Climate Change Board - Thursday, 11th February, 2021 11.00 am

Proposed venue: Microsoft Teams

Contact: Carri Anderson 

No. Item




Everyone was welcomed to the meeting.




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Diana Jones, Deborah Seabrook and Paul Spooner. Also, Dawn Hudd and Emma McBriarty. Councillor Paul Abbey was in attendance for Councillor Jones.






It was noted that there would be an update on the  draft Comms Strategy under AOB.


Solar energy short talk – further details would be provided in due course.


Improving the provision of green rather than brown energy supply was raised. There were two options the Council could take. One was renewable energy with guarantees of origin but this was not considered robust, whilst Laser would be able to demonstrate that the provision was from a reliable source. Work with Laser was ongoing.


With regard to the Council having its own energy company, this was not without risk as was evident from other council’s experience and would be a matter for the full council to decide as an investment option.


Otherwise the minutes were agreed.




Additional documents:


Full Council had received a report updating on the progress of the Climate Change Board at a meeting held the evening before. It was noted that the Millmead House and Farnham Road MSCP solar installations and the electrification of the Council’s fleet of vehicles were on track, as well as developing partnership work with Surrey County Council (SCC). The meeting heard that it had been proposed by SCC that there should be a summit-style meeting between SCC and the eleven districts and boroughs once or twice a year with delivery of initiatives under a Greener Futures Partnership, alongside the existing Climate Change Officer Network, comprising of officers from Surrey district and borough councils. This group was in discussion about common issues across the County.


It was suggested by GEF and UNIS that the Council might provide a list of desired and proceedable actions to both SCC and UNIS in order to push forward the momentum, which was well received. The Chairman also advised that there were productive outcomes being developed by more collaborative working on a borough level. With regard to the risk section of the report, it was queried how the momentum might be recaptured as everyone emerged from the pandemic. It was noted that the Communications Strategy and engagement work with businesses, parishes and communities was being developed, of which more would be heard later in the meeting.





The APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) trajectory draft report had been received very recently. It was extensive and would set the pathway for achieving net zero carbon for the Council and to meet the 2030 commitment. The report would be key to supporting the Council as it worked on developing and prioritising its engagement and partnership projects. At the next Board meeting there would be more information about the way forward including the means by which projects could be prioritised in terms of comparison between cost implication and emissions reduction.


The energy monitoring reporting was the current prioritised piece of work aimed at bringing all of the Council's energy consumption data into one place so that it could be better monitored and reported, enabling it to be better managed and ultimately reduced. There would be  a further update at the next Board meeting.

Cllr Harwood was questioned with regards to whether the council should directly pursue tree planting schemes to combat climate change. Cllr Harwood noted that the opportunity to plant trees was always sought and the Council supported Surrey County Council in its tree planting programme. Therefore, it was not on the project programme.


The group discussed the efficacy of hydrogen technology for transport and even domestic heating. It was noted that hydrogen technology its infancy and currently inefficient due to the electricity required in the production process. The technology would likely have specific use scenarios and whilst the development in this technology is a way off, it was eminently sensible to proceed with the technology available whilst remaining agile in embracing new technological developments that would support its ambition to achieve zero carbon.


The group heard how the National Trust (NT) had two motorboats carrying passengers along the River Wey Navigation, but the challenge to providing a regular service beyond tourism was the speed and pace of the transport due to the limited space for boats to pass one another and to turn. However, emerging from pandemic it was possible that the NT would be interested in discussions to run a service.





The first electric community minibus was due to arrive on 9 March and the tenth and final bus in early May. Individual Vehicle Assessments (IVA) were required by the DVLA on each bus and this was causing a small delay of around two weeks in the roll out. The EV charging infrastructure at Park Barn was in place and had been used recently to charge the Council’s pool cars delivering food parcels.


It was reported that as the Council progressed replacing its fleet vehicles with carbon-free technology it also had an active interest in hydrogen technology for larger vehicles and electric (EV) for smaller vehicles if appropriate. It was anticipated that the new Council Depot would have charging provision for both.


It was suggested there were some community minibuses in operation that might be replaced with EV technology. The Government funding scheme for such a conversion was directed to local authorities and bus companies, but SCC should be contacted as possible point of assistance.





There was a presentation from the Local Economy Manager. The slides of the presentation are attached to these minutes.


It was noted that Guildford was home to a large number of big companies some of which had their own climate change policies and some were operational in the field of climate change especially globally. There could be an opportunity to work with those companies to share expertise and ideas.


The results of the Business Survey were set out. Most respondents were SMEs. The majority of business activity had been to reduce plastic and improve energy efficiency of premises and operations where possible. Very few were undertaking monitoring or setting targets. Barriers to activity were funding, restrictions on what might be achieved in theirpremisesdue to building type or landlord permissions and finally a lack of knowledge on whattypes of projects could be undertaken. There was a strong interest in gaining more knowledge and advice and over 50% of those surveyed would be interested in becoming a part of a green business network. It was possible the Council might look  to develop such a network based on the Cambridge Clean Tech Network (CCTN) model. The CCTN, was a membership organisationoffering access to events (national and international), information seminars and networking opportunities to businesses and academics. 


The presentation concluded with a number of proposed areas the Board might explore such as: 


·        Supporting the Council’s procurement Strategy to ensure our suppliers have suitable environmental practices in place

·        The formation of an innovation and sustainability forum in partnership with UNIS based upon the model of the CCTN model. 

·        Establish a Guildford Climate Change Charter

·        Run a Local Climate Change Business Summit 

·        Invite graduates and academics from the UNIS Centre for Environment and Sustainability to do industry placements with local businesses and organisations. 

·        Research and identify funding for businesses and organisations. 


Prof. Miller (UNIS) was supportive of the proposals and suggested that there was also knowledge and expertise around behaviour change and environmental law and taxation that could be shared by UNIS which was welcomed. The Busines School and Psychology Faculty could be incorporated as well. There would be a conversation outside of the meeting to take the discussion forward.


With regard to community engagement it was noted that some parish councils and residents were enthusiastic in getting involved. The meeting heard that there was a new Climate Emergency Centre to be launched in Guildford that was not instigated by the Council but the Council was involved in discussions. The intention of the new Centre was to draw together the various groups and individuals under one umbrella in order to share knowledge, ideas, and activity. Community engagement was on the agenda for that group. The Chairman would bring more information to the Board at a future meeting.


It was suggested the bi-annual Parish Clerks meeting with the Council could be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.




Thursday 8 April at 10:30am




The Climate Change Comms Strategy was being developed and it was likely that it would initially take a broad overview rather than being too detailed with engagement specifics. It was stressed that Board should be putting out even simple messages as soon as possible.


Business Presentation pdf icon PDF 950 KB