Proposed venue: Teams
Contact: Carrie Anderson Ext 4078
Welcome and introductions
The Chairman, Councillor Cait Taylor, welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Ben McCallan representing Surrey County Council was introduced to the Board as a new external member. It was noted that Ben also played a key role at Guildford Zero.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Deborah Seabrook and Paul Spooner.
[Checking the comments made by Cllr Taylor, as unclear]
The carbon report would be provided at the next meeting as checking was required over some of the data assumptions before it could be submitted to the Board. However, it was reported that overall emissions were down to just over 6,000 tons of CO2 equivalent (with the caveat that the Leisure Centre had been closed due to the pandemic).
There would be an overall review of the previous minutes of the Board to ensure that all actions had been followed up.
There would be a new standing agenda item of ‘Matters arising from the minutes’ in order to capture any follow up.
The minutes were confirmed as a correct record.
Climate Change Programme Mandate
The Council’s Climate Change Mandate was presented to the Board. The Mandate had previously been submitted to the Strategy and Resources Executive Advisory Board (EAB) for consideration and comment on 6 December 2021.
The link to the Mandate and the minutes of that meeting were provided to the Board in the agenda pack.
The project mandate template was the first process in developing a council-wide Climate Change programme that would embrace all activity, service areas and projects. In addition, the scope of the programme would also embrace areas the council might influence such as local business and communities. The content of the Mandate had been pulled through from the High Level Action Plan.
The Mandate did not currently make reference to the Board and this would be rectified as it was proposed the output from the programme would be directed to the Board for comment and advice.
It was the intention that there would be key officers in the organisation that would have oversight of taking through more detailed policy and strategic activity. The Mandate was described as having taken a lot of background work but going forward would be a springboard that reflected the council’s commitment much more visibly.
The cost profile reflected that as set out in the trajectory report. It was expected that the priority levels of certain projects either had changed or will change as the document was now a few months old.
The Board heard the delay in progress had been due to the Climate Change Officer (CCO) vacancy. The new CCO would start with the council on 16 May 2022.
The Board made the following comments:
· The portfolio lead should be updated.
· The meeting heard that Climate Change workstreams as set out in the presentation would provide the programme structure comprising the four pillars of delivery - Strategic vision and organisational change management (Climate Change Programme Group); Internal Mitigation; External Mitigation and Resilience. It was noted that the portfolio lead should be updated in the original document.
· That the External Mitigation workstream include community engagement. An engagement plan was proposed and it was important that any engagement undertaken by the council was a two-way process with local communities. Communications from the council should be clear and not jargon-filled. Language used should be accessible and easily understood.
· It was noted that SCC’s Greener Futures programme put community engagement at the forefront of priorities, and the borough should support that initiative.
· The council’s website should have more information and guidance for residents as well as explaining the council’s approach and the way in which it was tackling Climate Change.
· The council’s Parish Liaison Group meeting which took place twice a year might be a vehicle for communication with the parish clerks represented.
· That Climate Change be a standing agenda item for the Executive and Full Council and where appropriate, embedded in internal meetings as well so as to provide regular visible updates at each meeting. It was noted that Climate Change and sustainability was already a ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
High level action plan
There had been a request at the meeting held on the 17 March for the Board to revisit the High Level Action Plan. It was explained there had been significant updating of the Plan since it was last seen by the Board. The HLAP was a working document and had been shared with the Board via Teams where it was possible to see the progress made by individual service areas across the organisation.
The Board made the following comments:
The HLAP should be reviewed by the Board at every other meeting with updates highlighted to make the progress clear and service areas identified by directorate.
Make the Car Free Day and annual event on the Plan
It was noted that Oxford City Council had installed overhead solar panels on canopies in its car parks. Although the council was open to the proposal, in addition to cost there was also a matter of planning permission which might not be straightforward. EV had been installed on the roofs of the MSCPs in Guildford.
What was the progress on the Sustainability Movement Corridor to date whilst noting that SCC would be creating a new cycle lane between Burpham and Stoke Park later in the year?
A Citizen’s Assembly would be included on the HLAP.
Planning Rows 36 and 37 – checking how we monitor allocated sites and delivery
2.7.2 Are we employing a consultant?
The pool cover on the Lido would make a difference but safety would be a priority.
APSE would be undertaking a high-level overview of the emissions opportunities for the Spectrum, noting Exeter had rebuilt its leisure centre to zero carbon. WBC was also working on a scheme for the Cranleigh Leisure Centre which would be a focus for learning.
SCC's Greener Futures Programme
There had been a presentation of the SCC Greener Futures programme at the previous meeting and SCC would welcome and an endorsement of the Programme from district and borough partners.
The Strategic Services Director asked the Board to consider if would make a recommendation for the Executive to endorse the Programme and formally give support.
It was noted that there had been much work undertaken at officer level, but that it was important to have the high-level political buy-in to the Programme to reinforce the inter-authority approach. Waverley Borough Council was taking a report to its July meeting of its Executive.
In consideration members of the Board were supportive of the SCC Programme but that a full endorsement may affect the progress of the council’s own plans given the differing dates the councils had opted for to reach Net Zero.
The Board concurred it would recommend to the Executive that the council should generally support the Greener Future programme and seek to align our own plans with SCC in this area.
It was not known what the trajectory was for SCC to reach Net Zero, but that the availability of resources affecting that position was changing all the time. APSE had been commissioned to undertake a new trajectory report for GBC in the light of this.
The terms of reference for the Board were set by the Executive and there was to be a review of those alongside an annual review of progress to date to be undertaken by the Executive on 26 May 2022. Continuation of the Board was reviewed annually by the Executive.
The Chairman drew attention to the resolution of the Council that stated:
“This resolution will be implemented across the Council with all Executive members having responsibility to ensure that the necessary actions are identified and pursued within their individual portfolios.”
With the agreement of the Leader of the Council, the Board might also create sub-groups. The Chairman suggested this would be useful and that those should be task and finish groups. The Board might pick 2 or 3 areas to tackle this year and prioritise resources.
Task and finish groups should be included on the agenda for the next meeting.
It was suggested the Board continue to meet bi-monthly and in regard due to resource implications.
There was no mention of housing in the service areas covered by the Board.
There might be a requirement for lead councillors and service leads to provide a written update the Board periodically and perhaps in response to pre-questions submitted by the Board, noting some projects were extensive and moved slowly. Some services would have little to input.
The Board would particularly like to hear from Planning Policy and Housing
It was important that projects were included on the High Level Action Plan.
Suggested that budget be included and how the council sought funding.
The Programme Manager should also be responsible for sharing success.
Reporting back to the Exec should be more frequent, possibly quarterly.
Any other business
The Board noted that it was important to bring projects forward to a point at which the council might be successful in bidding for funding.
Officers were commended for work so far.
Dates of the future meetings
No future dates were set.