Agenda item

Citizens Climate Assembly Next Steps and Recommendations

To consider next steps and provide recommendations to Cabinet to allocate funding from the Climate Reserve with respect to the Citizens Climate Assembly recommendations.


The cabinet member environment and economy introduced the report and highlighted the key points. The proposals in the report originated from a range of sources, including the recommendations made by the climate assembly, the existing climate and nature related work at the council and the Nature Strategy. The cabinet member thanked members of the climate assembly and officers for their time and effort in pulling together the information.


Cabinet members discussed the recommendations and proposed projects. Key points were noted as:

·       The recent increases in the cost of energy had focussed attention on energy efficiency;

·       The projects would have social value and support community wellbeing as well as deliver benefits for the environment;

·       Some of the climate assembly recommendations were very ambitious, such as the shift of public transport off fossil fuels, and the council recognised that it might not be able to meet the suggested deadlines but would look at ways to make the transition;

·       Skills development was an important element to ensure the local workforce could support future projects;

·       The process of the assembly had been useful and interesting and was a demonstration of the council listening and engaging with the community;

·       The stop-start nature of government funding was a challenge in delivering projects of this nature;

·       The council would continue to lobby central government to take the long term decisions required to address the climate and nature emergency.


The next steps were noted. Officers would produce full business cases for the projects identified as top priorities and in doing so flag those that could not be taken forward. If high priority projects were not able to progress, officers would consult with relevant cabinet members and lower priority projects would be considered in their place. Implementation would take 2 – 4 years.


Group leaders provided the views and queries of their groups. It was noted that:

·       The home efficiency grant would be in addition to the work already being done by Keep Herefordshire Warm and there was a dedicated communications resource for climate work to help promote activities and initiatives;

·       The amounts suggested against each project were indicative and would be refined through the full business cases;

·       The council’s focus with regard to tree planting would be on co-ordinating activity, for example working with land owners to identify land that could be planted;

·       Strong project and contract management was needed, all projects would be managed by the project management office and the outcomes measured through mechanisms such as the delivery strategy and carbon management plan;

·       It was important to respond to the consultation on the local plan to identify the types of development that should be brought forward;

·       The council was engaging with local businesses in its response to the climate emergency, including encouraging businesses to make changes that would save on their bottom line while also reducing their environmental impact;

·       The funding allocated to support these projects came from additional monies from the government but more support and leadership was needed;

·       The council would continue to link up with national and international climate strategy initiatives such as cycle to work week.

The leader of the council summarised the discussion. He highlighted that the whole Council had supported the declaration of a climate emergency and the setting up of the citizens’ assembly. The actions proposed would have long term impacts and returns may take decades to show. Value for money in this context would have be demonstrated over a very long period of time.


It was resolved that cabinet:


a)    Approve the development of business cases as required for the priority projects listed in Appendix 2;

b)    Delegate authority to Corporate Director, Economy and Environment, subject to consultation with relevant Cabinet Members and the s151 officer to:

a.     approve viable projects within an overall budget of £1.33million;

b.    bring forward business cases for the lower priority projects in appendix 2 should the priority projects prove unviable; and

c)    Delegate authority to Corporate Director, Economy and Environment, for all operational decisions to deliver the projects following approval of the business cases.

Supporting documents: