· Procurement Update
· Partnership Working Document, Appendix 1
6.1. The Chair requested any comments on the update on the action plan, noting the impressive amount of work taking place across the council and the Partnership Working document, which will be presented at the next meeting.
6.2. A member of the group noted that the Rainham Anti-Idling signs were still not up and requested a further update. The Chair noted the slow progress of this project and also the wild verge signs.
6.3. The Climate Response and Environmental Protection Manager updated on the timeline for the Rainham Anti Idling Project, noting a delay to the start as a result of the displacement of traffic through Rainham due to roadworks elsewhere which would have impacted on the project. There has been detailed work undertaken with the University of Kent, the funding has now been received from DEFRA and there has been engagement with the local community through local groups and workshops, recruitment and training of volunteers, and work with secondary schools on community messaging. It was noted that it was not possible for work to commence on the project before funding was received and signs could not be put up earlier due to the impact this would have on this study of behaviour changes. The Climate Response and Environmental Protection Manager offered to provide further details outside the meeting.
6.4. The group noted that further road closures were planned and it was confirmed that these will not delay the project any further. The Chair asked if the signs can be in place by the end of March as the public cannot see anything happening. The Climate Response and Environmental Protection Manager noted that before signs can be installed, volunteers need to be trained and baseline work undertaken, following which there will be four monitoring days with different signs. It was noted that installing signs now would prevent both engagement with the community and the university study.
6.5. The group noted their frustrations on the time taken and the Chair asked for a sign to go up at the earliest opportunity. noted that the delays were around landing the funding for the project and the process that needs to be followed for the study. Timelines around the project will be shared with Members with the aim to make these as aggressive as they can be and gave reassurance that further road closures will not affect the timelines further as funding received has to be spent within a certain timescale.
ACTION: The Climate Response and Environmental Protection Manager to share detailed timelines for the project with Members.
6.6. The Chair noted that we need to show the public that something is happening.
6.7. noted that the wild verge signs also need to be installed and the Chair asked for these by the end of March.
6.8. The Chair invited the Head of Category Management to present. The Head of Category management presented a procurement update.
6.9. The group noted how this work supports previous discussions raised though Overview & Scrutiny Committees for Regeneration and Business, where financial and legal implications are reported and how climate should carry the same weight. It was noted that this work creates an expectation from contractors that they need to take responsibility for delivering holistic plan for Medway and that this is exciting to see.
6.10. The Chair thanked the Head of Category Management and noted the invaluable contribution of procurement work to climate change efforts.