Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Vicki Emrit, Climate Response Officer
Welcome and Apologies
1.1 The Chair welcomed the group to the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves. Apologies noted from Cllr Thompson, Cllr Filmer, Cllr Stamp (Cllr Johnson is substituting), Cllr Potter and Richard Hicks (Director of Place and Deputy Chief Executive).
1.2 The Chair welcomed the MYC Community Engagement representative.
1.3 Cllr Curry noted that Cllr Maple would be joining the meeting late due to a meeting clash.
Technically, Councillors are only required to declare interests at meetings of the Council, the Cabinet, or Committees and Sub Committees, Joint Committees or Joint Sub Committees. However, it is best practice to follow the rules on declaring interests at other informal meetings as well. Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 3.
2.1 The Chair declared that he is the Chairman of Kindy Ltd and the Director of Medway Development Company (MDC). Cllr Curry noted his involvement with the urban greenspace and local access volunteers. Cllr Gulvin declared his role as Director of Medway Development Company (MDC).
2.2 The Chair advised that he had received a report on the sustainability of new MDC developments and that this will be circulated after the meeting.
ACTION: Climate Response Support Officer to circulate MDC report with minutes
A short presentation will be given by Celia Glynn-Williams and Katie Hargraves-Smith
3.1. The Head of Communications and Marketing and Climate Response Engagement Officer gave a presentation on Engagement and Communications progress since the last meeting and plans for the next steps.
3.2. The Head of Communications and Marketing summarised events that have taken place since the last meeting including the EV event at Rochester Castle which included 13 local brands. Very interesting conversations with the public. Now interested in other areas taking forward similar events. Event image used at COP26 which will help raise our profile. Intend to repeat and perhaps expand to wider sustainable event, perhaps bring in electric bikes. The Chair commented that it was very successful, particularly as it allowed people to ask questions and receive impartial information.
3.3. Other events included a Climate Change stall at Wild About Capstone, a new sustainable festival which exceeded a target of attendees of 1500 and provided a great opportunity to spread the green agenda.
3.4. Numerous Medway Adult Education courses have been run this term. Courses range from technical through to craft and arts, involving people of all ages and abilities. Ongoing gardening projects with dementia friends at Eastgate House, trying to break down isolation and barriers. The Chair commented on projects on remaking and less waste. Also, a lot of work with young people over the summer, art reusing materials, which were very popular.
3.5. Member briefing in October enabling councillors to come together to hear about the Climate Change Action Plan at first hand. Included workshops on how councillors can get involved in Climate Change in their own communities, being ambassadors in their own wards.
3.6. The Climate Response Engagement Officer spoke about the variety of events hosted during COP26. A key event was the Climate Change Conversation at the Rochester Corn Exchange, the first large scale event on climate change with the community. Pleased to welcome around 60 attendees for the evening. The event included a marketplace for attendees to speak to different council teams on the climate change action plan, presentations and workshops, to generate ideas and then develop these further with key priorities fed back. A report on the feedback is currently being collated, and a community network is being set up. Plans are in place to grow from this event, with future focused events on themes.
3.7. Climate Cafés were held, well-being events in relation to feelings and fears around climate change. There was significant engagement on social media but less uptake in terms of attendance. On reflection, the council might not be the right group to facilitate the cafes and we will be looking to develop the concept with the University of Kent who were delivering the cafes and link local community groups.
3.8. Carbon literacy taster session delivered by Speak Carbon, attended by 18 businesses and groups around Medway. Two groups interested in booking into the further Carbon Literacy sessions which will be supported and promoted.
3.9. The second Child Friendly City Hall event took place with a climate change section. Medway ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
A short presentation will be given by the Climate Response Team
4.1 The Climate Response Officer and the Climate Response and Environmental Protection Manager gave a presentation on key areas of progress on the action plan to date.
4.1 The 2019-20 carbon emissions assessment has now been completed and this identified a 13.2% reduction in carbon emissions across our estate and operations, against the previous year, which was also the baseline year for all future emission reports. This reduction was primarily achieved through decarbonisation of the UK electricity grid. Emissions reports for 2018/19 and 2019/20 will be added to the council website as part of the website refresh. 2020/21 data is currently being collated and will be reported to Cabinet next year.
4.1 An allocation of £75,000 from the Modern Medway Fund allowed the Climate Response team to recruit two new members of staff into the positions of Support Officer and Engagement Officer. Two interns from the University of Kent were also hosted during the summer, one of whom was successful in their application for the position on Climate Response Engagement Officer.
4.1 A Councillor briefing session was held during October to provide members with an overview of their sphere of influence on the climate emergency. The session was attended by 20 members and was positively received
4.1 The team hosted an intern for 12 weeks during the Summer who carried out a review of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and an audit of the Climate Change Action Plan. Their findings will be incorporated into the refresh of the Climate Change Action Plan in the new year. Also recently presented to students at the University of Kent on the development of the action plan. Very positive engagement, with requests to attend future seminars and further opportunities for student placements.
4.1 An update was given on social value measures that have recently been introduced. There is now a Category Management mandate on social value and as a minimum all bidders are asked to make a commitment to a reduction in tonnes of CO2 equivalent. A draft social value policy has been produced. Once finalised training will be rolled out to assist responsible officers to achieve positive outcomes. Further input and suggestions are welcomed from the group to be taken to the Head of Category Management.
ACTION – The Chair asked to Climate Response Officer to share the draft policy with the group.
4.1 Continued roll out of the Highway Street Lighting LED replacement programme with 68% of lanterns now LED.
4.1 Phase 1 of the Re-fit program, to improve energy efficiency across 11 council owned buildings, started in October. Solar panels have been installed at Gillingham Library and work has started on Lordswood Library. Future works include the install of LEDS at Gun Wharf, heat pumps at the Brook Theatre and Gillingham, Lordswood and Wigmore libraries.
ACTION: Energy and Carbon saving stats were provided on a slide and will be shared with the minutes.
4.1 The Council delivered their first Electric Vehicle Event in September. Due to the success, it is ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
5.1 The Chair asked for any points to be raised. No further points were raised.
6.1. The group commented on the work of Capital Project team in improving our buildings and the Head of Capital Projects who has made presentations to outside organisation and requested one for this group. The Climate Response Officer confirmed that the Head of Capital Projects is lined up to attend the February meeting with an update.
Date of next meeting
7.1. The Climate Response Officer confirmed the dates of the next two meetings of 1st February 2022 and 28th April 2022.
7.2. The Chair closed meeting and thanked all for attendance, particularly the MYC representative and also thanked all for the contributions and work being done.