Agenda and minutes

Climate Change Member Advisory Group - Tuesday, 20 April 2021 5.00pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Vicki Emrit, Climate Change Coordinator 


No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


The Chair welcomed the group to the meeting and noted apologies from Cllrs Filmer and Thompson and Medway Youth Council.


Notes from the last meeting pdf icon PDF 596 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Place and Deputy Chief Executive proposed that this meeting moved straight into Action Plan as there is a lot to be covered unless anyone wanted to raise any issues.  All agreed and no issues raised.         


Declarations of Interests by Councillors and officers 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.


With reference to item 5 (Climate Change Action Plan) the Chair declared that he is the Chairman of Kindy Ltd and Medway Development Company.  Cllr Gulvin declared his role as Director of Medway Development Company.


Introduction to Climate Change Action Plan pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Councillor Howard Doe, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, is going to provide an introduction to the Climate Change Action Plan


Additional documents:


The Chair provided a summary of the Climate Change Action Plan and confirmed that, as this is the first draft and is not set in stone, changes can be made at any time.  He also highlighted that it is a positive working model for all to contribute to. The action plan is divided into eleven different spheres of activity and budgets and timescales have been identified for each action.


Climate Change Action Plan

Councillor Howard Doe, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, is going to invite the members of the board to comment on the Action Plan


5.1       The Chair invited the group to ask questions and comment.


5.2       It was noted that working with other Councils in Kent is very important as some of the work will overlap into other areas.  As it is the first iteration, it was noted that there are many individuals and organisations that would want to be involved in the plan and to make an input, in particular residents in the community and Medway Champions.  The group asked what the proposed timetable for wider public consultation will be.


5.3       It was confirmed that comments from Kent County Council and Kent districts will be invited via existing networks.  Engagement with the wider community is the next stage and will take place this year. (00:12:00)


5.4       The group noted that as the Government have and my continue to revise their net-zero carbon targets, the plan will need to be flexible and exceed the 2050 target if possible.  It was queried whether this work is being linked in with the Local Plan, in particular is the Council liaising with the developers who invest in Medway?  The group also queried the ambition of reporting on emissions quarterly and how achievable this would be. (00:14:50)


5.5       Planning officers confirmed that the action plan links in with the Local Plan and policies are now coming through which will specifically address climate change and will link into new development.   Some changes have already been implemented, validation requirements have now changed, and a statement submitted on climate change has to be included on all reports.  Planning also advised that they have annual meetings with developers to ensure climate change is addressed and taken forward in planning applications and the Local Plan. (00:18:40)


5.6       Quarterly reporting was a recommendation from the carbon baseline assessment.  The more frequently data is reported on at this stage, the more familiar the Council will get with reporting and learn from this to be able to improve the accuracy of data collection.  (00:21:45)


5.7       The group asked if the Council could review the potential for solar panels on the roof space of council buildings.  Also to make new buildings as carbon neutral as possible, for example can the rebuild of Splashes aim to be carbon neutral?  The group also noted the action in the plan to review the potential for solar energy from Council owned car parks.  The group noted that buying carbon offsets should be a last resort and we should rethink our own efforts in Medway first, for example by further increasing tree planting. (00:22:30)


5.8       The group were assured that the Council will look to include climate change in all future developments.  Staff right across the Council support and embrace climate change. (00:31:00)

5.9       The group queried whether there was sufficient capacity to complete all the “Do It Now” actions and are there any obstacles to completing within this time frame. (00:34:00)


5.10    The Chair advised that every action on the “Do It Now” list was referred back to the officer with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Next Steps


6.1       The Chair confirmed that the next step will be to discuss the action plan at the June Cabinet meeting with officers.  Officers will then create a stakeholder engagement plan.  Best practice will be looked at (including Devon, London Boroughs and Kent County Council).


6.2       The Chair outlined that there will a draft plan available for the next meeting which will also show how to take the plans forward.  The Chair noted that a stakeholder board will be required to embrace businesses, public bodies such as the NHS.  The board should have a robust structure and ground in solid achievements. (01:11:45) 


6.3       The Director of Place and Deputy Chief Executive expressed his thanks to Members for their positive and constructive comments and expressed his thanks to all staff that have worked so hard to pull together the action plan.  The group agreed the theme for the next meeting; priority area 10, Communications. (01:14:30) Action: Date of next meeting to be agreed and circulated.


6.4       The group were invited to submit comments on the plan by 7th May for consideration (01:16:15) Action: Members to share comments on the action plan.





7.1       The group requested that the meetings stay on TEAMS going forward as this is the most environmentally friendly way to meet.  All agreed to this with the exception of there being any future meetings that require a site visit/meet etc.


7.2       The Chair thanked Members for comments and support and thanked all staff across the organisation that have contributed to this plan. 



Date of next meeting


8.1       Date to be confirmed.