This report aims to provide a short update on workstreams impacting on South Kesteven District Council’s climate change and carbon reduction ambitions.
The Sustainability and Climate Change Officer presented the report that outlined various projects relating to the Council’s climate change ambitions and declarations.
An update was provided on the recent ‘Climate Action Group’ meeting, held on 7 June 2022. A number of items were discussed at the meeting:
· Updated terms of reference – confirmation of meeting frequency and online meetings.
· Consideration of paperless committee meetings.
· Update on review of the Council’s vehicle fleet supported by Energy Saving Trust.
· Draft work plan for 2022/23.
The Council were allocated a capital budget of just over £1.2 million for the Home Energy Upgrade Scheme to deliver energy efficiency upgrades to residents within the district:
· The focus of the funding was primarily for low-income owner-occupied and private rented sector properties.
· The delivery timescale for the upgrades was up to March 2023.
· The Key focus of the scheme was on energy efficiency and alleviating fuel poverty.
· Types of upgrades eligible for delivery would include insulation, cavity wall or loft insulation, external wall insulation, solar panels, and low carbon heating upgrades to properties with no gas connection.
· The Council were delivering the scheme as a consortium of Council’s including City of Lincoln, West Lindsey and North Kesteven.
· The scheme had been launched for South Kesteven residents.
· Information on details of how to express interest for residents was available on the Council’s website.
· Current expectations were that using the funding allocation would allow a maximum of 50-60 properties in total to receive an upgrade by March 2023.
The street lighting project commenced in October 2021. The upgrading of each individual lamp to LED’s led to around a 50% reduction in energy use per unit.
Lincolnshire County Council were in the process of exploring the Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund, which would assist on aspirations around tree planting.
One Member noted that 200 upgrades of LED lights had been done since October 2021. It was queried as to whether 8 months was the expected pace going forward or whether the pace would become quicker.
The Chairman queried as to whether streetlights are replaced with LED’s once the bulb has gone or whether it is a ‘blanket’ replacement roll out regardless of the existing bulb.
The Sustainability and Climate Change Officer informed the Committee that failed bulbs are replaced immediately, therefore the Council were not replacing redundant equipment and then having to replace again with an LED light.
It was confirmed that the project had been budgeted on an ‘Invest to Save’ scheme which meant that as the project progresses, more units would be upgraded as the savings were internally invested when purchasing more units. The whole project was estimated to take 7-8 years to complete.
The ‘Internet of things’ project had been investigated, however, had not gone ahead in its full form. This had been due to a contract delay but also that the contractor was slow to mobilise because of supply chain issues and the covid-19 pandemic.
The Chairman emphasised that the Council should encourage conversation with Lincolnshire County Council in relation to tree planting. Furthermore, a query was raised on the percentage of money that would be allocated to the Council for tree planting.
It was confirmed that the process was at conversation stage at present. The Sustainability and Climate Change Officer attended monthly meetings with other Sustainability Officers at other district Council’s and Lincolnshire County Council. Tree planting projects were discussed regularly.
Most funding opportunities were only eligible for an upper tier authority to apply for.
The Cabinet Member for Waste Services and Climate Change informed the Committee that he had been in liaison with the Woodland Trust regarding tree planting to improve their working relationship.
There had been an outstanding funding bid with the Woodland Trust. The outcome of the bid was unknown at present, however, if successful, an Officer could be employed on an 18-month project to develop a Tree Strategy for the Council.
Assurance was sought on whether environmental good practice, efficiency and on-site energy generation would be included as part of the Council’s three projects: St Martins Park, the new depot, and Deepings Leisure Centre.
The Cabinet Member for Waste Services and Climate Change could not comment on St Martins Park or the Deepings Leisure Centre. It was confirmed that the brief for the new depot included energy efficiency options, for example, solar panels.
It was further confirmed that the Council’s smaller fleet vehicles would eventually be electric going forward, with the new depot having electric charging points installed.
The Organisational Development and Change Manager highlighted that discussions with the developer had taken place regarding St Martins Park and the inclusion of sustainability measures on the development were in conversation, following approval of building control.
One Member informed the Committee that the ‘Green Street Scene’ would be relevant to St Martins Park. It was reassured noted that Planning Committee consider mitigation measures on big developments.
1. Notes the updates regarding climate change and carbon emissions reduction across areas of South Kesteven District Council.