Agenda and minutes

Climate Change Member Advisory Group - Tuesday, 8 December 2020 5.00pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Vicki Emrit, Climate Change Coordinator 


No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


1.1 The Chair welcomed the group to the meeting and noted apologies from Cllr Tranter, Cllr Filmer, Ruth Du Lieu, James Williams, Vicki Emrit, James Sutton, Sarah Byrne.


Notes and actions of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 89 KB


2.1 Cllr Maple requested item 4 of previous minutes be updated to reflect the discussion of the cycle lane on Rochester Bridge.  Action: previous minutes to be updated

2.2 Under item 4, Cllr Gulvin noted that trial EVs and charge points for Children’s Social Services have been introduced.


2.3 The group agreed that with the update to item 4, the summary of the previous meeting was an accurate reflection and agreed the minutes.


Declarations of Interests pdf icon PDF 371 KB

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.


3.1 With reference to item 4 (Transport Update) Cllrs Doe and Gulvin advised of their Medway Development Company board membership.


3.2 With reference to item 6 (Environmental Actions Update) Cllr Maple informed the group that he is also a Council appointed trustee of Chatham Maritime Trust. Cllr Curry advised of his interest in Active Travel and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund due to his role of Chairman for the Medway Access forum and Greenspaces volunteer work.  Cllr Gulvin advised of his subscription to the Solar Together PV Group Buying Scheme.


Transport Update pdf icon PDF 990 KB

Michael Edwards / Matt Pinder


4.1 Electric Vehicle Roadmap

4.2 Active Travel

Additional documents:


4.1 Officers presented their progress on the Electric Vehicle Roadmap focusing on projections for the future uptake of electric vehicles in Medway, the development of in house charging infrastructure for the Council estate and on public highways, partnership work through the Kent and Medway Electric Vehicle District Network for facilities in car parks and engagement with residents via the EV Charge point survey and FAQ document, both of which are on the Council website.  Responses to the EV charge point survey will continue to be collated and used to inform the development of the EV strategy.  The EV strategy is currently at draft stage and will be presented at a future meeting.  Officers are planning a trial installation at a small number of sites, to commence in Q2 next year (July-Sept 2021).


4.2 The group noted the successful installation of 6 electric vehicles and chargers at Broadside House for a trial with Children’s Social Services.  The scheme was delivered in 8 weeks and will be monitored for a duration of 12 months.


4.3 Cllr Gulvin referenced the requirement for 3 phase power supplies to facilitate the fastest charging speeds, as noted in the FAQ document, and the challenge faced in securing this from UK Power Networks.  Officers responded that as part of the Kent and Medway Electric Vehicle District Network scheme, UK Power Networks had RAG rated all sites with the majority of Medway car parks given a green rating for 7Kw fast charging but noted uncertainties above 50Kw.  Officers will incorporate a superfast charging workstream into the Roadmap with progress incorporated into future updates.


4.4 The group discussed the Kent and Medway Electric Vehicle District Network scheme.  Cllr Thompson asked for details regarding the length of any concession contract through the scheme as this could hinder access to premium sites for any Medway appointed provider. Officers confirmed that the scheme would cover only car parks and not the wider council estate or public highways and that there was no obligation to accept the offer from the successful bidder. Officers advised that a Memorandum of Understanding would have to be agreed with KCC and the Districts and ratified by Members before any participation in the scheme.  Also queried whether discussions have been held with other fleet operators, such as Southern Water, who may be interested in the scheme as it covers such a broad geographical area.  Finally, whether an app will be considered for the network to make more attractive to the end user and details such as this factored into tender documents.  Cllr Thompson suggested officers contact the Infrastructure Projects Authority who can advise on Public Private Partnerships. Officers to include these points in discussions with KCC on the Kent wide network.


4.5 The Chair recognised comments from Cllrs Thompson and Curry and advised Officers of the need to look to national guidelines and take advantage of the experience of others in the field and queried the nature of the scheme and how it would sit within the current  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Heat Mapping and Energy Master Planning Study

Matt Pinder/Lucy Kirk


5.1 Officers provided Members with a general overview of district heating schemes as a potential option to de-carbonise Medway. This has also been endorsed within the emerging Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy (KMELES) and the Tri-LEP South2East Energy Strategy.

5.2 Medway Council have been successful with a funding bid for c.£45K from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) via the Heat Network Delivery Unit (HNDU) to deliver a Heat Mapping and Energy Masterplanning (HM&EM) Study. This funding will be split in two: 1) project management and 2) specialist consultancy, to produce the study findings and recommendations. The scope of the study will focus primarily on Hoo Pensinsula, to dovetail with the HIF, Local Plan and Hoo Development Framework; but will also focus on potential network opportunities in Strood and Rochester, respectively. Chatham Town Centre was initially included in that scope but was later withdrawn so as not to conflict with a Techno-economic Feasibility Study to be carried out for Chatham and Chatham Maritime. This separate study will focus solely on River Source Heat Pumps from the River Medway and is anticipated to start in Spring 2021, if not earlier.

5.3 Avieco Ltd, a leading sustainability consultancy, have been procured to represent the Council as Project Management for the HM&EM Study and the procurement exercise for specialist consultancy is now live; with the winning tenderer to start from January 2021. The HM&EM study is intended to take 4 months to complete.

5.4 Specific project boundaries are to be further refined when the specialist consultants are in place. In addition to those broad locations mentioned above, other key regeneration sites are being considered, including Innovation Park Medway (IPM).

5.5This will inform work in planning for sustainable growth on the Hoo Peninsula.


5.6 Cllr Thompson asked if data centres and other high heat output commercial activity will be included in the plan.  Officers confirmed that all types of activity/heat use and future potential development will be covered by the study.


General Updates pdf icon PDF 512 KB

Vicki Emrit


6.1 Solar Together PV Group Buying Scheme

6.2 Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy

6.3 Action Plan Schedule

6.4 Urban Tree Challenge Fund

Additional documents:


6.1 Officers presented an update on the Kent and Medway Solar Together PV Group Buying Scheme.  4025 households registered, 381 from Medway.

6.2 The Chair recognised that this was a good uptake and queried if the scheme would be rolled out again.  Officers advised that no future schemes were available at present and confirmed that case studies would be pursued for communications and to encourage take up of any future schemes.  ACTION: Officers to provide case studies of participants who have saved through the scheme.

6.3 The Chair noted Cllr Maple’s request to understand the factors that may lead to a resident declining the installation offer, for example cost or inconvenience.  ACTION: Officers responded that this will be investigated after the offer deadline of 11 December 2020 passes and will be reported back to the group once information is available.

6.4 Officers provided an update on the passing of the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy (KMELES) through Overview and Scrutiny on 03 December 2020 leading to its presentation to Cabinet on 12 January 2021. 

6.5 The Chair recognised the importance of working in partnership with colleagues and authorities across Kent. Officers noted the importance of working with as many partners as possible to respond to Medway’s Climate Change Emergency.

6.6 Cllr Curry referenced the Kent 2050: Road to Net Zero Conference, at which the KMELES was launched.  Cllr Curry queried whether there may be potential to accelerate the net zero carbon target date of 2050, as set out in the KMELES, further to recent announcement of government policies and support for advances in domestic heating technology and electric vehicles.  The group noted that this will be subject to sufficient resources although the target date will be reviewed as work progresses.  ACTION: Officers advised that a link to the recording of the conference would be distributed to the group as soon as available

6.7 Officers provided an update on the Action Plan Schedule.  Baseline reporting figures are in the process of being updated with latest available 2019 data and are expected to be finalised by January 2021.  The baseline report and draft action plan will be discussed with the group in Spring.

6.8 Officers provided an update on the successful Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) bid.  Medway Council has received a grant from the Forestry Commission to plant 13,842 trees across 10 sites in Medway.  This will be undertaken by volunteers in partnership with officers from Medway Norse and Medway Council in May 2021.

6.9 The Chair congratulated all involved in securing this incredible number of trees for Medway and recognised the contribution of volunteers and Cllr Curry in driving the scheme onwards.

6.10 Cllr Curry advised how planting would be undertaken and that although the second lockdown prevented planting starting on National Tree Week, it has been rescheduled for early in the new year.  It is proposed that a year on year planting programme at scale is taken forward, subject to Forestry Commission funding, as part of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Communications and Engagement

Lynette Godwin


7.1 Communications officer presented information on work to date including infographics from the aborted (due to lockdown) November 2020 Medway Matters issue, the material was distributed digitally instead. A new infographic will feature in the next issue.  Officers noted that recycling dates for Christmas and details of the Medway Tree Fund had been communicated with residents.  Positive interest for the Medway Tree Fund has been received.

7.2 A new Climate Change social media page is being developed which will incorporate the current Environment Services page to reduce doubling up, take advantage of the established audience and to ensure that key climate change messages and projects are not lost within the main Medway Council pages, which are predominantly Covid focused.  Example communications were presented for the Solar Together solar panel group buying scheme, an overview of the infographic to encourage support for the Towards a Plastic Free Medway letters to schools, #SmallChanges campaign, litter bin use campaign and the recent Monthly Gardeners Blog for December.  A sample of a new climate change video, currently in development, was presented.  The Chair requested that the Urban Tree Challenge Fund and Electric Vehicle items discussed within the meeting are included in future communications.  ACTION: Officers confirmed that UTCF and electric vehicles will be included in future communications.

7.3 Cllr Maple agreed with the enhancement of environmental messaging on the already well respected @medwayrecycles Twitter account and enquired about the possibility of having a dedicated Instagram page.  Would also like to ensure that when we continue to raise the profile of the climate change work alongside communications on the 2025 City of Culture Bid.  Cllr Maple also suggested increased messaging for residents on the disposal of facemasks.



AOB pdf icon PDF 37 KB


8.1 Officers presented a summary of a bid which Medway has supported with other local authorities in Kent to DEFRA’s Air Quality fund.  The project is to develop a digital resource for primary schools across Kent which educates children aged 5 to 11 years and their parents about air pollution. The outcome of the bid will be known in March 2021.  ACTION: The Chair requested that this is included in future communications if the bid is successful.

8.2 Cllr Hackwell raised the issue of air quality and in particular opportunities to erect signs in Rainham High Street as one of the worst affected areas to encourage drivers to switch engines off when stationary. Officers advised that they are in discussions with the University of Kent regarding a project looking at anti-idling and nudge behaviour messaging.  ACTION: Officers will report back to the group on this item at the next meeting.

8.3 Cllr Maple thanked all officers for a successful meeting and for all their work to date.  provided an update on a meeting with Medway Norse to identify some areas for wilding in a cemetery in Chatham in an appropriate and sensitive way.  Conversations are ongoing.  ACTION: The Chair requested that appropriate sites for wilding continue to be identified and progressed.

8.4 Cllr Thompson raised awareness of the possibility of partnering with drone companies looking to trial drone deliveries to properties which could contribute to removing vehicle movements from Medway’s roads.  ACTION: The Chair will discuss with RH how this may be taken forward.

8.5 Cllr Curry provided an update on urban meadows and advised of a volunteer ecological recording group setting up a biological records database for Medway.  Recordings can be submitted via the Medway Urban Greenspaces Forum website.  This will be a good indicator of bio-diversity success of the current meadows and verges initiative.

8.6 Cllr Curry notes the opportunity for linking Medway’s outstanding Greenspaces offer into the City of Culture bid.  Officers confirmed that the subject of climate change and the novel and unexpected use of greenspaces for cultural activities will play a key part in the bid.



Date of next meeting

11 February at 17:00.


9.1 The Chair thanked members and officers for their ideas and contributions.