Agenda item


Purpose of the report:  Policy Development and Review 


To outline the content and development process of the proposed new policy documents:

i) An overarching Environment Policy for the council and

ii) a Climate Resilience and Sustainability Action Plan.

Members are asked to consider and provide comments on this report and its annexes, prior to presentation to Cabinet in November 2016 



Lesley Harding, Place and Sustainability Group Manager
Bronwen Chinien, Environment Policy Team Leader
Mike Goodman,
Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning

Declarations of Interest:


Key points raised in the discussion:

  1. Officers outlined the Smarter Working for the Environment (SWE) action plan which was part of Surrey County Council’s overarching approach to the environment. While it was acknowledged that many issues were global, it was the aim of the plan to improve the County Council’s approach to environmental services and manage any environmental impacts on service delivery. The action plan would support income and grant funding bids and would add value to the way we work.

  2. It was highlighted that the SWE was a cross service response that had the aim of creating an integrated approach to managing future development risks.

  3. The Member for Redhill East expressed support for the initiative, noting the importance of having a single policy framework for joined up delivery of the environment plan. It was also highlighted that the plan presented some value for money opportunities.

  4. Members questioned air quality and carbon emissions from motor vehicles within the Surrey region. Officers noted that transport issues and carbon emissions had been a key aspect of the strategy; however it was noted that there was no simple solution to this issue. It was stated that district and boroughs were responsible for monitoring air quality. Members also highlighted that the service needed to engage with partners and with other nearby authorities, such as Heathrow and Gatwick airports, London local authorities and other partners to reduce carbon emissions. 

Mike Bennison left the meeting at 12.05am and returned 12.12pm

  1. Officers highlighted that development of the policy had included District and Borough Councils within Surrey and that the service was seeking to encourage those without their own policy to adopt the relevant aspects of Surrey County Council’s policy to promote best practice. It was noted that some district and boroughs already had policies in place.


  1. Members agreed the policy was encouraging but some parts of the action plan would need revisiting especially in relation to staff parking. Officers explained that the pay and reward strategy would pick up this issue.


  1. Members queried traffic congestion data and whether Surrey County Council could acquire access to these figures from District and Borough authorities in order to improve their environmental strategic planning. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, noted that possibilities for securing and utilising this information would be explored.


  1. Officers stated that no consultation had been undertaken with London boroughs although discussions had taken place with Heathrow around local environmental impacts. Members were concerned around the collection of air pollution data for Surrey but the Cabinet Member stated that this was a local responsibility which the county did not have control over.

  2. Members highlighted that the environmental policy should include more provision for low carbon emission vehicles and electric car charging stations. It was explained that there were no charging points outside the front of County Hall.


The board noted the Smarter Working for the Environment policy and actions plan.




Supporting documents: