Venue: On Teams
Contact: Marion Phillips, Climate Response Support Officer
Welcome and Apologies
1.1. The Chair welcomed everyone, and apologies were noted from Cllr Curry (substituted by Cllr Van Dyke) and Cllr Filmer.
1.2. It was noted that Cllr Maple was only able to join for the first half of the meeting.
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 requested declarations of interest. None were received.
· The Kent and Medway Healthy Workplace Award
· Economic Development
· Business Case Studies
3.1. The Chair introduced the main meeting theme of business and welcomed the first presentation on the Kent and Medway Workplace Wellbeing Award.
3.2. The Public Health Project Officer gave an overview of the Workplace Wellbeing Award, the associated benefits of a healthy workplace and how the award links into the Climate Change agenda and the environment.
3.3. The Chair asked if the climate in which people work could be included as a key benefit of a healthy workplace. This feedback was welcomed and noted for consideration.
3.4. The Chair asked if businesses could be asked to appoint a climate champion to be responsible for making changes. The Public Health Project Officer advised that the programme includes workplace health champions which can include climate champions and that conversations will be had to develop this further and to also develop training to support this. It was noted that a number of businesses naturally have this role and an example was given of a firm that has been recognised for cutting air pollution and increasing recycling which could be used as case study.
ACTION: The Climate Response Team and Public Health Project officer to meet to review items discussed.
3.5. It was noted that the environment and sustainability theme of the awards comes in at the Silver/Gold pledges stage and is expanded at Platinum level which can include influencing the community and encouraging wider participation.
3.6. The Chair commented that it would be good to see aspects such as travel, car idling and more direct climate change impacts included in pledges and more promotion to be undertaken.
ACTION: Public Health team to seek to include more direct climate pledges and to increase promotion of actions being taken.
3.7. The group commented on how some businesses may have solved problems with innovative ideas that could help others. Enabling the sharing of these solutions and wider information such as the importance of trees for cooling is important.
3.8. The group asked about the breakdown between small/medium and large/corporate businesses involved with the award.
ACTION: The Public Health Project Officer to update Cllr Maple on split of businesses involved in the awards.
3.9. The group suggested promoting the scheme at a breakfast session with the Medway champions where there are many individuals that could advocate for it.
ACTION: Public Health Team to promote the award programme via the Medway Champions
3.10. The chair invited the Economic Development Team to present.
3.11. The Principal Economic Development Officer gave an overview of his paper and invited questions.
3.12. The Chair requested that Climate Response and Economic Development continue to work closely together, including on the potential kite mark scheme. The Principal Economic Development Officer commented on how the kite mark will help a business to promote their environmental stance to potential staff and customers.
ACTION: Climate Response and Economic Development Teams to liaise over Kite mark scheme
3.13. An example was shared of a business visited who was undertaking work to improve their ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Comms and Engagement
· Climate Change Summer Events Programme
· Introduction to Medway Environmental Action Network
4.1. The Chair invited the Climate Response Engagement Officer to update on the Climate Change Summer Events Programme.
4.2. An update was given on engagement at events and with schools to date.
4.3. The Chair asked if the actions being taken in schools can be used as an exemplar.
ACTION: Climate Response Engagement Officer to share school actions as an exemplar.
4.4. The Climate Response Engagement Officer updated that the first School’s Network meeting has been held and the importance of sharing best practice from schools already making changes was highlighted. Network meetings will be held each term. The Chair requested that the School Network is included in Medway Matters.
ACTION. Communications to include an item on the school network in Medway Matters.
4.5. The Climate Response Engagement Officer updated that the Climate Response Team would be attending further events, the Gaming Festival with VR headsets which will enable a new way of engaging, the Rainham Community Day, Family Fun Day Chatham and Wild About Capstone. It was noted that the team are happy to attend other events and the notification from others of events taking place was welcomed.
4.6. It was noted that Great Big Green Week plans are being developed and ideas from others on activities during the week are welcomed.
4.7. The Chair commented on the success of the Walk to COP26 school initiative where all were contributing to a joint total and how it would be good to see a similar activity.
ACTION: Climate Response Engagement Officer to consider a challenge for all to get involved for Great Big Green Week.
4.8. It was noted that the Climate newsletter has over 1170 subscribers and how sign ups are promoted at events with giveaways, and how climate response has an ongoing presence in each addition of Medway Matters.
4.9. The Climate Response Engagement Officer updated on next steps which include the Medway Environmental Action Network which is in the process of setting up, organisation of the Great Big Green Week and learning from the Climate Change Action Plan Survey which had 71 respondents.
4.10. The Chair requested representation of Climate Response at the Medway Mile.
ACTION: Climate Response to look at attending the Medway Mile.
4.11. The group asked if the climate change branding is shared with other organisations such as schools as an opportunity to engage more widely, to increase recognition of the branding and to make links. It was also asked how professional social media conversations could be used as an opportunity for low carbon, low cost, effective means of communication to start conversations and engage with more people.
4.12. The Head of Communications and Marketing advised that the branding was developed to link to the Council’s work but that this does not mean that others could not use it and that can be considered with a potential brand guideline toolkit to ensure it is used in the right way
ACTION: Head of Communications and Marketing to review brand sharing ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
5.1. The Chair highlighted that a summary was provided within the papers and asked if there were any matters to raise.
5.2. No matters were raised.
6.1. The Minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.
6.2. The Chair advised Members that comments on the actions arising could be submitted to the Climate Response team following the meeting
7.1. In relation to the emissions reduction pathways to 2050, the group asked about the balance between encouragement and enforcement in relation to emissions. It was noted that emissions are an immediate issue for health, and it would be good to understand the scope of emissions enforcement at the bus station.
7.2. The Chair noted the bad emissions from buses and highlighted the current problem with the supply of electric vehicles. Conversations have been had with Arriva and an electric bus has been trialled. Arriva are looking to bring in EVs as replacements are needed.
7.3. In terms of high levels of emissions, the Chair confirmed that there are legal levels and asked for the Environment Team to advise Cllr Van Dyke on these.
ACTION: Environmental Protection Team and Public Transport Planner to advise Cllr Van Dyke on legal levels of emissions of air pollutants.
7.4. Thighlighted the air quality management action plan areas where emission levels are specifically monitored.
7.5. The Climate Response and Environmental Protection Manager added that nitrogen dioxide is monitored across Medway and that there are four air quality management areas including measures to work towards low emissions buses in Medway
ACTION: The Climate Response and Environmental Protection Manager to provide a written response to Cllr Van Dyke.
7.6. The group asked in regard to the buses, if it would it be appropriate to ask Arriva to share their plans over the next 5-10 years for introducing electric buses in Medway. The Chair agreed and noted a problem on supply of parts and that developments are being made with Hydrogen buses. The Assistant Director of Front Line Services confirmed that conversations are being had with bus operators and a bus improvement programme is being developed.
ACTION: Public Transport Manager to advise on Arriva’s 5-10 year plan, including plans for introducing electric buses in Medway.
7.7. The Chair closed the meeting and thanked all for their attendance.
Date of next meeting
8.1. The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 10th November 2022