To receive a 6 month update on the Climate Emergency Action Plan (30 minutes)
Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Planning Policy and Economic Development which provided an update on the climate emergency action plan (CEAP) since it was endorsed by the Committee at its meeting in March 2020 and approved by Council in June 2020.
As part of the Council approval it was agreed that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be the forum for formally monitoring progress on the CEAP and that reports would be presented at 6 monthly intervals. This will also provide the opportunity to highlight particular areas and propose new actions. These would then form part of an Overview and Scrutiny sponsored workshop and any actions and suggestions will feed into a report to full Council with any amendments required to the Action Plan. The workshop will also include experts from external companies and charities to outline what others are doing and the way forward.
Since the CEAP was endorsed by the Committee the pandemic has created a fundamental change to the way we live and work. Even in the face of this challenge progress has still been made with the CEAP. In response to the pandemic the Council has adapted both the way it works and the services it provides. However, there have been consequences arising from the pandemic which have put pressure on some Council functions and progress of elements of the CEAP. The report highlighted a number of areas where progress has been made with particular focus on the digital elements and how the Council interacts with its customers.
Karen Eastley, Senior Planning Officer, gave a verbal update on the end of life disposal of Council vehicles and reported that work is continuing with the transition to electrically operated hand plant. Timescales have had to be reviewed in regards to delivery. A number of Government schemes have been announced and launched to help parties increase energy efficiency and the Council are promoting these schemes to residents through social media.
Members raised the following points;
· The Local Government Association has made a free tool available to all Local Authorities to enable the Council to compare progress against their own targets as well as with other Authorities.
· Hampshire County Council and the Environment Centre will be invited to take part in the workshop
· Review of office base/homeworking and future requirement for office space
· Better joint working between Test Valley Borough Council and Test Valley Association of Town and Parish Council.
· Better waste recycling by educating the local population and more recycling areas to recycle cardboard and paper and garden waste for more local recycling.
· As part of Local Plan process the Council uses the consultant’s report as an evidence base to inform the plan and policies, the Council will consult on how we use and interpret that evidence.
· Review of electric tariffs
· Member briefing on renewable and low energy carbon sources in the Borough
· The Government have undertaken a consultation on efficiency standards as part of a proposal to move to a future homes standard with new houses being built to a higher standard rather than each Local Authority having their own policies
1. That the Committee endorse the 6 monthly progress update of the Climate Emergency Action Plan
2. That the Committee endorse the proposal for holding the Climate Emergency Action Plan all member workshop in late 2020.