Agenda and draft minutes

Climate and Environment Advisory Committee - Thursday, 7 December 2023 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions

Contact: 01954 713000 Email: 


No. Item




Councillor Geoff Harvey assumed the role of Chair for the meeting and advised that the usual Chair, Councillor Pippa Heylings, was unable to attend the meeting as she was attending COP28. Prior to receiving apologies, the Chair invited the Project Officer (Climate and Environment), Orla Gibbons, to provide an update on the Local Climate Action Conference 2023 which the Council had hosted on 28 November 2023. Members thanked the Project Officer for the update and requested that a summary of the event be produced and published by the Council.


Apologies for Absence were received from Councillors Pippa Heylings and Natalie Warren-Green. Councillor Peter Fane was present as a substitute.


Declarations of Interest


There were no Declarations of Interest.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 162 KB


By affirmation, the Committee authorised the Chair to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2023 as a correct record.


Air Quality Update pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Additional documents:


The Scientific Officer (Air Quality) presented the report. The Chair welcome the Scientific Officer to the Committee and thanked him for the depth and detail of his report. The Committee discussed the sources of emissions in the District and reviewed the context of the report, making comment and asking questions of various parts of the report:


Data monitoring

In response to a question, officers advised that the three continuous monitors, which were DEFRA approved, in the District took readings and reported data every hour, with officers having access to the data at any time. This data could be reviewed to assess the impact of specific events on air quality in the areas in which the monitors operated, and officers advised that annual reports were also produced to allow for annual analysis.


With regard to the Zephyr sensors, officers advised that data was collected approximately every 15 seconds, which allowed officers to access both granular data and averages over longer time periods. Officers advised that the Zephyr sensors were not DEFRA approved, and as such data from these sensors could not be used in annual reports to DEFRA, but officers advised that the data from these sensors was similar to that produced by the continuous monitors and that officers had a high level of confidence in the data produced by the Zephyr sensors.


Appendix A- Figure 5

Officers clarified that different sites had different monitors/sensors in place but that they all recorded particulate matter data (PM2.5) over the same timeframe. The Committee was informed that the dark blue, orange and grey lines (Harston, Impington and Northstowe respectively) represented data recorded by continuous monitors, the yellow line (Girton) represented data recorded by a Zephyr monitor and that the light blue line (Wicken Fen) represented data recorded by a DEFRA background monitor. The Committee was informed that the data was broadly consistent across the sites as pollution was typically dominated by regional events and notable temporary variances between sites (such as the spike in Harston) was likely a result of a localised event.


Data from the Air Quality in England (AQE) database

A question was raised on the fact that on the AQE database, no data was recorded from the continuous monitor in Harston. Officers advised that, since the new monitors had been installed, a 3rd party company was being used to collect the data and that the company had not yet provided the data gathered to AQE. Officers advised that contact had been made to the company to query this matter and request that the data was uploaded and backdated, but officers were still awaiting response.


Particulate emissions from vehicles

Discussion was held over non-exhaust emissions of vehicles and whether the increased weight of electric vehicles (EVs) could result in higher levels of non-exhaust particulate materials. Officers referred to a 2019 report from the Air Quality Expert Group showed that, at the time, 40% of particulate emissions from vehicles were from exhaust, with the remaining emissions being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Greening of South Cambs Hall - Oral Update


The Waste Policy and Climate Manager presented the oral update on behalf of the Procurement, Contracts and Accounts Payable Manager (Sean Missin). In the update, Members were informed that:

·       A technical Project Manager, alongside an Employers Agent and Clerk of Works, had been taken on board to oversee the completion of the project.

·       Systems, procedures and reporting had been introduced to ensure that problems were being reported and that rectification plans were put in place to address any issues.

·       The construction phase plan was being revised and detailed to closely monitor remaining works.

·       Mechanical and electrical works had been checked with the client team to update the construction phase plan.

·       The electric vehicle chargers had been comprehensively tested, with identified issues having been fixed and faulty units replaced at the cost of the contractor.

·       The performance of electric vehicle chargers was being monitored to ensure full functionality.

·       A design rectification had been proposed by the contractor to enable the chiller and solar car ports to operate concurrently, with further work being undertaken on the design prior to approval, at the cost of the contractor.

·       The programme of works comprised of a number of separate works, with the focus of the team’s attention at the time being on the heating system.


Members enquired as to what displays would be in place to show visitors to South Cambs Hall what the impacts of the greening project were and officers agreed to take the question away. The Committee noted the oral update.


Prior to the close of the meeting, Members noted that new guidance from Heritage England, which discussed the balance between the preservation of Heritage Assets and energy efficiency upgrades, had been published. A request was also made for training to be provided to Members on forthcoming changes to Biodiversity Net Gain legislation, and officers advised that future workshops for the Committee were planned with Biodiversity being the next topic to be covered.