Agenda and minutes

Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 17th September, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Studio 1 - Guildhall Arts Centre, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions

Items
No. Item

10.

Apologies

11.

Disclosure of Interests

12.

Action Notes from the meeting held on 18 June 2019 and updates from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 190 KB

13.

Climate Change informal workshop update pdf icon PDF 4 MB

    Presentation following the informal climate change workshop held on 30 July 2019.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Strategic Director, Commercial and Operations provided a presentation outlining the findings from the climate change workshop. The workshop held on 30 July 2019 facilitated the gathering of information relating to climate change and explored how the Council could approach the issue and make priorities moving forward.

     

    In the wider context of the Council’s approach to climate change, a report to Cabinet had been made on 10 September 2019 recommending that South Kesteven District Council declare a climate emergency. Cabinet agreed a number of points to recommend to full Council on 26 September 2019, including the timescale by which the Council would aim to become net-zero carbon, the importance of the Council’s role as a community leader in reducing South Kesteven’s carbon footprint, the creation of a ‘Climate Change Action’ task and finish group and the allocation of funds from the 2019/20 budget to allow for the recruitment of a Climate Change Officer.

     

    The climate change workshop had been an interesting opportunity to trial new ways of using technology to hold meetings, with the main presenter and one of the Members using Skype to participate. This highlighted the potential of using such technology to allow virtual attendance at future meetings. An officer from Lancaster City Council had provided an example of how the issue of climate change could be approached. Members were also given an update on the Council’s ‘Energy Reduction and Climate Change Action Plan’. This had been initially launched in 2012, and Members were informed of the actions taken and progress made since that time.

     

    Key messages from the workshop had included the need to have a clear target and the importance of Senior Member and Officer ownership. Also noted were the importance of coherent decision making, and having short-term and long-term goals. An update had been given on the role of technology and agile working, indicating that responding to climate change would lead to adopting new technologies. There was also an overview of the Council’s use of utilities included. It was noted that there would need to be further work carried out to ensure that the Council’s baseline usage was fully represented and that a clear understanding of the data included was given. The information would be circulated wider once it had been developed to be fully representative of the Council’s current usage. An overview of the Council’s use of solar panels was also provided at the workshop, with Members being given details of the types on panels used and the financial benefits of their use. Members had agreed that a further workshop would be held on 28 October 2019. Councillor Baxter requested that the names of those in attendance at the workshop were recorded (Members in attendance at the workshop were Councillor Trollope-Bellew, Councillor Baxter, Councillor Dilks and Councillor Mrs Judy Smith). He also disagreed with the use of the word ‘informal’ to describe the workshop. 

     

    The Interim Chief Executive then presented the draft Terms of Reference for the ‘Climate Change Action’ task and finish group.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Gambling Statement of Principles pdf icon PDF 208 KB

15.

Tree Guidelines pdf icon PDF 217 KB

    Report from the Cabinet Member Commercial and Operations.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Members were advised to consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations. Three documents had been produced (Appendices 1-3) to create a coherent model to guide how the Council dealt with trees, including a ‘Member Tree Notification Protocol’, a ‘Charter for Trees, Woods and People’ and ‘Tree Guidelines’. These documents had been produced in response to requests for the Council to formulate a clearer, more formal stance to its approach to trees and tree management. The Committee discussed each of the documents in turn and had the opportunity to ask questions or make comments.

     

    South Kesteven District Council Member Tree Notification Protocol

     

    This document had been produced to support the role of Members in their Wards, providing them with the relevant information needed to respond to their area constituents regarding major tree works. Members were reminded that decisions regarding major works to be carried out in respect of trees would have been made after receiving a professional report and in the interest of public safety. As such, the works themselves would be non-negotiable, but the guidance of the document would aid the communication of such matters to Members and the public. Members noted the importance of having such a document.

     

    Action point

     

    Some amendments to the document were suggested:

     

    Ø  Points 6, 7 and 8 to include ‘notify ward and Cabinet Member’ under the ‘additional proposed’ heading

     

    Ø  The layout to be reconsidered to allow the clear separation of points relating to trees falling under the responsibility of the Council, and trees outside of Council owned areas 

     

    Members discussed Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), as mentioned in the protocol document. It was considered that further information could be collected regarding how many TPOs there were currently in the Council’s area, and where the corresponding trees were situation. Members asked how a TPO could be attained. Officers advised that the Planning section was responsible for keeping information regarding TPOs. Members suggested that an officer from Planning could be invited to a future meeting to provide further information on the subject.

     

    Action point

     

    Ø  An officer from Planning to be invited to a future Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting to provide further information regarding Tree Protection Orders

     

    Charter for Trees, Woods and People

     

    Members were advised that this document had been produced with the support of the Woodland Trust who had helped the Council to produce the Charter as an adaptation of their own Tree Charter, acknowledging the requirement for the Council to balance its positive commitment to trees with its wider obligations as a public sector organisation. Members welcomed the Charter for Trees, Woods and People, considering that the Council should have a proactive approach to trees and tree cover.

     

    Recommendation

     

    The Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommends to Cabinet to propose that Council endorses the draft ‘Local Government Charter for Trees, Woods and People: Principles’

     

    Tree Guidelines for the Management of Trees within South Kesteven District

     

    Members expressed that the Tree Guidelines document complemented other work currently  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Food Waste Trial update pdf icon PDF 4 MB

17.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 94 KB

18.

Any other business which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstances, decides is urgent

19.

Close of Meeting