 3 emissions.

It was proposed that Scope 3 be included in the Council’s definition due to the credibility of the intent, but that Scope 3 emissions might be outside of the ambition for 2030 as it would possibly take an additional year or two years to work with partners and providers to achieve that outcome which would be in accordance with the science-based targets to keep within the 1.5 degree increase.

Secondly, the original declaration made no mention of the biodiversity emergency, air quality or resilience and adaptation to climate change when it had become clear that these were important related challenges.

Attention was drawn to the video circulated recently to the Board setting out the relationship between climate change and biodiversity.

Again, it was suggested that certain parts of the Council’s portfolio might be reassessed and placed outside of the 2030 target if it appeared that could not be met by precisely the cut off year of 2030 but could be achieved more flexibly.

It was noted that some parts of the declaration had been met such as the member training, albeit this training may have to be repeated following the local elections.

The wording of the objectives of the development management policies could be incorporated in the declaration.

Parish councils might be looking for leadership from the Council and this role might be made more explicit in the revised interpretation of the declaration.

The Action Plan was to be reviewed regularly, probably every two years.

It was suggested that the Council’s procurement policy might stipulate that any business acting as provider to the Council should have its emissions benchmarked with a plan for decarbonising to facilitate measuring and reducing Scope 3. The Chairman felt there was much to understand in procurement practice, such as how and if the Council were bound to certain legal or procedural constraints.

Colleagues from the Comms Team and those working with local businesses stakeholders were welcomed for their contribution in this regard. The meeting heard that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Future role of the Board


The Chairman explained that the definition of the purpose of the Board would remain, but that once the Climate Change Action Plan had been adopted role of the Board would take a scrutinising role, tracking and monitoring progress. Secondly, and especially drawing on the expertise of the advisory members, the Board would continue to seek to update and review the Action Plan.

The Board agreed with the Chairman and added that where there were difficulties with progress, elected members would seek to offer support to officers and processes.

The Board should be seen as route for updates to the Executive and to the Council not only on what had taken place but what should be the proper direction. It was noted that although public opinion could be supportive of policy, once policy was to be implemented the transition could be uncomfortable for Council as it sought to bring residents along. The Board might act as a focus hub for how to address those issues before they arose.

The Board might invite specialists to address it on certain areas to inform how the Council might address certain specific matters or the Board might arrange for speakers to address councillors for educational purposes. It was anticipated that the Board would receive short presentations at its future meetings from service leads on progress.

The Board should have greater public visibility, or certainly the endeavours of the Council to achieve its ambitions. It was set out in the Action Plan that the Board would report to full Council to update on progress periodically, the frequency was to be confirmed.

In summary, the Board would adopt a scrutiny role to monitor the implementation and progress of the Action Plan, as well as to advise regarding updates to it. Where there were major decisions to be made by the Council in terms of emission, such as the Spectrum, the Board might act as an early consultative body given its external expertise. The Chairman suggested that the Board might have a supportive role to the Lead Councillor regarding communications to the borough on climate change matters. Finally, there might be a forward plan of matters for the Board to discuss.



Any other business


There was no other business for the Board to discuss.


Dates of future meetings


The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 25 January 2023 at 10:30am.