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Agenda item

Notice of Motion Regarding "COP26 : Now Is The Time To Act" - Given By Councillor Josie Paszek and To Be Seconded By Councillor Anne Murphy

That this Council:-

 

(a)      notes that in November the UK will host an event many believe to be the world’s best last chance to get climate change, and carbon emissions, under control;

 

(b)      believes that this is an ideal opportunity for us all to take stock of what we are doing to reduce carbon emissions and build towards a more sustainable future;

 

(c)      believes that Sheffield should lead the way in fighting the climate emergency and do everything possible to work with citizens and partners across the city to foster an understanding of the emergency – taking action that needs to be done, and taking full advantage of the hugely positive changes that a more sustainable economy will produce;

 

(d)      believes that though tough choices will inevitably need to be taken to address the crisis, this must be done in a fair and just way;

 

(e)      believes that addressing climate change should not be seen as an economic challenge but an economic opportunity, and that proper government investment into a decarbonised steel industry would help secure the future of steel in the North of England and deliver thousands of jobs in a revitalised green steel industry;

 

(f)       notes that Sheffield has been crowned the UK’s most environmentally-friendly big city by the independent Green Cities Report, and notes that tackling the climate emergency and making the city more sustainable is not just something that has recently become important to the Council;

 

(g)      notes that under the administrations since 2011, the Council took radical and forward thinking action to make Sheffield more sustainable, protect the environment, and clean up the city’s air, including:-

 

(i)        a commitment to bring forward the city’s carbon neutral target from 2050 to 2030;

 

(ii)       making Sheffield the first local authority in the country to ban fracking applications on council owned land;

 

(iii)      improved kerbside waste collection with a ‘Twin Bin’ recycling service, replacing the blue box, which the previous Liberal Democrat administration brought in, with a brown bin for Metals, Glass and Plastics, and relaunched the Green Bin service;

 

(iv)      developed a Trade Waste Recycling Facility to encourage recycling by businesses, and improved recycling facilities for shared properties such as flats, high density housing, and student accommodation;

 

(v)      household waste recycling centres kept open throughout the pandemic, something not achieved by many local authorities;

 

(vi)      rollout of electric bin lorries powered by the very waste they have collected, with the re-powered lorries having zero carbon emissions and producing no air pollution;

 

(vii)     working with the city’s schools to see a reduction in plastic, including huge reductions in the amount of single use plastics used at school meal times;

 

(viii)    a commitment to plant 100,000 extra trees as part of the Trees and Woodland Strategy;

 

(ix)      promoting active travel with more walking routes, segregated cycle lanes and bus lanes;

 

(x)      secured an £85m programme for cycling, walking and bus corridor improvements as part of a further Sheffield City Region Transforming Cities Fund bid;

 

(xi)      purchase of electricity generated from 100% renewable sources;

 

(xii)     established Energy Surgeries and installed Smart Energy Meters for Council tenants – creating a 40% saving for tenants as well as a substantial reduction in wasted energy; and

 

(xiii)    secured funding worth over £22 million to protect the city from flooding;

 

(h)      notes that rather than letting waste be put in UK landfill, or sent to landfill abroad as is sadly often the case, the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Sheffield generates electricity for the National Grid and heat for the city's award-winning District Energy Network from rubbish from black wheelie bins;

 

(i)       notes that Sheffield, therefore, sends less than 0.5% of waste to landfill and that the ERF reduces greenhouse gas emissions because it avoids the need to burn fossil fuels to produce energy, preventing around 21,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from being released every year, as well as generating energy for the city’s schools, council owned buildings and hundreds of homes;

 

(j)       notes that a Clean Air Zone will be enacted in September 2022 – targeting the most polluting buses, taxis, vans, coaches and lorries - a historic step towards making the city’s air cleaner;

 

(k)      believes that fairness is at the core of everything we do and before any clean air zone plan was to be implemented, the previous administration worked hard to secure a range of support packages for drivers of older more polluting vehicles to assist them in upgrading their vehicles, instead of paying a daily charge, and secured funding to deliver these from Government; and

 

(l)       believes that whilst these changes are laudable, much more needs to be done to tackle the climate and that we must not shy away from doing what needs to be done, and regrets that for too long successive UK governments have failed to deliver what is needed, and that locally we are showing government how to take innovative, radical action to address the climate and ecological emergency.

 

 

Minutes:

9.1

It was moved by Councillor Josie Paszek, and seconded by Councillor Anne Murphy, that this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)      notes that in November the UK will host an event many believe to be the world’s best last chance to get climate change, and carbon emissions, under control;

 

 

 

(b)      believes that this is an ideal opportunity for us all to take stock of what we are doing to reduce carbon emissions and build towards a more sustainable future;

 

 

 

(c)      believes that Sheffield should lead the way in fighting the climate emergency and do everything possible to work with citizens and partners across the city to foster an understanding of the emergency – taking action that needs to be done, and taking full advantage of the hugely positive changes that a more sustainable economy will produce;

 

 

 

(d)      believes that though tough choices will inevitably need to be taken to address the crisis, this must be done in a fair and just way;

 

 

 

(e)      believes that addressing climate change should not be seen as an economic challenge but an economic opportunity, and that proper government investment into a decarbonised steel industry would help secure the future of steel in the North of England and deliver thousands of jobs in a revitalised green steel industry;

 

 

 

(f)       notes that Sheffield has been crowned the UK’s most environmentally-friendly big city by the independent Green Cities Report, and notes that tackling the climate emergency and making the city more sustainable is not just something that has recently become important to the Council;

 

 

 

(g)      notes that under the administrations since 2011, the Council took radical and forward thinking action to make Sheffield more sustainable, protect the environment, and clean up the city’s air, including:-

 

 

 

(i)       a commitment to bring forward the city’s carbon neutral target from 2050 to 2030;

 

 

 

(ii)       making Sheffield the first local authority in the country to ban fracking applications on council owned land;

 

 

 

(iii)      improved kerbside waste collection with a ‘Twin Bin’ recycling service, replacing the blue box, which the previous Liberal Democrat administration brought in, with a brown bin for Metals, Glass and Plastics, and relaunched the Green Bin service;

 

 

 

(iv)      developed a Trade Waste Recycling Facility to encourage recycling by businesses, and improved recycling facilities for shared properties such as flats, high density housing, and student accommodation;

 

 

 

(v)      household waste recycling centres kept open throughout the pandemic, something not achieved by many local authorities;

 

 

 

(vi)      rollout of electric bin lorries powered by the very waste they have collected, with the re-powered lorries having zero carbon emissions and producing no air pollution;

 

 

 

(vii)     working with the city’s schools to see a reduction in plastic, including huge reductions in the amount of single use plastics used at school meal times;

 

 

 

(viii)    a commitment to plant 100,000 extra trees as part of the Trees and Woodland Strategy;

 

 

 

(ix)      promoting active travel with more walking routes, segregated cycle lanes and bus lanes;

 

 

 

(x)      secured an £85m programme for cycling, walking and bus corridor improvements as part of a further Sheffield City Region Transforming Cities Fund bid;

 

 

 

(xi)      purchase of electricity generated from 100% renewable sources;

 

 

 

(xii)     established Energy Surgeries and installed Smart Energy Meters for Council tenants – creating a 40% saving for tenants as well as a substantial reduction in wasted energy; and

 

 

 

(xiii)    secured funding worth over £22 million to protect the city from flooding;

 

 

 

(h)      notes that rather than letting waste be put in UK landfill, or sent to landfill abroad as is sadly often the case, the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Sheffield generates electricity for the National Grid and heat for the city's award-winning District Energy Network from rubbish from black wheelie bins;

 

 

 

(i)       notes that Sheffield, therefore, sends less than 0.5% of waste to landfill and that the ERF reduces greenhouse gas emissions because it avoids the need to burn fossil fuels to produce energy, preventing around 21,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from being released every year, as well as generating energy for the city’s schools, council owned buildings and hundreds of homes;

 

 

 

(j)       notes that a Clean Air Zone will be enacted in September 2022 – targeting the most polluting buses, taxis, vans, coaches and lorries - a historic step towards making the city’s air cleaner;

 

 

 

(k)      believes that fairness is at the core of everything we do and before any clean air zone plan was to be implemented, the previous administration worked hard to secure a range of support packages for drivers of older more polluting vehicles to assist them in upgrading their vehicles, instead of paying a daily charge, and secured funding to deliver these from Government; and

 

 

 

(l)       believes that whilst these changes are laudable, much more needs to be done to tackle the climate and that we must not shy away from doing what needs to be done, and regrets that for too long successive UK governments have failed to deliver what is needed, and that locally we are showing government how to take innovative, radical action to address the climate and ecological emergency.

 

 

9.2

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Andrew Sangar, and seconded by Councillor Tim Huggan, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of paragraphs (g) to (l) and the addition of new paragraphs (g) to (n) as follows:-

 

 

 

(g)      believes that this Council needs to go further and faster to tackle the climate emergency, not waiting for national policy to force it to make changes as is happening with food waste recycling;

 

 

 

(h)      believes this Council should do everything it can to make being environmentally friendly as easy for Sheffield residents as it can by recycling a broader range of plastics;

 

 

 

(i)       believes that waste should also be collected in the most environmentally friendly ways possible and calls for carbon neutral ‘bin lorries’ most appropriate for the terrain of the city of Sheffield to be fully rolled out and working on our streets as soon as possible;

 

 

 

(j)       notes that whilst sending waste to the energy recovery centre is much better for the environment than putting it in landfill, it is not a substitute for recycling;

 

 

 

(k)      therefore, believes that this Council must do everything it can to increase its recycling from the current rate of 26.5%;

 

 

 

(l)       believes that this Council needs to be ambitious and should be aiming to be above the national average recycling rate of 45.5%;

 

 

 

(m)     calls on the Council to look at best practice from other Councils, such as Three Rivers District Council which has a nation leading recycling rate of 64.1%; and

 

 

 

(n)      notes that this Council has voted for and spoken about many motions like this over the last 10 years and believes the time for action is now and requests that reports that matches progress against commitments be submitted on an annual basis to the Council.

 

 

9.3

It was then moved by Councillor Martin Phipps, and seconded by Councillor Alexi Dimond, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the addition of new paragraphs (m) to (o) as follows:-

 

 

 

(m)     in light of the need for action, therefore, resolves to request that the Co-operative Executive:-

 

 

 

(i)       lobby Government to improve building regulations to ensure all buildings are constructed to the Passivhaus Standard or equivalent;

 

 

 

(ii)       develop a demonstration project for retrofitting housing to a high energy efficiency standard - an immediate opportunity to do this would be as part of the Gleadless Valley Masterplan;

 

 

 

(iii)      ensure all future Council lead development projects are built to the Passivhaus standard or equivalent;

 

 

 

(iv)      cease with immediate effect the installation of gas powered heating systems in all new properties developed by this Council;

 

 

 

(v)      provide detailed input via the Local Government Association into the Local Net Zero Forum where local government highlights to central government how they can make it easier for councils to take climate action;

 

 

 

(vi)      investigate the potential for renewable energy on Council land and buildings and return with proposals as soon as possible;

 

 

 

(vii)     create a Carbon Reduction Investment Fund setting aside funds to complete new sustainability projects that reduce carbon consumption in order to avoid unnecessary delay in achieving a 2030 net carbon zero target;

 

 

 

(viii)    promote energy efficiency schemes in maintained schools by using unallocated Community Infrastructure Levy receipts;

 

 

 

(ix)      set aside unallocated New Homes Bonus funding to retrofit, insulate and introduce solar panels on Council housing, to generate energy and to reduce tenants’ bills;

 

 

 

(x)      build climate resilience into the city’s housing stock by ensuring that all funding for new-build Council housing is only used for housing designed at high standards of thermal efficiency, so that future tenants do not risk fuel poverty;

 

 

 

(xi)      earmark funding for walking and cycling, offering people riding bikes the protection of segregated cycle lanes and secure bike storage, thereby increasing the numbers of Sheffield citizens cycling to work and contributing towards improved physical and mental health and better air quality;

 

 

 

(xii)     ensure that all future transport plans focus on sustainable modes of transport and do not have any adverse impact on air quality;

 

 

 

(xiii)    take steps to reduce the demand for individual car ownership by investing in a new scheme to develop car-sharing in line with the “liftshare” scheme;

 

 

 

(xiv)    encourage use of public transport by working with bus providers to provide free bus and tram travel on Sundays before Christmas by switching the subsidy from free car parking in the city centre;

 

 

 

(xv)     invest in public-facing visual displays on the city’s air quality monitoring stations, to ensure the public can see and monitor the measure of air pollution affecting them in real time;

 

 

 

(xvi)    tackle dangerous and irresponsible parking, by creating 6 new jobs for parking enforcement officers, to be provided with e-bikes instead of patrol cars, where possible;

 

 

 

(xvii)   develop proposals to introduce a workplace parking levy for larger employers, in order to generate additional long-term revenue to invest in the city’s public transport, whilst improving air quality and encouraging more active forms of travel to work;

 

 

 

(xviii)  re-introduce the FreeBee bus service in the city centre, operating every 10 minutes, 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, by investing in 3 new electric buses owned directly by the local authority;

 

 

 

(xix)    commit to publicly opposing any plans for airport expansion in the South Yorkshire Combined Authority area and support a moratorium on airport expansion;

 

 

 

(xx)     invest in planting trees bearing edible fruit in open spaces and parks, to be decided and distributed fairly on a Ward basis; and

 

 

 

(xxi)    provide mandatory carbon literacy training for all Elected Members;

 

 

 

(n)      recognises that affordable, reliable public transport is necessary to reduce private car use, and therefore laments the fact that, in contrast to other devolved authorities, the South Yorkshire Combined Authority has made no progress in moving towards public control of buses through franchising, opting instead for an Enhanced Partnership with bus operators, which leaves the final say over the network in their hands; and

 

 

 

(o)      therefore resolves to inform the South Yorkshire Combined Authority of this Council’s support for conducting a statutory assessment of franchising and requests a Combined Authority vote to release a “notice of intent to prepare a franchising assessment” within 6 months.

 

 

9.4

After contributions from four other Members, and following a right of reply from Councillor Josie Paszek, the amendment moved by Councillor Andrew Sangar was put to the vote and was carried.

 

 

9.4.1

(NOTE: Councillors Angela Argenzio, Brian Holmshaw, Kaltum Rivers, Douglas Johnson, Ruth Mersereau, Martin Phipps, Alexi Dimond, Paul Turpin, Christine Gilligan, Peter Garbutt and Bernard Little voted for paragraphs (h), (i) and (k) to (n), and voted against paragraphs (g) and (j) of the amendment moved by Councillor Andrew Sangar, and asked for this to be recorded.)

 

9.5

The amendment moved by Councillor Martin Phipps was then put to the vote and was carried, except for paragraphs (m)(ii) to (iv), (vii) to (x) and (xii) to (xix), which were negatived.

 

 

9.5.1

(NOTE: Councillors Simon Clement-Jones, Richard Shaw, Sophie Thornton, Ann Woolhouse, Tim Huggan, Mohammed Mahroof, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Vic Bowden, Alan Woodcock, Roger Davison, Barbara Masters, Shaffaq Mohammed, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Steve Ayris, Kevin Oxley, Penny Baker, Richard Williams, Alan Hooper, Mike Levery and Ann Whitaker, voted for paragraphs (n) and (o), and abstained from voting on paragraph (m) of the amendment moved by Councillor Martin Phipps, and asked for this to be recorded.)

 

 

9.6

The original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)      notes that in November the UK will host an event many believe to be the world’s best last chance to get climate change, and carbon emissions, under control;

 

 

 

(b)      believes that this is an ideal opportunity for us all to take stock of what we are doing to reduce carbon emissions and build towards a more sustainable future;

 

 

 

(c)      believes that Sheffield should lead the way in fighting the climate emergency and do everything possible to work with citizens and partners across the city to foster an understanding of the emergency – taking action that needs to be done, and taking full advantage of the hugely positive changes that a more sustainable economy will produce;

 

 

 

(d)      believes that though tough choices will inevitably need to be taken to address the crisis, this must be done in a fair and just way;

 

 

 

(e)      believes that addressing climate change should not be seen as an economic challenge but an economic opportunity, and that proper government investment into a decarbonised steel industry would help secure the future of steel in the North of England and deliver thousands of jobs in a revitalised green steel industry;

 

 

 

(f)       notes that Sheffield has been crowned the UK’s most environmentally-friendly big city by the independent Green Cities Report, and notes that tackling the climate emergency and making the city more sustainable is not just something that has recently become important to the Council;

 

 

 

(g)      believes that this Council needs to go further and faster to tackle the climate emergency, not waiting for national policy to force it to make changes as is happening with food waste recycling;

 

 

 

(h)      believes this Council should do everything it can to make being environmentally friendly as easy for Sheffield residents as it can by recycling a broader range of plastics;

 

 

 

(i)       believes that waste should also be collected in the most environmentally friendly ways possible and calls for carbon neutral ‘bin lorries’ most appropriate for the terrain of the city of Sheffield to be fully rolled out and working on our streets as soon as possible;

 

 

 

(j)       notes that whilst sending waste to the energy recovery centre is much better for the environment than putting it in landfill, it is not a substitute for recycling;

 

 

 

(k)      therefore, believes that this Council must do everything it can to increase its recycling from the current rate of 26.5%;

 

 

 

(l)       believes that this Council needs to be ambitious and should be aiming to be above the national average recycling rate of 45.5%;

 

 

 

(m)     calls on the Council to look at best practice from other Councils, such as Three Rivers District Council which has a nation leading recycling rate of 64.1%;

 

 

 

(n)      notes that this Council has voted for and spoken about many motions like this over the last 10 years and believes the time for action is now and requests that reports that matches progress against commitments be submitted on an annual basis to the Council;

 

 

 

(o)      in light of the need for action, therefore, resolves to request that the Co-operative Executive:-

 

 

 

(i)       lobby Government to improve building regulations to ensure all buildings are constructed to the Passivhaus Standard or equivalent;

 

 

 

(ii)       provide detailed input via the Local Government Association into the Local Net Zero Forum where local government highlights to central government how they can make it easier for councils to take climate action;

 

 

 

(iii)      investigate the potential for renewable energy on Council land and buildings and return with proposals as soon as possible;

 

 

 

(iv)      earmark funding for walking and cycling, offering people riding bikes the protection of segregated cycle lanes and secure bike storage, thereby increasing the numbers of Sheffield citizens cycling to work and contributing towards improved physical and mental health and better air quality;

 

 

 

(v)      invest in planting trees bearing edible fruit in open spaces and parks, to be decided and distributed fairly on a Ward basis; and

 

 

 

(vi)      provide mandatory carbon literacy training for all Elected Members;

 

 

 

(p)      recognises that affordable, reliable public transport is necessary to reduce private car use, and therefore laments the fact that, in contrast to other devolved authorities, the South Yorkshire Combined Authority has made no progress in moving towards public control of buses through franchising, opting instead for an Enhanced Partnership with bus operators, which leaves the final say over the network in their hands; and

 

 

 

(q)      therefore resolves to inform the South Yorkshire Combined Authority of this Council’s support for conducting a statutory assessment of franchising and requests a Combined Authority vote to release a “notice of intent to prepare a franchising assessment” within 6 months.

 

 

 

 

9.6.1

(NOTE: Councillors Simon Clement-Jones, Richard Shaw, Sophie Thornton, Ann Woolhouse, Tim Huggan, Mohammed Mahroof, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Vic Bowden, Alan Woodcock, Roger Davison, Barbara Masters, Shaffaq Mohammed, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Steve Ayris, Kevin Oxley, Penny Baker, Richard Williams, Alan Hooper, Mike Levery and Ann Whitaker, voted for paragraphs (a) to (n), (p) and (q), and abstained on paragraph (o) of the Substantive Motion, and asked for this to be recorded.)