Agenda item

Questions to Portfolio Holders, if any. (6:10 p.m)

(At least two clear days notice required, in writing, to the Proper Officer in accordance with Procedure Rule 15).

Minutes:

1.    Question received from Councillor Yates:

 

“Having considered The Climate Change Action Plan current version at the recent working group session and in anticipation of the full debate at the next Scrutiny on the final version of The Climate Change Action Plan, could The Portfolio Holder comment now on whether the final version will include additional information to ensure the timely, costed, and resourced delivery of the action plan, to ensure our target of achieving a Carbon Neutral district by 2030 will be achieved?”

 

Response from Councillor Porter – Portfolio Holder for Climate Change & Biodiversity:

The version of the Climate Change Action Plan presented to the working group in January represented work in progress. As explained at the working group the action plan will be in two parts. Part one is focused on the Council’s own CO2 emissions, part two is focused on the wider CO2 emissions of Staffordshire Moorlands. The intention is to have part one ready in detail for discussion at Scrutiny prior to its adoption and implementation from April 2021. Currently further work is being undertaken on part one to verify the baseline data in the plan, to identify budget and resource implications and to add more target date detail where I can. It should be noted however that the plan is dynamic with further actions, costing and target setting to be included as options are investigated.

The intention with part two of the plan is to continue its development through the working group. The aim is to have this element of the work progressed sufficiently by the summer to undertake community engagement, to then finalise that part of the plan and produce a more publicly accessible version of the whole document (part one and two) which I’ve described as the Carbon Neutrality Charter in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in November 2021.

While I don’t anticipate part two of the plan being completed until the autumn  a number of actions which the Council is taking have already been identified and others suggested for development. The Council will continue to progress these actions and for the time being until part two of the plan is finalised we will list these actions and associated targets as an Appendix to part one of the plan.  

 

The Portfolio Holder was thanked for his comprehensive response, however Councillor Yates felt that it had taken too long to produce the action plan, in light of the deadline for the Staffordshire Moorlands to be carbon neutral by 2030. He also requested that any orchard initiatives were discussed with the Climate Change Working Group. Councillor Porter explained that the plans couldn’t be rushed, great progress was being made and that the Panel would have the opportunity to scrutinise part 1 of the action plan at the next meeting. In terms of the orchards, they had recently been announced and he had attended the Parish Assembly and meetings of parish and town councils. He intended to work with Biddulph Town Council to identify the correct sites in the area and gave assurance that the working group would be kept updated.

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