Agenda and minutes

Venue: Herefordshire Council Offices, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0LE

Contact: Simon Cann, Democratic Services Officer 

Link: Watch this meeting live on the Herefordshire Council Youtube Channel

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To receive apologies for absence.



No apologies received.


Named substitutes

To receive details of members nominated to attend the meeting in place of a member of the committee.




Declarations of interest

To receive declarations of interests in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 366 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 25 September 2023.


The minutes of the meeting held on 25 September 2023 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the chair.


Questions from members of the public

To receive any written questions from members of the public.


There were no questions received from members of the public.


Questions from members of the council

To receive any written questions from members of the council.


There were no questions received from members of the council.



Chair's update

To provide updates on developments and activity relevant to the committee’s remit. 


The chair enquired about outstanding executive responses in relation to committee recommendations on: waste and recycling, river water quality and the local plan. Officers present provided an assurance that these responses were being worked on and would be available in due course.


Implementing the Environment Act 2021 pdf icon PDF 239 KB

To present information for the committee to consider regarding the targets, duties and powers conferred to the council and its partners by the Environment Act 2021. How Herefordshire Council is implementing the duties of the act and working in partnership working relating to the act.

Additional documents:


The Head of Environment Climate Emergency and Waste Services introduced the report, the following key considerations were noted:


·         The Environment Act 2021 (The Act) received Royal Assent on 9 November 2021 and operates as the UK’s new framework of environmental protection. Given that the UK has left the EU, new laws that relate to nature protection, water quality, clean air, as well as additional environmental protections that originally came from the EU, needed to be established. The Environment Act allows the UK to enshrine some environmental protection into law, it offers new powers to set new binding targets.

·         The priority areas were, air quality, water, biodiversity and resource efficiency and waste reduction.

·         The Act introduces a new framework for setting long-term, legally binding targets for environmental improvement. These targets will sit with the Secretary of State.

·         The Act establishes the Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) as an independent, domestic watchdog. The Council has a duty to co-operate with the OEP in connection with the exercise of its functions.


1.    In response to a question from the chair the Head of Environment Climate Emergency and Waste Services acknowledged that Herefordshire Council currently had no holistic view of costing the implementation of regulations contained within the Act. However, broad estimates were available and pre-procured solutions, with real costings, were ready to be turned on once finalised deadlines and details relating to the act were released by central government.


2.    The committee noted it would be helpful if the executive commissioned a piece of work to evaluate, in broad terms, the costs of implementing the requirements of the Environment Act 2021.


3.    It was explained to the committee that Herefordshire Council had no formal single interface with the Office of Environmental Protection, but that the Corporate Director, Economy and Environment could fulfil this function.


4.    It was explained that Herefordshire Council officers had had informal contact with Oflog (the Office for Local Government) regarding new indicator sets coming through and were in regular contact with representatives from partners including: Defra, the Environment Agency and Natural England.


5.    The committee noted that it would perhaps be helpful if the executive appointed a single interface with the Office for Environmental Protection.


The committee broke the report down into several broad topics for discussion, starting with:


River quality:


The principal points of the discussion are summarised below.

6.    The committee praised those involved in organising and delivering the ‘building bridges over troubled waters’ river recovery conference held on 26 November 2023.


7.    Positive contributions from local farmers, food and agri-tech representatives, nutrient and soil experts and the general public indicated that various groups and stakeholders were willing to work together in tackling the issues surrounding the Wye.


8.    The committee noted the work being carried out by Welsh Water in updating and restructuring its plants to reduce and eliminate water pollution.


9.    The committee noted the importance of engaging and working with farmers, rather than forcing regulations on them in a punitive manner. In particular,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.


Work programme pdf icon PDF 275 KB

To consider the work programme for the committee.


ACTION: The committee requested that the latest evidence on climate change be made available as part of the paperwork for the ‘Meeting net zero-carbon in Herefordshire’ item scheduled for the committee meeting on 25 March 2024.


Date of the next meeting

Monday 22 January 2024 10.00 am


Monday 22 January 2024 10.00 am.