Reporting Person – Geoff McManus
The Executive received a report which provided an overview of the Council’s climate change activities to date, its local pledges and continuing climate commitments. The report also formally confirmed the Council’s support for Surrey County Council’s newly adopted Greener Futures Climate Change Delivery Plan. The important role that local authorities could play in leveraging climate action more broadly through policies, partnerships and public engagement was highlighted in the report.
Councillor Howard, Chairman of the Climate Change Working Group, expressed disappointment that the paper had not been considered by the Group before being presented to the Executive. Councillor Howard advised that he had received apologies from the Portfolio Holder and Officers for the oversight, which had been largely due to a perceived shortness of time in order to feed into the Corporate Strategy. The Leader recognised the important work of the cross-party Working Group and agreed with its Chairman that the Group should not be side-lined in the future.
Following a question regarding the independent carbon footprint assessor, it was explained that its remit had yet to be determined and such an assessment remained open for discussion.
Members also discussed Surrey EV Strategy forum representation and EV charging capacity in communal residential car parking areas.
That (i) the continuing corporate commitment to addressing climate change and its inclusion at the core of the emerging Corporate Plan 2022 – 2027 be noted;
(ii) support of Surrey County Council’s Climate Change Delivery Plan be formally noted;
(iii) the priorities for corporate climate action as listed in Appendix 1 to the report be noted and approval given to the allocation of funding for an independent carbon footprint assessment;
(iv) items in section 9 of the report be noted as additional low/no cost options that will be progressed to further embed the corporate commitment to climate action; and
(v) the affordability and mechanics of creating a Corporate Carbon Offset Fund (or similar) as outlined in section 10 of the report to ringfence funds for the delivery of climate projects be explored by the Director of Neighbourhood Services in consultation with (a) the Portfolio Holder and Shadow Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, (b) the Director of Finance and (c) the Director of Legal and Democratic Services.
Reason: To recognise the Council’s long-term and continuing commitment to local climate action; and to strengthen its position in meeting its climate and ecological declaration commitments.