Agenda and draft minutes

Climate and Environment Advisory Committee
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 4.00 p.m.

Venue: Public Gallery, 1st Floor (under the Mezzanine) - South Cambs Hall. View directions

Contact: 03450 450 500 Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Councillors Jose Hales and Peter McDonald sent Apologies for Absence. Councillors Judith Rippeth and Eileen Wilson were their respective substitutes.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 October 2018 as a correct record.


The Climate and Environment Advisory Committee authorised the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2018.


Chairman's Report

Oral report.


The Chairman reported verbally about the following issues discussed at the first two meetings of the Climate and Environment Advisory Committee (CEAC):


Operational Resources

·         The Leader had agreed to include in the Budget for 2019-20 provision for Democratic Services support.

·         The Lead Cabinet Member for Finance had agreed to make provision in the 2019-20 Budget for the appointment of a Development Officer dedicated to supporting the Climate and Environment Advisory Group. The Head of Sustainable Communities and Wellbeing had been given authority to begin the recruitment process immediately.


Air Quality (recommendations from the first CECA meeting on 20 September 2018)

·         A New Strategy on Air Quality would be drafted, and the A14 AQMA Action Plan would be updated. The Lead Cabinet Members for Environmental Health and Licensing, and Finance, had agreed to make provision in the 2019-20 Budget for the following:

·         A Resource Officer to allow a dedicated Air Quality Officer time to work on Air Quality strategy and analysis of data from monitors;

·         Monitoring equipment would be purchased and positioned at key locations across South Cambridgeshire, such as in schools, on roadside developments and at road junctions.


Single Use Plastic phase-out at South Cambridgeshire Hall (recommendations from the first CEAC meeting 20 September 2018)

A detailed report would be made later in this meeting.


Green Energy Investment (recommendations from the first CEAC meeting on 20 September 2018)

·         A Re:FIT access agreement had been concluded with Bouyges to look at the South Cambridgeshire District Council Estate for solar panel options before closure of the Feed In Tariff. A detailed report would be made later in this meeting.

·         Alternative energy investment opportunities. Need support from dedicated, qualified Officer. Recruitment of green Energy Investment Officer has been agreed and included in draft Budget 2019/20 and ToR being drafted.


Waterbeach Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) (recommendations from first and second CEAC meeting (on 18October 2018))

It had been agreed that CEAC should have input on climate and environment features of major new development sites and SPDs. The Planning Policy Manager had agreed and would present a calendar of future SPDs to CCEAC to its meeting in January 2019. CEAC had been invited to comment on the Waterbeach SPD. CEAC Members would be invited to a briefing on 10 December 2018 about the Cambridge Northern Fringe Area Action Plan, together with Scrutiny& Overview Committee members. Officers and the developer Urban & Civic had briefed Members, including CEAC members, about the Waterbeach SPD and plans for Phase 1 of the proposed New Town. Comments from CEAC members were captured in minutes and by Officers present, who would include these in the Report to the Scrutiny & Overview Committee.


Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) briefing.

i)              Implications for South Cambridgeshire had been identified by guest speakers in briefings on key messages in the IPCC report.

ii)             A Motion would be put to Full Council about achieving Zero Carbon by 2050.


Community Energy Grants - Cabinet Decision

An oral update for the Committee, regarding Cabinet’s decision on the Community Energy Grants and agree next steps.


The Head of Sustainable Communities and Wellbeing conveyed Cabinet’s request that further work be carried out to identify measures that would achieve a greater impact in terms of the money set aside for energy projects, and which would help promote the corporate aims set out in the Business Plan. An important element of this would be for the Chairmen of the Grants Advisory Committee and the Climate and Environment Advisory Committee to agree a common approach.


Avoidable Single Use Plastics Progress Report (Phil Bird) pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To note progress and consider next steps.


The Climate and Environment Advisory Committee received and noted a report briefing Members about the Review of Waste and Recycling at South Cambridgeshire Hall, and the use of single use plastics.


The observation was made that behavioural change was key to moving away from single use plastics.


Members discussed a number of issues including the  part played by vending machines in furthering the use of non-recyclable materials and recycling of shredded paper. In response, the Facilities Manager said that, for the longer term, it was hoped to make better use of the canteen service such as would encourage less use of vending machines. He also explained how the Council currently dealt with the secure disposal of confidential papers through its partnership with a third party.


The Facilities Manager said that his proposals had all been costed and were within budget. In particular, he outlined plans for replacing bins by desks with centralised recycling centres to be located throughout South Cambs Hall, and for introducing glasses and mugs throughout the building. Members noted the potential health hazard involved, and the Facilities Manager undertook to investigate measures for addressing this, including the provision of detergent and automatic dishwashers.


The Head of Shared Waste pointed out that aluminium cans were relatively easy to recycle.


Environment, Natural Capital and Biodiversity Net Gain in Design and Planning (Caroline Hunt) pdf icon PDF 382 KB

To consider the current situation as well as future actions.


The Climate and Environment Advisory Committee received and noted a report setting out progress to date with securing biodiversity net gain in new developments in Cambridgeshire, and seeking support for the formulation of further guidance on biodiversity in light of changes to national policy.


Members received a presentation setting out proposals for integrating wildlife and natural infrastructure into the built environment, acknowledging the biodiversity net gain aspirations contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. A specific Supplementary Planning Document would be developed to reflect the health and wellbeing benefits of increased amounts of green space in Cambridgeshire. The Planning Policy Manager set the presentation into a local context, summarising both the recently adopted South Cambridgeshire Local Plan, and the next Local Plan that would be developed jointly by South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council. Responding to concern that a Joint Local Plan might not be able to meet the needs of both a rural and urban area, the Planning Policy Manager assured Members that account would be taken of differing area needs, but pointed out that Cambridge itself was a green city.


Investment in Green Energy Progress Report (Phil Bird / Kevin Ledger) pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To note progress.

Additional documents:


Climate and Environment Advisory Committee received and noted a report updating it about progress towards South Cambridgeshire District Council’s (SCDC) investment in Green Energy, specifically at the Waterbeach Depot and South Cambridgeshire Hall sites. It included the brief given to Bouygues in order to shape High Level Assessments at these sites.


Members noted that, with regard to the first High Level Assessment delivered for the Waterbeach Depot, viability depended on being able to connect to the National Grid. Clarification of this point was expected in December, and installation work had been programmed to start in early 2019. The success of this initiative could give rise to more extensive opportunities in the future. The Chairman said that appropriate authority had been sought in order to expedite this matter ahead of the imminent changes to the Feed In Tariff.


Those present discussed the question of payback, which would include cost savings. Officers undertook to investigate the level of anticipated operating costs. Those present also considered how best to deal with any excess energy generated. An increased use of electric vehicles by the Greater Cambridge Waste Service in future was viewed with enthusiasm.


Forward Plan: January 2019

·         Investment in Green Energy Progress Report

·         Schedule of Supplementary Planning Documents

·         SPEP Review and Draft Action Plan

·         Home Energy Conservation Act: Draft 2019 Update


The Climate and Environment Advisory Committee noted that the following issues would be considered at its next meeting:


·         Investment in Green Energy Progress Report

·         Schedule of Supplementary Planning Documents

·         Review of the Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership (SPEP), and Draft Action Plan

·         Home Energy Conservation Act: Draft 2019 Update


Date of Next Meeting

Members are asked to bring their diaries.


The Climate and Environment Advisory Committee agreed that future meetings should be held every two months, starting in January 2019.


In consultation with the Chairman, Democratic Services would identify options for establishing a schedule of meetings up to, and including, May 2020.