Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Environment and Climate Change Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 9th September, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions

Contact: Lee Walker, Scrutiny Support Officer  This meeting can be viewed on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/587804779

Items
No. Item

14.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2021.

Minutes:

Decision

 

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2021 as a correct record.

15.

Climate Change Action Plan Annual Report 2020-21 and Work Programme 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer

 

The Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and developed a Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) 2020-25, which was approved by Executive in March 2020. This report provides an update on the progress that has been made in delivering the Action Plan during the first year (CCAP Annual Report 2020-21) and the work programme for the second year of the Action Plan (CCAP Work Programme 2021-22).

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a joint report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer that provided an update on the progress that had been made in delivering the Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) during the first full financial year (CCAP Annual Report 2020-21) and the work programme for the second financial year of the Action Plan (CCAP Work Programme 2021-22).

 

Key points and themes in the report included:

 

·                A five-year CCAP covering 2020-25 was approved at Executive in March 2020;

·                Updates had been considered by Strategic Management Team and the former Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee throughout the CCAP’s first year, with a detailed progress report considered in February 2021;

·                This Annual Report brought together the CCAP updates provided over the last 12 months, a full year of CO2 emissions data and highlighted the progress which had been made during this time;

·                Overall, the Council’s direct emissions had reduced by 21% (-6,783 tonnes CO2) compared to 2019-20 and against an annual target to reduce emissions by 13%.  For 2021-22, the Council’s carbon budget was 27,056 tonnes CO2, 13% lower than for 2020-21;

·                The Work Programme for 2021-22, outlined the key CCAP actions, or critical milestones within complex CCAP actions spanning multiple years, which were to be delivered during this period and these were listed under the five themes (Buildings & Energy, Transport & Travel, Reducing consumption based emissions, Climate adaptation, and Catalysing change); and

·                The work programme took account of a small number of actions that were delayed last year due to the pandemic and incorporated milestones for new projects, such as the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the ‘In Our Nature’ communities programme. None of these projects had featured in the original CCAP 2020-25.

 

The Committee was invited to comment on the report prior to it being considered by Executive.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·                The need to reiterate the urgency and immediacy of the climate emergency;

·                Questioning that if we accepted that climate change was such an important and immediate issue why were some targets listed as still ‘to be confirmed’ in relation to projected CO2 emissions reductions;

·                An update was sought on the Local Authority Green Homes Grant;

·                Questioning the capacity and ability of the Manchester Climate Change Agency (MCCA) to lead and deliver on such an important issue for the city;

·                Commenting that the Council contained the capacity and leadership to deliver the ambitions of the MCCA;

·                More information was sought on the task-and-finish sub-group that had been convened to ensure the new organisational and governance structures of the MCCA were fit for purpose;

·                Noting that the Council’s own emissions had reduced  more than the minimum target and that it was important to continue on this trajectory and all levers should be used to influence partners and organisations across the city to address their own carbon emissions;

·                More needed to be done to improve and deliver green public transport; active travel and measures to address  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Manchester Climate Change Agency Progress Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 413 KB

Report of the Interim Director and the Interim Policy and Strategy Advisor, Manchester Climate Change Agency

 

This report provides a progress update to the Committee on the Climate Change Agency’s achievements to date during the year and reviews work in progress.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a joint report and presentation of the Interim Director and the Interim Policy and Strategy Advisor, Manchester Climate Change Agency that provided a progress update to the Committee on the Climate Change Agency’s achievements to date during the year and reviewed work in progress.

 

Key points and themes in the report included:

 

·                Providing reasons for delaying publication of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership’s Annual Report until September;

·                Describing the context of the Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 and it’s four headline objectives and the six priority areas for action;

·                A narrative that described Partnership and Agency Progress 2021/22;

·                Citywide Progress 2020/21, including aviation;

·                Describing the rationale for developing Version 2.0 of the Framework for 2020-25, noting that Manchester was one of the first cities to adopt science-based carbon budgeting; and

·                An update on National Policy and Local & National Government Joint-working.

 

The Committee also received a presentation from Simon Curtis, Chair, Manchester Arts and Sustainability Team that discussed the relationship between the arts and culture and climate change and how culture could engage with citizens on this issue to influence change.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·                Action needed to be taken to reduce the demand on aviation, adding that technology alone was not the solution to reducing emissions from the aviation industry;

·                The need for the Council to take the moral lead on the issue so as to inspire and influence change;

·                Noting the importance and impact of Carbon Literacy Training, and that this should be delivered to all residents;

·                Everyone needed to take responsibility for their own emissions, in particular in regard to the issue of consumption, especially in relation to clothing;

·                A list of all organisations in Manchester of those that had signed up to the MCCA and a list of all those that had not, and where available the reasons for not signing up to be provided;

·                Consideration needed to be given as to how targets and outcomes were reported, adding that this should be similar to the format of the Manchester Climate Change Action Plan;

·                A report was required that evaluated whether the City Council was achieving value for money for its investment into the MCCA;

·                Recognising the need to increase capacity within MCCA to influence and deliver this programme;

·                The impact of poverty and emissions, noting that economically disadvantaged residents often did not own a vehicle or take flights; and

·                Did the MCCA lobby the Government for funding to deliver schemes such as solar panels for schools and hospitals.

 

The Interim Director MCCA stated that it was important to recognise that the MCCA was not responsible for the targets but rather a body to coordinate all action plans of partners across the city. He reiterated the point that it was the responsibility of every organisation and individual to consider and take action to address their carbon emissions.

 

The Interim Director MCCA advised that MCCA did work with other cities to consider challenges at scale, such  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Planning and its contribution to address climate change pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing

 

This report describes how the planning policy and process is used to influence and address climate change, including an update on the Local Plan, describing the policy in relation to developer requirements to provide electric vehicle charging points and cycle storage facilities, and the approach to Environmental Impact Assessments.

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing that described how the planning policy and process was used to influence and address climate change, including an update on the Local Plan, describing the policy in relation to developer requirements to provide electric vehicle charging points and cycle storage facilities, and the approach to Environmental Impact Assessments.

 

Key points and themes in the report included:

 

·                Providing a background and overview of the planning policy framework, including the Core Strategy.

·                An update on the Local Plan and the opportunities of the Local Plan refresh;

·                The policy in relation to developer requirements to provide electric vehicle charging points and cycle storage facilities;

·                The approach to Environmental Impact Assessments; and

·                Conclusion and next steps.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·                Planning policy and decisions were a significant lever at the disposal of the Council and should be used to maximise environmental improvements and address carbon emissions;

·                Nothing in the city should be built that adversely affects the environment;

·                All developments should support active travel by providing bike storage space and support the Council’s ambition to reduce reliance on cars;

·                Construction Management Plans should also be used to maximise environmental benefits, including the impact on noise pollution;

·                Could Energy Reduction Targets be imposed following the completion of a development;

·                There was no reference within the report to protecting existing bio diversity;

·                Permitted development on domestic buildings needed to monitored to ensure they were not adding to emissions; and

·                Consideration needed to be given to addressing urban heat islands that occurred when cities replaced natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorbed and retained heat.

 

The Head of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure informed the Committee that the Local Plan was one of a suite of strategies and he made reference to the Green and Blue Strategy and the policies at both a Manchester level and GM level to address issues relating to transport and active travel.

 

The Planning Section Manager advised that the Environmental Impact Assessment considers a range of issues including the energy efficiency of the development, bio diversity, tree planting, drainage and highways. He commented that all applications were assessed and considered using existing national guidance and local policy and developers were always challenged to increase their contribution to reducing the developments’ environmental impact, particularly in relation as to how they sourced their materials. 

 

In response to the comments made regarding the monitoring of Construction Management Plans, the Planning Section Manager advised that if issues did occur there were a range of teams within the Council who would respond to these, and where necessary take enforcement action. He said that if a Construction Management Plan was not available at the application stage due to a contractor not being identified this would be stipulated as a condition of any consent granted.

 

The Planning Section Manager noted the comment made regarding permitted developments and stated that planning  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 393 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit

 

This is a monthly report, which includes the recommendations monitor, relevant key decisions, the Committee’s work programme and any items for information.

Minutes:

The report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit which contained key decisions within the Committee’s remit and responses to previous recommendations was submitted for comment. Members were also invited to agree the Committee’s future work programme.

 

Decision

 

The Committee note the report and agree the work programme.