Agenda and draft minutes

Surrey's Greener Future Task and Finish Group
Tuesday, 29 October 2019 11.30 am

Venue: G44 - County Hall. View directions

Contact: Amelia Christopher  Email: amelia.christopher@surreycc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Minutes from the Previous Meeting: 9 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

3.

Witness Sessions

    Areas to consider:

     

    ·         Feedback and reflections

    ·         Any outstanding issues

    ·         Cabinet Member engagement

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Katie Sargent, Environment Commissioning Group Manager

    Rachel Crossley, Director of Strategic Commissioning

     

    Key points raised:

     

    Feedback and Reflections

     

    1.    The Environment Commissioning Group Manager explained that there were a few witness sessions left to re-arrange. This included Stroud District Council and Wiltshire Council. (officers will circulate the details)

    2.    Members agreed that the notes from the witness sessions should be collated into a summarised document to go the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee.

    3.    JE- The presentation by Extinction Rebellion (XR) was not useful due to the presentation style.

    4.    Members agreed that there should be an all-Member Briefing on the evidence from the witness sessions and the Task Group would look into presenting their ideas and challenges to all Members.

    5.    In response to NB and JOR’s request, the Environment Commissioning Group Manager will collate the evidence from the witness sessions on best practice by other councils and organisations as this would be useful to the Council going forward.

    6.    The Director of Strategic Commissioning informed Members that the finalised report would be ready for the next Task Group meeting in November.

     

    Any outstanding issues

     

    7.    NB – Community engagement needed developing and it would be useful if the Task Group received more specialists on this area.

    8.    PD – There needed to be greater emphasis on increasing public participation and Facebook would be a useful tool to aid this.

    9.    The Environment Commissioning Group Manager stated that the Council’s weakest theme area was Countryside, food, farming, water and land use and asked Members for their ideas to address that.

    10.  JE – suggested the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) useful pamphlet on sustainable land use and farming titled ‘Our Future in the Land’. In response, the Environment Commissioning Group Manager would look into that.

    11.  PD – suggested that Surrey Hills Enterprises was a useful organisation to and would help raise business engagement.

    12.  JE – summarised key themes:

    ·         Transport - the recent regional Local Transport Body consultation on sustainable transport was helpful to the Council.

    ·         Buildings - the Council needed a focussed plan in order for the Council to move towards zero carbon emissions.

    ·         Waste - supported the Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) staying open.

    ·         Energy - a detailed follow-up is needed on this that focuses on renewable energy.

    13.  In response to JE’s query, the Director of Strategic Commissioning recognised that a more comprehensive plan on the economic development of Surrey was needed to develop the Council’s Vision 2030 and make use of the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

    14.  NB – true commitment to Surrey’s Greener Future required sufficient resources.

    15.  JE – a detailed revenue budget was needed which identified orders of magnitude across relevant areas.

     

    Cabinet Member engagement

     

    16.  AM – reminded Members of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste’s recent visit to the ‘Cut the Pollution’ campaign in Farnham.

    17.  JE – it would be useful for Members to receive the baseline data from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

SCC Emissions

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Katie Sargent, Environment Commissioning Group Manager

    Rachel Crossley, Director of Strategic Commissioning

     

    Key points raised:

     

    1.    The Environment Commissioning Group Manager explained that Surrey County Council did not have annual emissions data since 2013 as that was not a statutory requirement.

    2.    Members were informed that the Council’s focus was on its 2018-2019 emissions data on scope one and two areas: which included estates as well as schools and vehicle mileage/emissions of all staff travel, which did include Members’ travel in response to PD’s query.

    3.    Data was not collated on contracted out services such as bus journeys and waste emissions – scope three. Unlike scope one and two data, scope three data would not be ready for the report going to December’s Council meeting.

     

     

     

5.

Draft Select Committee Report pdf icon PDF 119 KB

    Areas to consider:

     

    ·         Feedback on initial structure

    ·         Themes (discussion on level of detail and key points)

    ·         Call for Action

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Rachel Crossley, Director of Strategic Commissioning

    Katie Sargent, Environment Commissioning Group Manager

     

    Key points raised:

     

    Feedback on initial structure

     

    1.    In response to AM’s concern over the generic nature of the recommendations in the draft select committee report, the Director of Strategic Commissioning stated that there was room for greater specificity as the project developed.

    2.    AM- it would be useful if there were appendices summarising the evidence form the witness sessions within the draft select committee report.

    3.    JOR – questioned whether there were common strands from the witness sessions which would inform the updated recommendations. Real initiatives would provide guidance to the Council – such as Bristol City Council advice against in-house electricity generation.

    4.    The Environment Commissioning Group Manager noted that the witness sessions on sustainable school transport was useful and highlighted the need for funding and investment for such projects.

    5.    Members were happy with the initial structure.

     

    Themes (discussion on level of detail and key points)

     

    6.    In response to JE’s query on public sector partnerships, the Director of Strategic Commissioning noted that finance and procurement were central to the Surrey County Council theme, public sector partnerships would follow on.

    7.    The Director of Strategic Commissioning agreed to NB and JOR’s call for best practice and distilled evidence from witness sessions to inform emerging themes.

     

    Call for Action

     

    8.    The Director of Strategic Commissioning informed Members that the draft Call for Action required more long-term and clearer phasing and had been shown to Cabinet.

    9.    JE – that point 13: ‘plant 1.2M trees by 2030’, would have minimal effect on alleviating climate change as it does not affect the extraction or use of fossil fuels. A more tangible action would be to focus on increasing woodland coverage in the county, protecting ancient woodland, tackling Ash dieback and that developers should commit to a net planting of trees.

    10.  PD – planting more trees is beneficial as it does increase air quality and the maintenance of planted trees must be assured.

    11.  In response the Director of Strategic Commissioning would not remove point 13, but would develop it by adding more proposals.

    12.  NB – that housing and insulation were important and should be considered within the ‘As Residents’ column.

    13.  Members stated that the table was a good engagement tool to lay the foundations of the developing strategy and sustainability was crucial.

    14.  JE – language in the table should be strong and consistent, that ‘consider’ climate change in point 2 should be replaced with ‘embed’.

    15.  In response to Member’s suggestions, the Director of Strategic Commissioning stated that a standalone ‘Communications Plan’ was not necessary as work was being done with the Surrey Environment Partnership to create a Surrey-wide approach.

    16.  That schools and young people came under the ‘As Residents’ column.

    17.  JE – it was important that there should be a continuous campaign for a greener Surrey after completion of the Task and Finish Group and it could consider its own  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Design Challenge

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Rachel Crossley, Director of Strategic Commissioning

    Katie Sargent, Environment Commissioning Group Manager

     

    Key points raised:

     

    1.    The Director of Strategic Commissioning informed Members that there were a number of upcoming workshops - tree-planting, cycle-mapping and no plastics in schools - to increase engagement and the Communications Team were heavily involved.

    2.    The Task and Finish Group were also informed that there was a podcasting project and it would be useful if Members helped with this.

    3.    NB – greater creativity was a positive way to increase engagement and to be accessible to all generations.

    4.    In response to Member suggestions on the usefulness of ‘school strike for the climate’ groups, the Environment Commissioning Group Manager commented that the school strike group in Guildford had stopped engagement with the Council due to drilling decisions by one of the Council’s partners - Barclays.

     

7.

Actions/Next Steps

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Rachel Crossley, Director of Strategic Commissioning

    Katie Sargent, Environment Commissioning Group Manager

    Vicky Hibbert, Governance Lead Manager

     

    Actions/Next Steps:

     

    1.    Upcoming witness sessions will be confirmed with Members prior to the next meeting of the Task and Finish Group on 12 November 2019.

    2.    The Draft Select Committee Report including the themes, ‘call for action’ and collated witness evidence sessions will be circulated to Members as a word document so they can add track changes - before the next meeting on 12 November 2019.

    3.    Baseline data from the University of Surrey will be included into the Draft Select Committee Report.

    4.     A representative from the University of Surrey to come to the Task and Finish Group’s next meeting on 12 November 2019.

    5.    The Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee will review the Task and Finish Group’s Draft Select Committee report at its next meeting on 22 November 2019 and an interim progress report on this will go to Council on 10 December 2019.

     

     

     

8.

Date of the Next Meeting