Agenda and minutes

Climate Change Working Group (SMDC) - Thursday, 26th September, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: The Council Chamber, Moorlands House, Leek

No. Item


Appointment of Chair


Mark Trillo – Executive Director (People) & Monitoring Officer opened the meeting.


Cllr. Gledhill asked whether, after being nominated as Chair, any candidate could address the meeting to say how they would proceed in the role prior to the vote being taken. In the event, the 2 nominees did not address prior to the vote.


Cllr. Hughes nominated Cllr. Aberley as Chair and was seconded by Cllr. Jones. Cllr. Aberley received 6 votes.

Cllr. Malyon nominated Cllr. Yates as Chair and was seconded by Cllr. Price. Cllr. Yates received 5 votes.

Cllr. Aberley was therefore duly elected as Chair.


Taking the Chair, Cllr. Aberley invited nominations for the position of Vice-Chair. Cllr. Malyon nominated Cllr. Yates, who was elected unanimously.


The Chair confirmed that he and the Vice-Chair would meet prior to each Sub-Committee meeting to discuss matters contained in the agenda.



Approval of Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 82 KB


Members felt that representation from the Staffordshire Moorlands Climate Action Group and the Green Party was essential, these being organisations which were instrumental in bringing about the Council Motion declaring a climate emergency which was approved in June 2019. The following people were co-opted on to the Sub-Committee and non voting members and invited to enter the Chamber from the Public Gallery:


1.    Nigel Williams – Staffordshire Moorlands Climate Action Group;

2.    Garry Cornell - Staffordshire Moorlands Climate Action Group;

3.    Mike Jones – Green Party.


George Worth was also co-opted in his absence. His acceptance of the role was awaited.


The Terms of Reference as contained in the agenda pack were approved by a majority vote.


Setting the scene


Mark Forrester – Democratic & Community Services Manager – gave a brief overview via on-screen presentation showing the history since Climate Change became evident. Statistics showed an overall reduction in the ‘Per Capita’ CO2 emissions between 2005 – 2017 of 27%. In a comparison of all Staffordshire Local Authorities, Staffordshire Moorlands had the highest figure (11.3t) by some margin. The UK average was 5.3t. By far the largest contributing category was Industry and Commercial, being 777.4 of the total 1,108.5t. It was thought that Lafarge Cement were a major factor in the figure.


Portfolio Holder for Climate Change – Cllr. Joe Porter – continued with the presentation, confirming that 4 key areas were to be focussed upon:-


1.    Council – SMDC were leading the way, being the 1st authority in Staffordshire to appoint a Climate Change Portfolio Holder. The initial goal was to eliminate all single-use plastics within council buildings by the end of 2019. Meetings had been held with all 12 service managers to establish any opportunities and / or barriers on progress. Areas to look at initially included energy efficiency, recycling and training for councillors and officers.


2.    Community – Encouraging greater participation in the climate change area with local voluntary groups, charities, schools and individuals.


3.    Business – Already adopting a ‘pro-business’ approach, the council would be encouraging all businesses to take a more active part, involving Chambers of Commerce, LEP’s and supermarkets.


4.    Government – Ensuring government support in our efforts, lobbying ministers if necessary to bring about legislative change. Other Staffordshire authorities needed to get on board, leading to opportunities to pool resources.


Speaking of his background in Planning Policy, Cllr. Darren Price said that a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) would be a way to bring about longer-term changes, aspiring to schemes similar to the “Passive House” scheme in Norwich (100% social housing built by the Local Authority). If every report produced by SMDC contained a statement regarding any Climate Change implications, this would signpost our commitment. Mark Trillo confirmed that this was scheduled to happen in the near future.


Members requested that Parish and Town Councils should be involved via the Parish Assembly. Cllr. Porter confirmed that he was due to address the next assembly on 3 October with regard to this subject, asking them to come up with their own ideas. It was noted that this meeting clashed with the inaugural Biddulph Town Council Climate Change community engagement event. Efforts were to be made to avoid such clashes in the future.


Members suggested other areas to look at:-


1.    Installation of more Solar Panels on District Council-owned land / buildings;

2.    Take back ownership of the 3 recycling centres from SCC as they were under threat of privatisation;

3.    The need for a steady ‘glide path’ towards carbon neutrality in 2030;

4.    Webcast future Sub-Committee meetings – promoting openness;

5.    More detail surrounding the statistics provided in the presentation;

6.    Invite Lafarge to participate in Sub-Committee meeting(s);

7.    The fact that the area  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Training for Sub-Committee Members


Cllr. Porter had already been in contact with Keele University to arrange Councillor & Officer training.


Paul Allen from the ‘Centre for Alternative Technology’ was visiting Leek on 31 October / 1 November to deliver training in this field. This would be an ideal opportunity to train all parties appropriately.


Work Programme


Mark Forrester expanded on the previous presentation with an initial work programme. Additional items put forward by members included:-


1.    Planning Policy;

2.    Industrial Units – new builds to be aligned for solar panel use;

3.    Check other councils’ policies – potential cutting and pasting;

4.    Renewable energy provision;

5.    Business recycling;

6.    Mauritorium on fracking;

7.    The need to be green ourselves before we can expect others to;

8.    Future meetings to be on a different basis – sub groups in different rooms.


It was agreed that the Chair, Vice-Chair and Portfolio-Holder should meet to set future agendas, including dates of meetings.