Contact: Candida Mckelvey, Democratic Services Officer
To receive any announcements from the chair and general housekeeping matters.
Chair welcomed everyone to the last CEAC meeting of the year. He also mentioned that Cabinet member, Councillor Debby Hallett, was in attendance to discuss the design guide. Also, the new Cabinet member for environment and climate emergency, and for CEAC, Councillor Catherine Webber, was in attendance.
The new Climate Action Lead, Andy Egan, was also present at this meeting, and we are expecting an additional officer to join us in January 2021.
Apologies for absence
To record apologies for absence and the attendance of substitute members.
There were no apologies.
Declarations of interest
To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.
Councillor Gascoigne declared her interest in Low Carbon Hub, but this would not have any impact on the agenda items.
To receive notification of any matters which the chair determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent.
To review the minutes of the meeting held on 7 September, to agree them as a correct record and for the chair to sign them as such.
The minutes of the meeting on 7 September 2020 were agreed as a correct record, and will be signed by the chair as such.
To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak.
For CEAC to receive a verbal update on the progress of the projects in the approved year-one work programme and future work planning.
Item led by Michelle Wells, Insight and Policy Manager, and Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Catherine Webber.
Councillor Webber briefed the committee on the progress update. There was a meeting held on 19 November with Councillor Webber, Acting Deputy Chief Executive for Place, Councillor Grant and Insight and Policy Manager, to review the CEAC one-year programme.
A timeline of activity was reviewed, and a review of the list of agenda items raised in the CEAC meetings held so far.
The group that met discussed how the new corporate plan will guide the council’s work, and how a future climate change strategy could sit under the corporate plan, to set up future projects. This will be created early next year with CEAC input in an advisory capacity, and with Cabinet ownership.
The climate emergency theme in the corporate plan will plan one, two and three year projects.
We were supported by a clear plan in the corporate plan for carbon reduction in council buildings and biodiversity.
Councillor Webber said that she looked forward to working with the committee.
The meeting also involved reviewing the original year one work programme. There had been good progress despite Covid-19. The carbon emissions baseline work completed was important. Some delayed items would come forward with new corporate projects. Councillor Webber thanked the committee and the Insight and Policy Manager for her hard work over the last year.
It was clarified that the documents attached to this agenda item in the meeting pack was misplaced and belonged with the agenda item on Greentech. This was a verbal update.
Officer responded to a question about the recruitment. There was a six-month contract for another Climate Action Officer, to join Andy Egan, to support externally funded projects.
Committee noted the verbal update.
Task and Finish group update
For CEAC to receive a verbal update on the work of the CEAC task and finish group from the chair, Councillor David Grant.
Chair updated the committee. The task and finish group met with Bioregional – One Planet Living Oxfordshire (OPLO)
Committee members had a productive session. There are lots of different strands:
One Planet Living Oxfordshire
Growth board strategic vision
Cross county collaboration group has a statement of intent.
The aim was to tie these together in a meaningful way. Bioregional will be conducting a gap analysis in relation to the climate emergency year one work programme and corporate plan.
Committee noted the task and finish update.
For CEAC to receive a project update from Andy Egan, Climate Change Lead, and Cabinet member for the environment.
The Climate Action Lead briefed the committee on the update report on the Oxfordshire Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy (OEVIS).
Councillor Webber was a political member on the steering group – the group was yet to meet and give views on the strategy. Officers from the Oxfordshire Councils had worked on it so far. The timeline intention was to achieve Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Cabinet sign off on 23 February. The strategy should be presented to district council Cabinet before or after 23 February. The strategy contains detailed policies, numbering around 40.
The Climate Action Lead drew attention to;
Point 13 in the presented paper – this was a listed set of policies grouped under different areas.
They were all in draft form, so not in the public domain yet. The political steering group were yet to meet – postponed due to staff absence at OCC. They hoped to meet in early 2021.
There had been extensive officer contributions – coordination with planning officers and the Climate Action Lead officer.
The park and charge project will be the first practical manifestation of the strategy, installation of charge points was due in 2021.
This was a partnership strategy and implementation.
Under point 4 of the background section – UK central government had brought forward the ambitions regarding electric cars to 2030. This urgency will strengthen local ambitions.
There was a query regarding power supply – in historic areas, the electricity supply is not adequate for electric vehicle charging and would need boosting. Officer confirmed that this point was addressed in detail, and the impact on local electricity grids will be addressed before installation.
The chart on item four – it was noted by committee that data points stop in 2018. Do we have access to more recent data?
It was replied that there was national data in October 2020, and the Climate Lead Officer had made a summary sheet that could be made available to CEAC.
Chair added a view that the infrastructure was lagging and people need to be able to charge on the street, or car parks will be overly full.
It was asked if there were government grants available to support this work. Officers replied that the park and charge project wasg supported through grant schemes that Oxfordshire councils accessed together.
There had been private sector funding – park and charge operators and SSE - Partnership working and funding.
It was confirmed that there was currently no information on income from park and charge.
At the officer board for the park and charge project, it was discussed that there was an initial period of no income. Firstly, there would be return on investment from private investors. There was potential to renegotiate conditions at a later date.
Committee noted the update.
For CEAC to receive a summary paper on HM Government’s 10-point green plan, from Michelle Wells.
The Insight and Policy Manager updated the committee on the implementation of the ten-point plan. The energy white paper was released – detailing steps over the next decade, and it pointed to further funding to come. In the run up to the climate summit, important policy announcements are expected. The summary of the plan presented today was for the CEAC to note.
Committee asked how we could use this to inform our policy making to improve planning applications and to strengthen the need for greener warmer houses from the start. It was suggested that this could be discussed at agenda item 12, on the joint design guide.
Chair added that the ban on installation of gas boilers was dropped quickly, which was disappointing.
It was explained that the tranches of funding did support our work locally, and policy announcements may lead to funding – we should be ready to deliver.
The committee discussed plans for greener homes and public buildings – will it be sufficient.
Officers informed the committee that initial work to decide if plans were sufficient had been conducted – the Corporate Energy Officer reviewed this and concluded that generally it was not sufficient. There was acknowledgement in the ten-point plan that there would be more funding. We needed to attract private funding too, to match public sector. The ten-point plan suggested this could be 11 billion pounds. Corporate Energy Officer confirmed that officers can research the requirement further.
Committee noted the update on the 10-point plan.
For committee to note the benefits of Founder Membership of Oxfordshire Greentech (OG) and the proposed support package negotiated with OG.
Item lead: Michelle Wells
The Insight and Policy Manager updated the committee.
The Greentech membership briefing – working with Oxfordshire Greentech, through the economic development team
Committee were asked to note the year one support package.
Committee asked how many organisations are in Oxfordshire Greentech. Insight and Policy Manager informed the committee that the Economic Development Team would have further details, but unfortunately were unable to attend this evening’s meeting.
Page 33 – resource implications, at point 20 – was there any details on the business recovery survey?
Acting Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that the full report was circulated in November in councillor updates – the link can be recirculated to the CEAC.
Committee noted the Greentech update.
For the CEAC to receive an update report on the Joint Design Guide project and note the progress of development.
The item will be introduced by Councillor Debby Hallett and the supporting officer will be Dominic Lamb.
Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Councillor Debby Hallett, updated the committee on the progress of the Joint Design Guide (South and Vale).
The report was for internal use, as it was a working draft. The urban design team was working on this, and they will work upon the two existing guides, to improve and reflect new corporate priorities.
It will be a supplementary planning document (SPD)- SPD’s provide more detail, they were not part of Local Plan, but were material considerations in determining planning applications. The intention was to assist in the process of developing high quality development. The emphasis will be on improving quality of life.
This was a key opportunity to shape the guide before external consultation. The CEAC had been emailed the draft guide and was invited to submit comments by the 15 January deadline. This had been emailed to the committee. Councillor Hallett stated that the priority section for CEAC input was on pages 9-24, section three.
There will be workshops, dates to be confirmed. There will be a joint project board to discuss chapters. It was hoped that adoption would take place in one year’s time.
The section called climate adaptation - the title was discussed, and the committee were invited to suggest a more suitable title. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment, rather than adapting to current problems.
The CEAC would have opportunity to feed into this to help develop the climate adaptation section. More in-depth comments and ideas can be emailed to planning officers Marta Bou Fernandez and Jake Bassett.
The final draft was expected by May 2021.
Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Webber, had been invited onto the project board – and would be a direct link to CEAC. The CEAC will be involved throughout.
A view was expressed that County was pressing ahead with low traffic neighbourhoods, with one mode of transport to access such neighbourhoods. The Design Guide could conflict with this - may need to reword the relevant section in the Design Guide. Officers would consider this.
Councillor Hallett pointed out that the South guide previously was written by officers and won awards. The Vale one was written by consultants. The new joint guide will be worked on by officers only.
Chair commented that the climate adaptation section had placeholders for ideas, but we needed to link back to the Local Plan. Was there scope in the Design Guide to put detail on what was meant by sustainable. Can we link to the central government ten-point plan also?
Committee noted the update and the deadline for comment on the Joint Design Guide.