Agenda and minutes

Climate Change Steering Group - Friday 3rd January 2020 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bexhill

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mrs S. Hart.


Disclosure of Interests

To receive any disclosure by Members of personal and disclosable pecuniary interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Member regards the personal interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.  Members are reminded of the need to repeat their declaration immediately prior to the commencement of the item in question.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the last Meeting - 15 November 2019 - Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 225 KB


Councillor Coleman requested that Recommendation 1 of Minute Reference CCSG19/05 be reworded as follows:


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Black, Asian and migrant ethnic communities be added to the list of target groups for the consultation process. It was agreed that the minutes be amended accordingly.


RESOLVED: That the recommendation be reworded to include reference to Queer, Black, Asian and migrant ethnic communities.


Environment Strategy 2020-2030 and Next Steps pdf icon PDF 1 MB


At the last meeting, the Climate Change Steering Group (CCSG) considered the Council’s draft Delivery Plan which detailed actions to become a carbon neutral district and proposed several suggestions to be incorporated.  The Housing Development, Programme Office and Policy Manager advised that she had incorporated the suggestions and amended the document accordingly.  The revised Environment Strategy including Delivery Plan was detailed at Item 4 to the Agenda.  She requested that Members emailed rewording suggestions to her by Tuesday 7 January 2020 at the latest. 


For ease, Agenda Items 4, 5 and 6 would be considered altogether.  The Housing Development, Programme Office and Policy Manager led Members through a presentation which contained the Environment Strategy vision and priority areas within the Action Plan, budgetary information, as well as three recommendations for the CCSG’s consideration, as follows:


1)     The draft Consultation Document and Consultation Plan in respect of an Environment Strategy be approved to allow a 12 week consultation on the priorities for the development of a final Environment Strategy and action plan.

2)     To agree the scope for carbon emissions baseline modelling for Rother District Council.

3)     That funding at £100,000 per annum (index linked) be approved to progress development delivery of the Strategy and Action Plan and the commitments made at full Council to become carbon neutral by 2030.


During discussion the following salient points were noted:


·        Environment Strategy: Vision – it was suggested that reference to sustainable fuel options for vehicles / public transport, particularly in the rural areas be included within the Environment Strategy’s vision statement.

·        The Action Plan consisted of eight priority areas namely Smart Digital District; Green Economy; Air Quality; Waste; Energy; Biodiversity; Construction and Existing Buildings; and Environmentally Friendly Control.

·        Green Economy – it was suggested that the following action be reworded as follows: “the Council worked with partners to encourage the retraining and reskilling of people in retrofit, insulation and environmentally friendly industries to encourage a local ‘green economy’ with particular emphasis on lower economy areas across the district”.

·        Air Quality – the CCSG was advised that partnership working had commenced with East Sussex County Council and other local authorities on delivering an Electric Vehicle Plan and charging points across the county / district.

·        Biodiversity – work had commenced on developing a bespoke page on the Council’s website to demonstrate tree planting progress.

·        Listed Buildings – the district had a significant amount of listed buildings.  Concern was raised that it would be difficult to upgrade / improve energy efficiency, as listed building regulations were complex and restrictive.  The Head of Service Strategy and Planning advised that the Council was legally required to uphold and respect legislation.  However, it was anticipated that regulations would change in the future; flexibility in Council policy would be a consideration.  It was suggested that Recommendation 1 include reference to the Environment Strategy and action plan being developed with due regard to the Council’s review of the Local Plan.

·        Frustration was aired that the majority of actions highlighted within the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CCSG19/16.


Consultation Plan


See Minute Reference CCSG19/16.


Target Setting


See Minute Reference CCSG19/16.


Any Other Business


East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Pension Fund: it was suggested that Cabinet recommend that Rother District Council passed a motion for ESCC Pension Advisers to source alternative investments in non-fossil fuel providers for the pension fund.


Members were advised that the Rural Conference would be held on 27 May 2020 in Battle.


Climate Change Exhibition at Bexhill Museum – 20 January 2020.  Councillor Langlands agreed to write a report for the January Members’ Bulletin.


RESOLVED: That Cabinet recommend that East Sussex County Council Pension Advisers be requested to source alternative investments in non-fossil fuel providers for the pension fund.


Date of the Next Meeting - June 2020 TBC

(Please bring your diaries with you)


The date of the next meeting was proposed to be held after the consultation period had expired and results analysed; Members would be emailed and canvassed on potential dates.