Agenda item


Purpose of report:


To provide the Select Committee with an update on progress in relation to the Climate Change Delivery Plan and the Land Management Framework, highlighting ongoing implementation and success to date.



Natalie Bramhall, Cabinet Member for Environment & Climate Change


Carolyn McKenzie, Director – Environment



Key points raised during the discussion:


  1. The Cabinet Member stated that the report was a summary of work that had taken place to date on the Climate Change Delivery Plan (CCDP). The final CCDP was to be published, with approval by Cabinet, in June 2021 following further development of the funding mechanisms and businesses models needed to finance and monitor reduction activities. Work on the Land Management Framework (LMF), summarised in the report, was a key part of the CCDP linked to the climate change adaptation agenda that would deliver multiple benefits. The Council was positioning itself to capitalise on investment opportunities that were likely to arise when the government’s Environmental Bill was published. Officers were developing a set of carbon reduction metrics which could be applied to programmes and schemes in the CCDP, and in the meantime were working on identifying immediate benefits such as Active Travel and decarbonisation of the corporate estate. The CCDP was to be updated and reviewed annually.


  1. The Director – Environment added that joint ownership of the CCDP was vital in ensuring effective engagement and emphasised the scale of the challenge which would only be overcome by the involvement of the private sector, public sector and residents and communities. The Council should take a clear leading role in enabling and inspiring people to make changes.


  1. The 100% CO2 target reduction, against 2019 levels, by 2050 was a challenging target and the government needed to make big policy shifts to help local authorities meet these national targets. The Council’s success would also depend on partner engagement and attracting investment. There had been significant improvements and changes and the Director stated that it was important not to undermine the difference that smaller initiatives, such as the streetlighting initiative, could make in meeting targets. The Director also added that if the electrification of cars and transport proceeded, the Council could meet its target by 2040.


  1. A Member requested further explanation of the Greener Futures Investment Multiplier Framework. The Director explained that this was being developed as the overarching Framework to draw in investment from numerous organisations to one platform to fund a range of programmes. It was also important to bring in the agendas and investment of other applicable strategies and programmes, such as the Rail Strategy and Local Transport Plan 4, to maximise outcomes and take forward the Council’s climate change agenda and achieve multiple benefit outcomes. For example, the River Thames Scheme flood defence programme included the creation of new habitats, and considered health, leisure and amenity purposes as well as carbon sequestration and biodiversity.


  1. The Council’s relationship with Surrey Wildlife Trust and Surrey Nature Partnership was important and Members wanted to see evidence of this and the organisations’ involvement in the report and referred to in Phase 2 of the Framework, particularly with regard to planning considerations. The Director assured the Committee that Surrey Wildlife Trust was involved with the LMF from the outset and that the nature recovery strategy would be embedded into this framework.


  1. A Member asked whether there was sufficient focus on Surrey land as a whole and whether the LMF would identify sites where it would be preferential to allocate different types of developments, for example the location of new renewable energy sites or appropriate land for woodland management, in the county to ensure the rural countryside was better valued. The Director responded that the LMF was unique and considered rural, countryside and high-quality green spaces in urban areas. The first piece of work would look at the natural capital and value of all land across Surrey. Initially, the Service was to undertake deep dives in public sector land around renewables and biodiversity and then study all private and community-owned land to develop one land use approach. 


  1. A Member questioned whether the Council was allocating sufficient funding for the countryside and woodland management given the planned closure of the Council’s sawmill. The Director responded that supporting wood fuel was a key aspect of the LMF work, however it was not appropriate for the Council to lead on and deliver. The Council would support the woodland industry, but it was not financially viable for the Council to deliver. The Council was supporting activities within Norbury Park to date had received 17 expressions of interest from people wanting to deliver related activities on this site. 


  1. A Member requested that the specific role taken by the Council, government, and other organisations in each item of the CCDP be listed, and that officers state which current plans would not meet targets, and what strategies were in place to meet those targets, in the final CCDP. The Director responded that the final CCDP would include wherever possible how targets were to be achieved, detailing specific action and who needed to be involved. The Service needed to identify other sources of investment with a timeline of when those funds would be available to ascertain how much flexibility the Council had in how it was to achieve net zero.


  1. A Member requested that the Select Committee consider a private meeting in June 2021 to review the final CCDP before its consideration at Cabinet meeting on 21 June 2021. 




I.             The Select Committee recommends that the newly appointed Committee reviews the final delivery plan before the Cabinet takes its decision on 29 June 2021.



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