Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU. View directions
Apologies for Absence
No apologies for absence were received.
The minutes of the Climate Change Cross-Party Member Working Group meeting held on Monday, 18 October 2021 were agreed and signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were made.
Gravesham Youth Climate Change Conference
Vivien Farkas-Haholt and Chidi Ikediashi updated Members with what was discussed at the Gravesham Youth Climate Change Conference which was held on Wednesday 10 November and discussed global, national and local issues.
The key highlights set out by Gravesham Youth Climate Change Conference Advisors are as follows:
· Chidi Ikediashi spoke of his top 3 suggestions, and they were:
o Reduce transport costs which would encourage more people to take public transport and reduce the number of empty buses running. During the Summer of 2021, the Reconnect Scheme was implemented which encouraged younger people to take public transport.
o More electric cars and electric car spaces, this will encourage people to use these facilities. Offering free parking whilst using the facilities will incentivise people to come into the town.
o Eat Local / Eat Seasonal – eat locally will make a real difference, it will greatly reduce food miles. Encourage local food to reduce carbon emissions. Implement eco labelling on food to show how far the food has travelled.
· Vivien Farkas-Haholt spoke of the conference and her top suggestions were:
o The whole theme of the session was “think globally and act locally”. Vivien quoted a saying that John Aston, an ex-climate change officer for the Foreign Office gave “those in power and influence need to show humility in the face of views expressed by young people and combine their experience with the more authority of the young people to speed things up and get things moving faster”. Vivien said young people and children deserve to think past the year 2050. Give the young people the power to change.
o Litter – this would be an easy change, add more bins in the borough. Reducing litter could encourage the community to keep the area clean, if it looks clean then it can be kept clean.
o Recycling reward system – encourage more people to recycle. Implement more punishment for littering. This could be introduced not just with fines but maybe undertaking a community service or even attending an awareness course.
o Fireworks – this is a huge problem in so many areas. There are alternatives to fireworks like laser or drone shows. Fireworks produce a lot of CO2 carbon emissions. A suggestion could be to issue a license to purchase fireworks.
o Transport was one of the biggest issues that was discussed at the conference and the aim is to try and reduce transport costs. Currently the cost of public transport is too high, there are too many empty buses running and maybe reducing the cost of travelling could encourage more young people to travel during the summer (Reconnect) which worked really well last year. Maybe buses could move to hydrogen or electric and maybe introduce trams.
· Also in attendance was Charlie Rogers and whilst he was not at the conference, he explained that he was at this meeting because he was active at his college on Climate Change issues. Charlie highlighted the initiative of planting trees for Her Majesty’s Platinum ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
The Assistant Director (IT and Transformation) presented to the Committee the draft Climate Change Delivery Plan.
At the meeting of Full Council on 1 December 2021, the council adopted the Climate Change Strategy for the council for the period of 2022-2030.
As part of the Strategy, a high-level, strategic Delivery Plan was set out under three key workstreams:
· Gravesham Borough Council – the organisation Focusing on how the council can change its own operations, and those of its employees, wherever possible to reduce the level of carbon emissions its produces.
· Gravesham Borough Council – the housing provider Exploring opportunities to bring the council’s current housing stock up to a better level of energy efficiency standard where it is possible to do so; ensuring new council housing is built to a high level of sustainability and ensuring local planning policy reflects the need for the borough to consider energy efficiency in all developments moving forward.
· Gravesham Borough Council – the community leader It is clear that the council cannot directly affect all of the changes that are needed across the borough. However, in its role as a community leader, it can work with residents, community groups and partners to educate and support them in making changes which will have a positive impact on the level of carbon emissions in the borough.
There are currently officer working groups with representatives across all areas of the council that are working on these workstreams. The Delivery Plan is intended to enable measurement of the impact of actions where possible on carbon emissions, the amount of funding and resources that will be required and how challenging some of the actions will be to implement.
The Leader commented on the table on page 7 and said how visually easier the figures were in the resource column to understand by using figures for how many members of staff would be required in certain actions and the £ to indicate the costs.
Following questions and comments from Members, the following areas were raised:
· Cllr Mochrie-Cox discussed item 2.8.4 estate skip initiative and what a good idea that would be but how would it work in practice, how would residents use it properly and not abuse it. The Service Manager (Housing Operations) explained the council had been working closely with London organisations and housing providers on how they managed the scheme as they had been experiencing problems with fly-tipping on their estates. They use fobbed skips, it would be the same fob that allows them access in and out of property, and they have seen real benefits.
· Another scheme would be swapping furniture and children’s toys. This could be a proactive community initiative.
· Cllr Mochrie-Cox asked whether Youth Councils would be included in item 3.1.2 – engaging with local schools and both the Service Manager (Housing Operations) and the Assistant Director (Transformation & IT) confirmed they would be included. The council reviews regularly their actions and new initiatives will be added.
· The Director (Corporate Services) responded to the Leader’s question ... view the full minutes text for item 5.