Extract from Council Minutes

Strategy Group – 6th February 2020
The Recommendations arising from the meeting of the Strategy Group held on 6
th
February 2020 were received.
C.12/20 Climate Emergency (SG.13/20/01)
Councillor Jo Gilford thanked the cross-part Task Panel for its excellent work. The
Authority had very good green credentials over the last two decades. The new unitary
authority would have to deal with significant pressures, but climate change should be
pushed to ensure that it is prioritised. The Task Panel’s 57 recommendations had been
condensed to 20. Scrutiny and Improvement Committee would be able to hold the
Council to account on its actions.
The propostion was seconded by Councillor Adam Brown.
Councillor Ken Ritchie proposed the following amendment: ‘Establish a working group to
monitor DDC’s progress on projects to reduce emissions and to make recommendations
if and when appropriate, taking account of the recommendations of the Task Panel’.
Seventeen recommendations were to be referred to the new unitary authority which will
not be in a possition to work on the proposals for a couple of years. A working group
should be established including Councillors to provide political leadership.
Councillor Jonathan Harris seconded the amendment adding that the Council existed to
provide the best services to residents and there could be no greater service than
improving air quality. As a member of the task panel, there was some disapointment that
some of the recommendations had been droppped. The local government reorganisation in 12 months added extra complexity. Action must start here, with us all
making adjustments and the Council must provide leadership for as long as it exists in
order to leave a legacy. The Chief Execustive must nominate a Climate Change
Champion from amongst the Senior Management Team as soon as possible.
Councillor Catherine Lomax noted the robust work of the task panel and added that it
was the role of Officers to put the practicalities forward, with the Councillors providing
vision and leadership. More commitment was needed to this critical issue and matters
should not be left to the Unitary authority.
Councillor Jo Gilford could not support the amendment and considered it a duplication of
work as the Scrutiny and Improvement Committee would be tasked with scrutinising the
work undertaken. As Environment Portfolio Holder she undertook to take matters
forward and keep Members informed.
The amendment was put to the meeting and declared lost with 5 voting in favour and the
remainder against.
Councillor Ken Ritchie proposed a further amendment: ‘Explore the case for DDC
offering residents the opportunity to purchase solar panels through ‘ichoosr’ solar group
Daventry District Council – 20th February 2020
buying scheme’, ‘Create a fund for the support of parish council projects aimed at
reducing emissions’ and ‘Proposals for new investments or re-investments to be
presented to the Strategy Group with assessments of their impacts on greenhouse gas
emissions’.
The amendment was seconded by Councillor Jonathan Harris.
The Monitoring Officer advised that the three elements had been tabled as one whole
amendment and should therefore be handled as such. Councillor Ken Ritchie disagreed
and considered that the items could be considered and voted on individually.
The Chairman took the decision to put the items to the meeting seperately.
Amendment one ‘Explore the case for DDC offering residents the opportunity to
purchase solar panels through ‘ichoosr’ solar group buying scheme’ was put to the
meeting and declared lost with 5 voting in favour and the remainder against.
Amendment two ‘Create a fund for the support of parish council projects aimed at
reducing emissions’ was put to the meeting and declared lost with 5 voting in favour and
the remainder against.
Amendment three ‘Proposals for new investments or re-investments to be presented to
the Stratgey Group with assessments of their impacts on greenhouse gas emissions’
was put to the meeting and declared lost with 5 voting in favour and the remainder
against.
Councillor Adam Brown commended the work of the Task Panel and considered that the
climate emergency was a pressing issue. Councillor Ritchie’s dedication to the cause
was not doubted but the tabling of amendments at meetings was not the best way to
influence matters. Councillor Brown encouraged Councillor Ritchie to engage with the
Administration prior to meetings and together they could find a way forward.
Councillor Jason Pritchard considered that the new recommendations were not
measurable. Reference was made to targets missed by the previous environmental
services contractor which came under Councilor Gilford’s portfolio. Many community
groups including Braunston had carried out work on climate change, but the Council’s
recommendations had been watered down. There were grave concerns that the unitary
authority would not prioritise the area.
Councillor Colin Morgan considered that the Council wanted to take the climate change
issue extremely seriously. The recommendations put forward constituted a substantial
piece of work, and the desire to carry out work before the unitary changes meant that
the deadline was pressing.
Councillor Richard Auger considered that the recommendations before the meeting were
the start of the journey. Councillor Jo Gilford added that the Council had very good
green credentials, and invited Councillors to meet and discuss the issues outside of the
meeting.
On being put to the meeting, the recommendations were agreed unanimously.
RESOLVED:
1. The Council declares a Climate Emergency.
Daventry District Council – 20th February 2020
2. The Council sets realistic targets (Scopes 1, 2 and 3) for the reduction of emissions
to April 2021 and calls on West Northamptonshire Council to continue this work after
2021.
3. After May 2020, and prior to vesting day, DDC urges the shadow West
Northamptonshire Council to set up a working group to consider the 17 issues
identified.
4. Amend report templates so that emissions information is included in the
environmental section where relevant.
5. The Chief Executive appoints a member of the senior management team as Climate
Emergency Champion.
6. A leaflet is included with 2020/21 Council Tax bills promoting Big Switch and sources
of energy saving advice and other green initiatives. (3 issues covered)
7. Climate Emergency communication plan to be prepared and delivered in 2020/21.
(12 issues covered).
8. Ask West Northamptonshire Planning Policy leads to consider local policy guidance
to require heat pumps and solar panels.
9. Explore whether any Council commercial projects are viable under the Smart Export
Guarantee introduced January 2020.
10.Progress Tree policy and action plan ready for consideration Summer 2020. (5
issues covered)
11.Explore amending the CIL infrastructure list to include measures to offset carbon
emissions.
12.Liaise with partners and other councils to explore ways to further promote World
Environment Day to more stakeholders.
13.Create in-house video and/or other promotional material to clarify what can be
recycled and show what happens to recyclates collected, including processing and
reuse.
14.Explore provision of recycling bins in public spaces by engaging with parishes.
15.Explore with Daventry Town Council the feasibility of a ‘Green Market’ including
locally sourced and sustainable meat and dairy produce.
16.Explore with NCALC and parish councils whether there is an appetite for a Climate
Emergency forum.
17.Work with partner councils to explore the cost and feasibility of engaging consultants
to advise the best ways of substantially reducing net carbon emissions from Council
buildings.
18.Explore the best ways of achieving a net nil carbon waste operation as part of the
Future Northants programme.
19.DDC urges the Shadow West Northamptonshire Council, and Daventry Norse, to
consider alternatives to petrol when machinery needs replacing.
20.Advise Members of the option for them to formally request summons (with agenda
papers) for Council meetings to be sent electronically

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