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Agenda item

Pathway to Net Zero - Update on the 10-Point Plan

Councillor Douglas Johnson (Executive Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport), Mark Whitworth (Sustainability and Climate Change Service Manager) and Victoria Penman (Economic Policy Officer) to report



The Committee received a presentation from Councillor Douglas Johnson (Executive Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport) on the Council’s 10-point plan for climate action.  Councillor Johnson referred to the story so far, what needed to change, the approach to the Plan, the six principles within the Plan, the Council’s priorities for climate action and the timescales relating to the Plan.




Also in attendance for this item were Victoria Penman (Economic Policy Officer), Tom Finnegan-Smith (Head of Strategic Transport, Sustainability and Infrastructure) and Mark Whitworth (Sustainability and Climate Change Service Manager).




Members of the Committee raised questions, and the following responses were provided:-




·        The areas shown on the slide ‘What needs to change’ represented those areas for which the Council had direct responsibility for, but within the wider principles, particularly with regards to collaboration, a major part of the Plan was how the Council worked and engaged with communities and businesses across the city.




·        The Council needed to give serious consideration so the installation of solar panels in all newly built Council houses, particularly as such works represented only a modest increase in construction costs.  This, however, was not happening at the present time.  Similar consideration also needed to be given to the installation of ground or air source heat pumps in new buildings.  Officers were currently talking to colleagues who in the Housing Service, who were looking at pilots regarding alternative technologies, such as heat pumps, and it was hoped that there would be some details surrounding this in the next version of the Plan, in November 2021.  It was accepted that there was a need to accelerate this work, both within the Council and across the city as a whole.




·        The Council needed to give consideration to its priorities with regard to land use, specifically regarding flood management.  Consideration should be given to implementing a scheme, such as the one in Hebden Bridge, which represented an exemplar in terms of flood management.  With regard to the use of land for flood water retention, the Council was currently considering a range of options, with a planned storage being one such option within the schemes being progressed as part of the flood management programme.  Specific details would be drafted with regard to each of the proposed schemes, and engagement would be held on the specifics of each scheme.




·        It was accepted that the Council should not be telling people what they should be eating.  The Plan was more about trying to influence or enable them in this regard, such as asking people to think about where the food they chose to eat had come from and encouraging them to grow their own food.




·        It was accepted that it was more likely to be those people from the poorest communities who would struggle with the requirements in terms of achieving the net zero carbon targets.  It was important to ensure that everyone had the same options and opportunities in terms of both keeping their homes warm and being able to take part in active travel.  Every effort would be made to ensure that it was a just transition in order to make sure all Sheffield residents were fully engaged in the process, and that no one was disadvantaged by any of the proposed changes.  The Council needed to fully understand all the equality implications of its various plans, strategies and projects it aimed to deliver as part of the Plan, and there were plans to undertake qualitative impact assessments where relevant.  The work would also aim to address some of the inequalities faced by some people.




·        Most of the engagement and consultation would be held at such time the delivery plans were being developed.  There had been a considerable level of work leading up to the draft Plan, including discussions and events held with a number of relevant groups and organisations and key stakeholders, including the Climate Summit in March 2021, where views of attendees had been sought. 




·        Officers were in discussion with colleagues in the Planning Service with regard to bringing forward supplementary planning guidance, which related to some of the commitments set out in the Plan over the next 12 months.




RESOLVED: That the Committee:-




(a)      notes the information reported as part of the presentation, the additional information now reported and the responses to the questions raised;




(b)      thanks Councillor Douglas Johnson, Tom Finnegan- Smith, Mark Whitworth and Victoria Penman for attending the meeting and responding to the questions raised; and




(c)      requests that the revised 10-Point Plan, incorporating the amendments and suggestions made at this meeting, be submitted to the next meeting to be held on 10th November 2021, for further comment, prior to its submission to the Co- operative Executive.