Agenda item

The Council is asked to note any statements made by Members of the Cabinet (Portfolio Holders).

Councillors may then ask questions of the Portfolio Holders on their statements.



Action on Climate Change Update


The Environment and Public Space Portfolio Holder (Councillor Talbot) made the following statement:-


“In January 2021, I came to our Council meeting to say that Climate Change had been added to my Portfolio and that since I knew nothing about the subject, and rather guessed that many other Members were in a similar position, I would try to update the Council at each Main meeting, with progress being made by TDC towards its stated objective of being Net Carbon Zero by 2030.


We now have a Corporate Director, Lee Heley who is responsible for Climate Change Matters at Management Board level and who sent me a comprehensive note in anticipation of this meeting from which I have cribbed much of the detail I now report.

The Council has seen reductions in carbon emissions. 5,083 tonnes of carbon dioxide were emitted in 2018/19. This was reduced to 4,546 tonnes in 2019/20 and 3,881 tonnes in 2020/21. The pandemic has meant there has been less usage of facilities since March 2020, but further practical steps to reduce emissions are currently underway.  The closure of our Weeley Council Offices will reduce CO2 emissions by 55 tonnes based on 2020/21 usage – stopping the oil-fired heating alone will cut emissions by 41 tonnes.  More widely, the Council has ‘opted in’ to purchase carbon neutral electricity as part the Crown Commercial Services framework arrangements for procurement, effective from April 2022.


Since I last spoke the Council has applied for Government funding to support the installation of the charging points at the planned Starlings Carpark in Dovercourt, which if successful would enable eight cars to charge at once. Ian Taylor [Head of Public Realm] informs me that, in pursuit of the Council’s aim to provide EV charging points to meet future demand for electric vehicles, the Council is currently undertaking a survey to consider financial requirements and practical considerations for introducing EV points on priority car parks. We have proposals for introducing EV points in Council buildings and are continuing to work with other stakeholders such as the County Council and the North Essex Parking Partnership to provide EV charging points on our streets.


The new Local Plan on our agenda tonight for approval, suggests themes of sustainability, protecting the environment and the impact of Climate Change which runs through the new Plan, including many Planning Policies which promote the natural environment, guard against flood risk, promote the use of sustainable construction methods, encourage the use of public transport, active travel, and guide developments for renewable energy installations.

Policy PPL10 sets out clear guidance around the energy efficiency and use of renewable energy in new residential development, which will no doubt empower our Planning Committee to encourage developers to consider these matters in their applications. Planning Officers are also preparing a Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document which will expand upon and give interpretation to those climate-focused Policies.


There have been benefits for the wider Tendring District. Over £2.5 million has been awarded for spending in the district via the ‘Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme’, which will improve the energy efficiency of homes of low-income households living in the District.

Recently completed works at our own Council offices includes efficient LED lighting and automatic controls. The work also features the use of air source heat pumps and a completely reinsulated roof at the Pier Avenue Offices.


Two little snippets showing the way T.D.C is now operating. The first fully electric vehicle, a van in the service of the IT team is now in use, and secondly [Councillor] Alex Porter, Portfolio Holder for Leisure (with special responsibility for electric charging) has just made a formal decision to install a charging point in the Town Hall car park.


And finally, I would let all fellow Members know that training on ‘Carbon Reduction’ will be provided for members. The Council is in discussions with professional providers to offer sessions, and Members will be advised when this learning is set up for them. Thank You Colleagues, for your attention.”


Councillor Talbot then responded to questions put to him on his Statement by Councillors Allen, I J Henderson and M E Stephenson.