To consider a report of the Sustainability Team Manager.
The committee considered a report of the Sustainability Team Manager, which set out the findings of the recent consultation exercise and proposed changes to the Dorset Council Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy and Action plan for approval by Cabinet and Full Council.
The Sustainability Team Manager gave a presentation which provided an overview of the outcomes from the consultation and the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment made particular reference to the targets within the action plan and thanked officers for their work in this area.
The Chairman provided the opportunity for non-committee members to ask questions and discussion was held in the following areas:
· The targets set in the action plan and whether the Council should be more aspirational
· Use of alternative energy such as hydrogen and discussions being held with energy providers
· How the Salix funding would be used – further information on projects could be provided as details were confirmed
· This was a dynamic area of work over a 30 year period – further investigation would continue as technologies developed.
The committee considered the issues arising from the report and points were raised in the following areas:
· Changes had been made to the response document based on previous discussions
· Monitoring of relevant areas would be undertaken through the council’s performance system and there could be a role for scrutiny in monitoring progress
· The role for the Council in working with and influencing partners such as registered social landlords, and working with communities to provide assistance and guidance where appropriate
· How work fitted in with the Local Plan process
· Links to work being undertaken by the committee on grid capacity
· Budget implications of advancing targets and the potential impact on Council Tax levels. Financial information had been included in the consultation document
· How work in this area would be supported financially and funding options to be considered
· Targets may be able to be advanced if future technology allowed.
In order to provide further information to Cabinet and Full Council on the issues in this area, it was proposed by B Heatley that the following wording be added to the recommendation contained in the officer report;
‘but noting that
The proposal did not receive a seconder.
The Chairman suggested that some of this information could be considered through future reports to the committee.
A comment was made that the strategy was a living document and would need to be regularly reviewed, including target dates.
It was proposed by M Roberts seconded by R Adkins
The Chairman reminded the committee that they would be making a ‘minded to’ recommendation in accordance with the decision of the Annual Meeting of Council on 4 May 2021, in respect of decision making at this current time.
‘Minded to’ Recommendation
That Cabinet consider the outcomes of the consultation and amendments to the Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy and Action Plan and recommend its final approval to Full Council.
On the advice of the Corporate Director (Legal and Democratic), the Executive Director of Place, having heard the debate, confirmed the ‘minded to’ recommendation to Cabinet on 18 May 2021, under delegated powers on behalf of the informal meeting of the Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee.