Agenda item

Climate Change Programme Mandate

Minutes:

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 required consideration in every committee report.

·        Climate Change impact and mitigation might be included as a requirement for officer delegated decisions.

·        Requirements and obligations for officers and councillors taking decisions might be included in the Council’s Constitution.

·        That Climate Change mitigation must be included across the political and operational sides of the council and should feature in team service plans across the organisation. It was suggested mitigations from individual service areas might to sought to achieve savings or better value for money. There would be a discussion with the Strategy and Comms Team for progress.

·        The collaboration work was a way to expand work in this area with greater resources and partnership opportunities. It would be the responsibility of the new joint management team to get the right priorities in place. It was noted there was regular dialogue between the Guildford and Waverley lead councillors and responsible officers (including the Comms and local economy teams). There would be joint attendance at a forthcoming solar event organised by Surrey County Council (SCC).

·        The Asset Energy Demand Feasibility Study should include generation of energy.

·        The council should take a look forward to around ten years’ time to picture how society would have changed and essentially the change in the services it provided and not just in terms of carbon.

·        The Board might maintain a ‘living’ action plan in reflection of the constant changes occurring through operational demands and responses. It was noted that the High Level Action Plan had been shared with the Board members on Teams and it was possible to view any changes in real time and to leave comments and suggestions.

·        The Board noted that officers across the organisation had enthusiasm to implement the Mandate and the work achieved so far was commended.