Agenda item

Carbon Audit & Reduction Plans

Decision:

Resolved that

 

(a)      the proposed baseline carbon audit, in preparation for the development of a draft Carbon Reduction Strategy and Action Plan for Cabinet’s consideration, be agreed; and

 

(b)      the establishment of a Carbon Reduction & Sustainability Officer, for a two-year fixed term, on the basis set out on the report, be agreed.

Minutes:

(Link to Council Priorities: Character & Environment)

 

The Portfolio Holder for Environment introduced the report and reminded the Cabinet that at its meeting in July 2019, the Council had agreed a motion declaring a climate emergency and a pledge to make the organisation carbon neutral by 2030.

 

In readiness for the development of a Carbon Reduction Strategy and 10-year Action Plan, the Portfolio Holder reported that a specialist organisation would be engaged to undertake an initial audit of the Council’s carbon emissions from its buildings and operations.  This audit would enable an assessment to be made of the Council’s carbon emission footprint which would act as a baseline for carbon reduction actions and initiatives.

 

The Cabinet noted that following the completion of the baseline audit, the specialist organisation would assist the Council in the development of a Carbon Reduction Strategy and associated Action Plan to enable the authority to become carbon neutral by 2030.

 

The Portfolio Holder also reminded Members that in November 2018, the Cabinet had agreed a fixed-term post for a Projects Co-Ordinator to help progress a number of sustainability initiatives.  In order to assist in the development and delivery of the Council’s Carbon Reduction Strategy and Action Plan, it was proposed that the term of this post be extended from 1 to 2 years and that the role be widened to encompass supporting the delivery of the Action Plan.

 

With regard to financing the audit and two-year fixed term post, the Cabinet noted that the total £130,000 costs could be met from the one-off waste contract defaults, which had been set aside for helping deliver and support the Council’s sustainability initiatives.

 

During consideration of the report, the Deputy Leader invited Councillor G.P. Dearlove, an Oatlands and Burwood Park Ward Councillor, to address the meeting.  Councillor Dearlove commented that the report, and in particular the executive summary, could be misleading to residents given that the motion agreed by Council in July 2019 was in respect of making the Council and its assets carbon neutral by 2030 and not the whole Borough.  The Portfolio Holder for Environment clarified the position and reiterated that the pledge was in respect of the Council and its assets only.  With regard to the funding, Councillor G.P. Dearlove asked whether the one-off waste contract defaults sum of £243,000 was the monies that the Council had already received or whether this was promised money.  The Strategic Director confirmed that this was the money received under the default provisions from the contractor following the commencement of the waste contract.

 

Resolved that

 

(a)      the proposed baseline carbon audit, in preparation for the development of a draft Carbon Reduction Strategy and Action Plan for Cabinet’s consideration, be agreed; and

 

(b)      the establishment of a Carbon Reduction & Sustainability Officer, for a two-year fixed term, on the basis set out on the report, be agreed.

Supporting documents: