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Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence for the first part of the meeting were received from Councillor Hayden. Councillor Renshaw attended as her 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 meeting notes of the Consultative Meeting of Members of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee held on 21st July 2022.
RECOMMENDED: The notes of the previous Consultative Meeting of Members of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee held on 21st July 2022 were accepted as a correct record.
To consider and discuss the report of the Chief Officer of Sustainable Energy and Air Quality’s presenting Draft Leeds Food Strategy, noting the discussions will inform the development of the final strategy.
The Committee considered the report of the Chief Officer, Sustainable Energy & Air Quality, on the draft Leeds Food Strategy. The report includes sections on Health & Wellbeing and Food Security & Economy and Sustainability & Resilience (tying in with the 3 pillars of the Best City ambition). Feedback was sought on the Sustainability & Resilience section.
The Senior Project Officer, Sustainable Energy & Air Quality Team, presented the report and outlined how the strategy has been developed. Its aim is to bring together work already happening in the city around food to maximise its impact and also to identify gaps where work needs to be done. The strategy will also enable Leeds to work towards the Sustainable Food Places silver and gold awards (Leeds currently holds bronze). The strategy will last until 2030 and will have annual action plans.
The Sustainability & Resilience chapter has five objectives :
1. Empower residents to choose healthy diets by raising awareness of choices that are good for the planet
2. Tackle waste by reducing, redistributing, and utilising surplus food?
3. Champion environmentally sustainable and resilient procurement
4. Support local farmers to transition to resilient and profitable agriculture which improves the environment
5. Encourage and enable innovative and community-led food production
The Committee also received a presentation from Dr Michelle Morris of the University of Leeds on the Carbon Footprint Calculator. The calculator was developed by the Consumer Data Research Centre in partnership with Leeds City Council and is an example of the type of work the strategy seeks to deliver.
Dr Morris gave a demonstration of the carbon calculator showing how users input recipes and ingredients and carbon emissions will be calculated. The carbon calculator can consider differing carbon footprints of the same product from different country of origins, by taking a national average, and can create custom carbon values for ingredients, which will be particularly useful for local products. The values can be varied to create comparisons. Leeds City Council caterers will be able to upload ‘Saffron’ recipe files directly into the tool.
Other work includes a ‘Top Trumps’ style online card game for children called Planet Plates, which is on the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) website. The FoodWise Leeds website has a recipe hub and the tool has been used to calculate the carbon emissions associated with recipes on there for the public to see. This tool aims to provide the council with the right knowledge to support the wider public to make lifestyle choices which are better for themselves and the planet.
During discussions the following matters were considered:
• The use of data to compare the use of local produce against imported produce and the ability of the calculator to define the data by local regional produce.
• Acknowledged the balance between the need for agricultural and arable land to ensure food production and security against the need to use land to support sustainable energy
• How agricultural skills can be developed, in a similar way to how Leeds City Council has ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
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 5.00pm on Wednesday 19th October 2022.
Two members of the public made representations at the meeting.
Electric Vehicle Charging Points - Dr Claudio Franco made a video representation outlining some of the challenges facing those who own electric vehicles who live in terraced housing in being able to access electric vehicle (EV) charging technology near their homes, due to the lack of off-street parking or on-street EV charging points. He noted that Leeds City Council had installed EV charging points in car parks, but suggested designated shared parking spaces on street with a charging point would benefit more homeowners
Councillor Hayden responded to this by explaining that even when under a safety cover, having a wire across the pavement is dangerous, especially for those with physical or visual impairment.
Recycled Plastic Benches - Parish Councillor Dr Stella Walsh then presented her views on the installation of recycled plastic benches, seeking the committee’s view on this topic. She cited the United Nations, which states that for items such as benches, wood is the preferred material, as even recycled plastics have environmental concerns.
RECOMMENDED: That the issues raised be noted and referred to relevant Directorate for consideration.
To receive a verbal update from the Director of Communities, Housing and Environment
The Committee received a verbal report from James Rogers, Director of Communities, Housing and Communities, as part of a programme of visits to the Committee from each of the Directorates.
The Director explained the Directorate is particularly public facing and highlighted some of the work to address climate change happening within the directorate, including:
Safer, Stronger Communities
• Work to make community centres more energy efficient, such as changing the lighting used to LED and improving heating systems
• All the Leeds Watch vehicles are now electric
• Currently undertaking a conditioning review to see what further options are available
• As 26% of the city’s estimated carbon emissions come from housing, this is a key area to address.
• This year a New Housing Strategy was published with a zero-carbon goal in mind
• In Holt Park 190 flats have been improved, taking them from an energy band of D to B, as well as reducing carbon emissions by 70%
• There has been a significant investment in the social housing stock
• High rise buildings were modernised, and where possible, connected to the District Scheme also known as Leeds PIPES (Providing Innovative Pro-Environment Solutions)
• Tree planting and woodland creation
• Better habitats for pollinators
• 128 urban hotspots to encourage insects
• Implementation of Insect hotels, wildflower meadows and Relaxed lawn mowing on road verges
• Seeds for Leeds
Elections and Regulatory
• Private Hire and Taxi Licensing reports that 2,700 out of 4,900 vehicles are electric
• Election canvassing is increasingly done digitally, which has saved 70,000 letters a year
• 50 polling stations were relocated
Community Hubs and Welfare
• There has been a move away from paper letters and towards online based services
• Using timber in construction
• The new Waste Strategy is arriving soon; however, it has had slow development due to slow national policy
• Newmarket House has opened this year, which is a state-of-the-art refuse and street cleaning centre, with future-proofed design to enable further innovations to be integrated into the work
• Newmarket House is next to the Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre (RERF)
Working with communities
• Seeds for Leeds
After the presentation the Committee has a discussion with Mr Rogers, where the following was discussed:
• Whilst Leeds City Council has invested in Electric Vehicle charging for it’s own vehicles use, provision of domestic cars lags, and will be discussed further with Highways
• Delays in national policy for the waste strategy should not deter Leeds City Council from undertaking whatever work it can in the interim
• A feasibility study on attaching greenhouses for food production at RERF has started
RECOMMENDED: The Committee thanked Mr Rogers for his presentation and noted the discussions.
To note the suite of draft policies as set out in the Report to Executive Board of 21st September and comment on the policies as part of the consultation period.
Further to minute 10 of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee meeting held on 23rd June 2022, the Committee considered a report from the Director of City Development on the ongoing development of the Leeds Local Plan Update 1.
The Head of Strategic Planning presented the report and highlighted that an 8-week consultation on the Leeds Local Plan Update 1 (LLPU1) had commenced as of 24th October 2022 Local plan update - scoping consultation (leeds.gov.uk) inviting comments on the following high level issues and themes in the Plan and the corresponding policies within the Plan:
· Climate Change mitigation and adaption
· Carbon reduction
· Flood risk
· Green and Blue Infrastructure
· Place making
· Sustainable infrastructure
Discussions included the following matters:
· Whether completed or ongoing developments can be monitored ‘retrospectively’ against the new policies contained in LLPU1 and the need to clarify the limitations a local authority has in respect of enforcement action.
· Members noted the response that it was very important that the policies set out what Leeds means by ‘green infrastructure’ and ‘sustainability’ in planning permissions, the policies are written so as to encourage developers and viability would still be pertinent to discussions on prospective developments. The Local Planning Authority will seek to ensure the policies are still in place through a revised approach to monitoring including post-occupancy reviews
· The approach to permeable and impermeable hard standing surfaces. It was noted that the Policy Water 8 aims to set out the LPA view on permeability.
· The approach to food security and space for food production. Members noted the intention for developers to be requested to leave space for food growing and fruit trees.
· The possible impact of the relaxation of planning guidance proposed by Central Government which may require the LLPU1 to be reviewed. Members noted that advice received from Government encouraged work on local plans to continue, and that the LLPU1 did conform to existing regulations.
· The use of contaminated land which is unsuitable for agriculture or development for solar farms, and alternatively the roofs of Council buildings.
· Communication will be sent to all Councillors setting out the consultation arrangements, which includes drop-in sessions and the intention for officers to attend a mix of local community events, Members were asked to provide details of events in their locality which could be added to the schedule of events.
RECOMMENDED - That the suite of draft policies as set out in the report to Executive Board of 21st September be noted along with the comments made during discussions on the proposed policies as part of the consultation period.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
To note the date and time of the next meeting as Monday 28th November 2022 at 1.00 pm.
RECOMMENDED – To note the date and time of the next meeting as Monday 28th November 2022 at 1.00pm. The meeting will be held remotely.