Councillor Everitt gave an introduction to the report and stated:
· Thanks were given to Karin, Amy and all the Officers who had contributed to this, well constructed and detailed report.
· The report contained a lot of information and this report presented the complicated subject well.
· The Climate Emergency Advisory Panel had reviewed the report prior to this meeting.
· CEAP had undergone some recent changes in the composition of its members, however this change had not impacted on the historic position of the panel, that being a cross party commitment to our authority’s ambitious goal to be Carbon neutral by 2030 and the further commitments made as part of the 2019 Climate Emergency Resolution motion, proposed by Councillor March.
· The panel held this report in that same fashion, and it received cross party support without points raised against it.
· As the new cabinet member responsible for Carbon reduction, Councillor Everitt will work the sustainability team to further develop the Carbon decent plan.
· Currently the carbon reduction pathway being followed utilises carbon off-setting to achieve our 2030 aim, off-setting is a problematic means of reducing our carbon and does not offer a financial return.
· The sole model we currently have to achieve our 2030 target without offsetting, the construction of a solar farm, would take significant capital and resource, but it did demonstrate that was possible. Providing residents and members support such a move and it is viable no option should be off the table.
· The bigger fish to fry, were the much larger borough wide emissions. Something that this authority had previously not overtly recognised as within its responsibility.
· Councillor Everitt was pleased to say that this report contained the first steps necessary to work towards much larger Borough wide greenhouse emission reductions.
· The Draft year 2 action set out how we will work with community groups and develop a borough wide Climate strategy.
· We had an example of such action, for this years Big Green Week, the Sustainability Team had worked hard to organise some excellent events that promoted a community-based approach.
· Members were asked to spread the word and promote the events in their respective wards.
· Women in Sustainability event on Thursday 29 September at King Charles the Martyr Church Hall, Tunbridge Wells at 7pm. With a panel of local climate activists and those working within Local Government to take action on Climate Change.
· Going Green: Sustainable Business Friday 30th September at The Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells at 2.30pm with several excellent speakers from the business world.
Karin Grey, Sustainability Manager presented the report as per the agenda:
Discussion and questions from Members included:
i. Thanks were given to Karin and her team for putting the report together and achieving quite a lot in year 1 going in to year 2.
ii. It was felt that the website had done a good job bringing the information to the public’s attention, and it was good to see that it was kept fresh and treated as a priority.
iii. It was acknowledged a lot of work still needed to be done and to encourage people outside the council to do their part to achieve the green agenda.
iv. Effective data collection was part of year 2 and year 3 goals.
v. It was confirmed that the sports facilities were looking closely at energy consumption and the costs of running facilities like swimming pools will be discussed.
vi. It was confirmed that there would be ongoing discussions between Property Management and Facilities Management in terms of where energy cost can be kept as low as possible.
1. That the recommendations to Cabinet as set out in the report be supported.