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Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received for Councillor Newton. Councillor Hart-Brooke also sent his apologies and Councillor Downes attended as his substitute.
Declarations of Interest
To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.
There were no declarations of interest.
To note the meeting notes of the Consultative Meeting of Members of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee held on 24th October 2022.
Minute 14 Open Forum - The Chair noted that responses had been sent to the members of the public who made representations under the Open Forum at the previous meeting relating to recycled plastic benches and Electric Vehicle charging points.
RECOMMENDED: The notes of the previous Consultative Meeting of Members of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee held on 24th October 2022 were agreed as a correct record.
At the discretion of the Chair, a period of up to 15 minutes may be allocated at each ordinary meeting for members of the public to make representations or to ask questions on matters within the terms of reference of the Committee. No member of the public shall speak for more than five minutes in the Open Forum, except by permission of the Chair.
Please note: Members of the public are asked to submit a video of their question or statement to email@example.com by 5.00 pm on Thursday 24th November 2022.
There were no Open Forum submissions.
Working Groups Update
To receive a verbal update on the progress of the Committees’ working groups to date
The Chairs of the Working Groups (WG) provided an update on the progress
of the working groups since the last Committee meeting:
Economy and Finance - Councillor Carlill reported the Group had received an overview of the national position in respect of Green Finance And considered the pilot scheme in development with the Business Council to provide finance to deliver private retrofit. Some of the issues in this space include difficulty for consumers to obtain independent expert financial advice, as well as finding suppliers. . Additionally the Chief Officer, Sustainable Energy and Air Quality, reported on work with Lloyds Bank and Optimus Energy to consider ways to support people to invest in their own homes, including light touch and full retrofit works.
Community and Business Engagement - Councillor Shahzad reported on a presentation received from Child Friendly Leeds (CFL) to coincide with ten years of CFL. The partnership between CFL and the working group will develop participation opportunities for children regarding the climate crisis to harness their concerns. Child Friendly Leeds has a list of Twelve Wishes it developed with children, with the fifth wish being to protect the environment. The Committee noted the need to ensure that the climate agenda is visible within community committees and the youth summit.
Infrastructure, Planning and Buildings - Councillor Dye reported that the working group had also examined Green Finance options, and how this work will feed into the decarbonisation of Leeds and net zero housing strategy.
RECOMMENDED: That the verbal updates from the working groups be noted.
To receive a verbal update from the Director of Public Health and the Director of Adults and Health.
The Committee received verbal updates from Victoria Eaton, the Director of Public Health and Andy Irvine, Public Health Registrar and John Crowther,
Chief Officer Resources & Strategy, Adults & Health as part of a programme of visits to the Committee from each of the Directorates.
Adults and Health - John Crowther provided an update on the work undertaken by the Directorate across it’s five service areas and in conjunction with partners:
• A new residential care home is being built in Leeds which will enable six adults with complex needs to remain within the city. The residence is being built with sustainability principles incorporated and will also provide the benefits of the families having less travel and ensure the residents can leave hospital and have their needs met locally.
• A new elderly people’s residential facility is being built which intends to be fully carbon neutral.
• A programme of solar panel and heat pump installation within Leeds City Council facilities is being implemented.
• There has been work to build confidence amongst older people who are now uncomfortable using the bus since the Covid-19 pandemic.
• Working arrangements continue to be modernised, including greater numbers of colleagues working from home. Complaint’s training, which was previously done in person including trainers travelling from London, is now done online.
• There has been liaison with the Department of Work and Pensions to reduce the amount of paperwork sent and switch more correspondence to electronic.
• Home visits have been ended for financial assessments.
Public Health - The Committee received a verbal update from Victoria Eaton and Andy Irvine regarding the interplay of climate change and public health.
• The Active Travel social prescribing trial Active Travel which will allow GP’s and other healthcare partners to prescribe transport and walking options to patients. This will improve both public health and reduce emissions. The trial was developed from a discovery project in the Harehills area which identified barriers to active travel. These barriers were not the infrastructure issues anticipated but rather regarding safety and the environment.
• Air Quality has a huge impact on public health, and raising awareness of air quality is a public health issue
• There is a continued need to plan and build resilience for extreme weather due to climate change, as this will mean that more people are vulnerable during summer and winter.
Discussions covered the following issues:
• There is a strong body of evidence to suggest that biodiversity loss increased vulnerability towards new pandemics.
• The current Covid-19 pandemic trends in Leeds were provided, with a new wave being predicted for late January 2023, but it did not clash with the November Influenza infection spike.
• Fear of Covid-19 has impacted older people’s access to public transport.
RECOMMENDED: The Committee thanked Officers and Directors for attending the Committee and noted their verbal updates.
To consider the report of the Chief Officer Culture and Economy which will introduce the work being undertaken by the council to refresh the Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy. The current strategy was published in 2018 and runs up until 2023.
The Committee received the report of the Chief Officer Culture and Economy on the Inclusive Growth Strategy Refresh Update and was asked to provide comments and discussion with a focus on environmental factors.
Fiona Bolam, Head of Economic Policy, provided a presentation and highlighted that the focus of the Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy refresh is to bring together existing work to develop a greener city, healthier people, and a stronger economy. The Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy was published in 2018 and runs until 2023. The Refresh will be published Summer 2023 and last until 2030.
The current themes of ‘People’, ‘Place’ and ‘Productivity’ will be maintained; however, the underpinning headlines will be altered.
People will include the Culture Strategy and Delivery Framework; and the Housing Strategy.
Place will include the Connecting Leeds Strategy; Local Plan Update Consultation; Innovation Arc Consultation and the Our Spaces Strategy.
Productivity will include the Digital Strategy as well as the Destination Marketing and International Relations Plan.
The importance of climate to be integrated within Inclusive Growth was stressed to the Committee, as well as the success of the previous iteration of the strategy. Previous achievements of the strategy include the development of Southbank, the city’s newest green space, a £20,000 partnership with Lloyds, the Leeds Inclusive Anchors Network whose work contributes towards the delivery of the net zero ambition.
Some of the work on inclusive growth is best placed at a higher level, such as green economy and jobs, which West Yorkshire Combined Authority lead on. Currently there are around 20,000 carbon heavy jobs in Leeds, which is about 9% of the workforce.
The Committee discussed the impact of economic growth on the environment and how positive growth can be distinguished from negative growth, as lack of growth can have a long lasting impact on local communities.
The Committee noted exciting developments for inclusive growth opportunities within the educational space, and it is hoped that this will support the creation of new green jobs within the city and encourage a workforce of young people with the right skills to deliver a carbon neutral Leeds.
RECOMMENDED: That the contents of the report and the discussions be noted.
To consider the report of the Chief Officer Culture and Economy which outlines the purpose of the Social Progress Index (SPI) for Leeds and how it can be used to measure the impact of delivering Inclusive Growth in the city. The SPI when implemented will complement existing economic data-gathering methodology by presenting social progress data alongside traditional economic measures.
The Committee received the report of the Chief Officer Culture and Economy of ‘The Leeds Social Progress Index: Measuring Inclusive
Fiona Bolam, Head of Economic Policy, and Graham Ponton, Senior Economic Development Officer presented the report and provided a presentation and the background to the Social Progress Index (SPI), which is a software tool designed to support consideration of environmental, social, and economic data at a ward level.
The indicators chosen are all considered under three key headings for Leeds; Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunity. Each of these are supported by five or six themed sets of Performance Indicators which will be measured accordingly.
Data collection for 73 indicators has begun, and more will be added from the Census, including race. The SPI was adopted following consideration by the Infrastructure, Investment, and Inclusive Growth Scrutiny Board which sought to understand how place matters in delivering inclusive growth, and its adoption will contribute to the Leeds Best City Ambition.
The Committee received a short demonstration of the tool. Features included identifying which wards are most like one another, which allows users to quickly identify where a ward is struggling with a specific issue compared to other similar wards.
The Committee discussed key data challenges facing the SPI programme, such as how much granularity should be built in and quality of data gathering. Some indicators such as air quality are not easily collated at the ward level. Other indicators such as numbers of Electric Vehicle charging points are not held in one central source, and so a manual data gathering exercise is required. Future development will include engagement to communicate the importance of consistent data gathering across departments.
The Committee discussed how embedded the SPI is within senior management across the Council. It is hoped that as the tool develops its impact on decision making across the council will be embedded.
a) That the contents of the report and presentation and the comments of the Committee on the potential impact of Social Progress Index be noted
b) That the implementation of the Social Progress Index be supported.
Date of Next Meeting
To note an additional meeting has been arranged for Monday 12th December 2022 at 2.00pm
RESOLVED: The Committee noted that the date and time of the next meeting is an Extraordinary Consultative Meeting of the Members of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee on 12th December 2023 at 2.00pm.
Any Other Business
The Committee congratulated and thanked officers from the Sustainable Energy & Air Quality team for their work on achieving a A grade ranking from the Carbon Disclosure Project for Leeds.