Venue: Remote Meeting
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
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.
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 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer+, Black, Asian and Migrant Ethnic communities.
Consideration was given to the Executive Director’s report which set out the responses of the Environment Strategy (ES) consultation to enable the Climate Change Steering Group (CCSG) to form its recommendations to Cabinet.
The consultation was launched on Friday 25 February 2020 and ran for 12 weeks closing on Friday 18 May 2020. It was primarily conducted using an on-line questionnaire and promoted regularly through ‘MyAlerts’, all social media platforms and posters displayed across the district. Unfortunately, the ability to provide launch events / consultation exhibitions was compromised due to the COVID-19 emergency and other priorities. In addition, direct invitations were sent to a number of identified organisations as detailed in Appendix A to the report.
At the close of the consultation, overall 135 responses had been received; 116 from the public and 19 from identified organisations. Despite the low response rate, the quality of the responses received were considered satisfactory.
The results showed that there was support for the draft ES. The only negative comments were regarding the lack of actions identified in the Action Plan (AP). Members were advised that the AP would be bolstered by the development of a more comprehensive programme of projects and interventions once adopted.
The CCSG considered the 10 additional recommendations proposed as identified in Appendix B to the report, namely a) light pollution and dark skies, b) supply chain, c) reduction in business rates and Council Tax, d) effects of COVID-19, e) High Weald Management Plan, f) ecological collapse and biodiversity crisis, g) public transport, h) farmland and working countryside, i) hydrogen and biomethane and j) vehicle noise. Appendix C to the report detailed the responses received on how residents could reduce their own carbon footprint and impact on the environment. Consideration was also given to two supplementary documents which detailed the complete identified organisations’ and resident responses.
The Chairman agreed to consider each of the 10 additional recommendations in turn and during discussion the following salient points were noted:
a) Light pollution and dark skies
· It was agreed that light pollution and dark skies should be referenced in the ES but not included in the AP as it was felt that these specific issues would be considered in the Council’s Local Plan.
· It was clarified that Planning Policy only dealt with new development and not the existing built environment.
b) Supply chain
· Environment issues was a substantial part of the procurement process and was/would be considered by the East Sussex Procurement Hub for current/future contracts.
· It was expected that cost implications to current contracts would be applied should environmental issues be agreed and introduced e.g. electric vehicles for the waste contract.
· It was suggested that the Council focused on procuring products/services from local suppliers/businesses.
· It was agreed that the supply chain should be incorporated into the ES and AP.
c) Reduction in business rates and council tax for good environmental practice
· The Council had limited control regarding business rates, as it was part of the East Sussex Business ... view the full minutes text for item CCSG20/4.
Any Other Business
East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Pension Fund: Members were advised that ESCC’s Pension Committee had voted against divesting in non-fossil fuel providers for the pension fund.
Members were advised that Officers had introduced a new communication strand on ‘MyAlerts’ called ‘green tip of the week’.
Environment Champions: Cllr Mrs Cook volunteered to be the Council’s Public Transport Champion.
It was suggested that the Council encouraged local housing associations to appoint Champions to raise/promote environment awareness within their properties.
1) Cabinet be requested to consider appointing Cllr Mrs Cook as the Council’s Public Transport Champion; and
2) the Council encourage local housing associations to appoint Champions to raise/promote environment awareness within their properties.