Members were presented with a report that outlined recent developments with regard to climate change and set out proposals to investigate how the council could further reduce its carbon footprint in response to the IPCC report and the declaration of a ‘Climate Change Emergency’.
The Leader introduced the report and, as part of her introduction, updated the Members following her attendance at the Devon Districts Forum and Devon Local Government Steering Group meetings held on 31 May 2019. In so doing, she advised that Teignbridge District Council had now started to commission scoping work for a district council and this Council had agreed to share the costs with them as this would be a sensible way of moving forward.
The Leader concluded by stating that the intention was to take an informed and evidence based approach working with partners and the public.
During discussion, points raised included the following:
· How to work with local town and parish councils. The Leader responded that this could be addressed as part of the scoping work;
· How to address biodiversity and habitat loss as part of the Action Plan. The Leader responded that this should be raised in the Member workshop;
· Whether the workshop invitation could be extended to staff and tenants, and whether steps could be taken to make Follaton plastic free. The Lead Member for Customer Satisfaction responded that the Waste Working Group had undertaken work on the use of plastics and an update would be sought;
· That work had been done by other agencies that could support some of the initiatives being discussed such as DCC who had produced an Action Plan on what they could do about plastics and the work of Devon Pensions on assessing their carbon footprint;
· Whether it would be possible to host a forum on the Council website to enable residents to share their ideas and experiences.
Members supported the report and thanked the Leader for the work undertaken to produce the report in a short space of time. The Leader asked that thanks be noted to the Specialists Manager who had written the report.
It was then:
That the Executive RECOMMEND to Council that:
That the Executive RESOLVES to:
5. approve the convening of an all Member Workshop to help scope the challenges, set the priorities and inform the content of the draft Action Plan; and
6. delegate authority to the Head of Paid Service, in conjunction with the Leader, who has the responsibility for the Climate Change programme, to sign the Devon-wide Declaration on Climate Change.