Agenda and draft minutes

Consultative Meeting of Members of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee - Monday, 22nd January, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Remote

Contact: Helen Gray  0113 3788657

Link: to view the meeting

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor M Foster, Councillor O Newton and Councillor A McCluskey with Councillor A Rontree substituting for Councillor A McCluskey.



Declarations of Interest

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.


No declarations of interest were made.



Notes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 307 KB

To receive the minutes of the formal meeting held 15th December 2023.



RECCOMENDED - That the minutes of the meeting held on the 15th of December 2023, be approved as a true and correct record.



Matters Arising from the Minutes


The following matters arising were raised:


  • Minute 34 - As a further method to engage with residents, including text on ongoing climate initiatives and the impacts in Leeds, was proposed for letters that were sent out regarding elections. It was noted that Council tax bills and the Leeds by example website had previously been utilised to promote certain topics, however, depending on context and priorities the intention was not to overload residents with information on multiple subjects.

An update was provided regarding the action of including text on Council tax bills. It was outlined that the slot for promotional text on the bills had been allocated for 2024. An early request had been made for inclusion on the 2025 bill letters.



Open Forum

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 by 5.00pm on Wednesday 15th January 2024.



No matters were raised under the Open Forum item.




Directors Update - Director of Communities, Housing and Environment

To receive a verbal update from the Director of Communities, Housing and Environment.



The Director of Communities, Housing and Environment provided the Committee with a verbal update on the work of the multitude of the services covered by the directorate.


James Rogers, The Director of Communities, Housing and Environment presented the following information to the Committee:

  • The directorate covered the following public facing departments; Climate, Energy and Green Spaces (CEGS), Environmental Services, Safer Stronger Communities, Community Hubs and Welfare and Elections and Regulatory (including Environmental Health).
  • Leeds City Council had been awarded an A grade rating, for the second year in a row, in November 2023 by the Carbon Disclosure Project. The submission is led by the CEGS team. 119 other cities had received an A rating and Leeds was in the top 13% performing authorities globally.
  • CEGS were at the forefront of substantial work to decarbonise the infrastructure within the district, including the expansion of the Leeds PIPES Network. A report was due to be considered by the Executive Board on the Leeds PIPES district heating network in February 2024.
  • Decarbonisation schemes had been delivered across a range of buildings, including, schools, leisure centres and heritage buildings, in support of other service areas advancement of climate initiatives.
  • The Leeds Food Strategy had been launched in 2023, in line with the Council’s climate emergency response.
  • Methods to improve green spaces, biodiversity and climate adaptability were outlined, including tree planting, with the Trees for Streets programme being piloted, wildfire and drainage management training, insect hotels, 128 Urban Buzz hotspots and relaxed mowing area extensions.
  • The Housing Strategy had been adopted in 2022 which included a focus on the improvement of energy efficiency. £100 million of funding for renewable heating and energy efficiency projects was to be delivered over 2020 to 2025. A complementary Net Zero Housing Plan had also been developed.
  • £15 million had been secured as part of the Home Upgrade Grant to improve the building fabric and heating systems for up to 750 low income private homes, as well as £200,000 from the Green Home Finance Accelerator for middle income homes.
  • Partnership work with Lloyds Banking Group and Octopus Energy was ongoing to research retrofit co-ordination for ‘able to pay’ homes.
  • As part of the West Yorkshire Housing Bid, a successful bid for £14.7 million of Social Housing Decarbonisation Funds had been secured, supporting a range of works.
  • 59 high rise blocks have now had renewable heating sources installed, as part of the Leeds PIPES and Ground Source Heat Pumps projects, with more blocks to follow.
  • Safer Stronger Communities supported Community Committees and were involved in creating pocket parks, installing hanging baskets, tree planting and improving energy efficiency for community buildings, as well as partnership work with ‘In Bloom’ and ‘Friends of’ groups.
  • Elections and Regulatory covered responsible pest control, electric vehicle (EV) opportunities, incentives for taxi and private hire for EV, reductions in the need for travel with approximately 50,000 people registered for postal votes and reductions in energy use with portable buildings or generators no longer used at polling stations.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


Working Groups Update

To receive a verbal update on the progress of the Committees’ working groups to date


As no Working Group meetings had been held since the last meeting of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee an update on their work was not provided, but dates for upcoming Working Groups were noted as follows:


  • Biodiversity, Food and Waste on the 29th of January 2024.
  • Finance and Economy on the 31st of January 2024.
  • Community and Business Engagement on the 5th of February 2024.
  • Planning and Buildings on the 6th of February 2024.



Carbon Disclosure Project Feedback and areas of Development pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To consider the report and presentation of the Chief Officer Climate, Energy and Green Spaces which provides an update on the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) feedback, which, as agreed at the November CEAC Meeting, will be used to develop the CEAC Main Committee forward plan.



The report of the Chief Officer, Climate, Energy and Green Spaces outlined that the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) was a global non-profit that ran the world’s environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions. More than 24,000 organisations around the world disclosed data through CDP in 2023 (including listed companies worth two thirds of global market capitalization) and over 1,100 cities, states and regions.


Chad Newton, Senior Policy and Communications Officer, presented the report and highlighted the following information:

·  In November 2023, Leeds received an A Grade rating, for the second year running, from the CDP, a global non-profit organisation that runs environmental disclosure systems for companies, states, cities and regions.

·  The CDP process provided a useful, independent review at no cost to Local Authorities for participation with private sector companies instead charged for their own engagement.

·  Only 119 cities globally received an A grade rating over 2022 and 2023, with the regional European average rating noted as a B rating and the global as a C rating.

·  The item had been brought at the Committee’s request for feedback after Leeds’s submission to the CDP in November 2023.

·  A list of other A grade rated Council’s within the UK was provided, as well as a list of grade definitions as D, disclosure, C awareness, B management and A leadership. The highest grades required integrated plans for climate action and adaptation.

·  The process required transparency, with the Leeds submission available on the CDP website as well as being contained online as part of an Executive Board report.

·  As the CDP project progressed annually, the target requirements become more stringent in order to encourage better practice and further action.

·  The 2024 submission was to be informed by the 2023 review and for improved scores, feedback from CDP requires that the Council better explain flood alleviation scheme progress, public engagement on climate adaptation policies—especially with those more vulnerable, better explain Connecting Leeds progress, provide new data for public travel methods at a local and district level, provide more detailed tree planting metrics, provide area wide targets for renewable energy generation, and disclose Leeds’s carbon credit requirements to achieve net zero.

·  The next steps were outlined as the CEGS team to continue co-ordination of the 2024 submission, engaging with relevant departments and partners as part of the process. The team will also explore new data sources for improved transparency and accountability of the city’s progress. Council officers requested the support of CEAC to consider relevant plans and options.

·  Key dates for the 2024 submission were for CDP to publish questionnaires and guidance in April 2024, CDP to open the questionnaire in June 2024, Leeds to complete the submission and publish it alongside the annual report due for Executive Board in September 2024, and for results to be published in early 2025.


During discussions the Committee discussed the following:


Update on Heat Network Zoning pdf icon PDF 328 KB

To receive and consider a presentation from the Chief Officer, Climate, Energy and Green Spaces on the proposals for Heat Network Zoning contained in the Energy Act and the implications for the city.


Additional documents:


The report of the Chief Officer, Climate, Energy and Green Spaces provided an introduction to a presentation on the proposals for Heat Network Zoning contained in the Energy Act and the implications for the city.


George Munson, Senior Project Manager, outlined the following information to Members:

·  Heat Network Zoning was Government policy, as part of the Energy Act 2023, designed to support district heating network growth in areas identified to deliver lower cost decarbonisation than heat pumps. The detailed policy was at a consultation stage, closing at the end of February 2024, and was expected to be fully implemented by 2025.

·  The policy mandated that larger buildings and new developments were connected to district heating, with Local Authorities becoming Zoning Coordinators, holding a coordination, liaison and enforcement role. Zoning Coordinators were to issue tenders for heat network delivery bodies that build networks and connect customers.

·  Potential zoning areas, where criteria for district heating to be lower cost than heat pumps had been met, had been identified for Leeds via a Heat Network Zoning Pilot. The Advanced Zoning Delivery Programme (AZP) had consolidated data for potential sites and focused on the city centre and Aire Valley zones, existing Leeds Pipes network zonal expansion, Skelton Grange energy from waste site, as well as additional areas of interest.

·  Work had been conducted to understand the extent and scope of the policy in Leeds, with an estimated 650 gigawatts per year of mandatable building heat loads, 175km length of pipe network, a zone demand of 1,439 gigawatts per year of zone demand and a capital investment of £650 million.

·  The AZP was a Government sponsored programme and Leeds had chosen to focus this on the city centre, Aire Valley and Southbank area to understand the cost of strategic oversizing of elements of the network. The Green Heat Network funding application for a network in the Southbank area was to form the base case.

·  Early stages of the AZP project had identified the Southbank network was required to be three times larger than initially planned to provide capacity for mandated buildings.

·  The key points of the consultation were noted as understanding the role and requirements to perform as a Zoning Coordinator, acting as a local regulator, establishing and procuring zone networks, running competitions to secure delivery bodies, as well as an enforcement, liaison and review role, including internal appeals. Funding was to be initially central, with support from the Central Zoning Authority.

·  The key issues identified for the Zoning Coordinator model were similarities to the planning authority, unclear levels of funding required and delivery capabilities, the proposed governance process, and the implication of appeals and liability of the Council.

·  The impacts on existing networks were to avoid the need to sell network output to delivery bodies with an incumbent rule proposed, gifting rights to existing network operations, outside of incumbent areas competition for delivery bodies was held. If the Council was to become a delivery body, it was required to establish a separate Zoning Coordinator  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Update on Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy pdf icon PDF 863 KB

To receive a report and presentation from the Chief Officer, Highways and Transportation, which provides an introduction and overview of the Annual Progress Report of the Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy (CLTS), Action Plan 1 with respect to the Climate Emergency.


The report of the Chief Officer, Highways & Transportationprovided an introduction and overview of the Annual Progress Report of the Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy (CLTS), Action Plan 1 with respect to the Climate Emergency.


Paul Foster, Transport Planning Manager, outlined the following information to Members:

·  An annual progress report had been considered by the Executive Board in November 2023. A key part of the strategy, annual report and update was methods and data related to carbon reduction across the service, with targets to reduce distances travelled by 30%, to shift from private car to public transport and active travel models, including a 30% reduction on private car reliance, 130% increase in bus provision, a 70% increase in rail services, 400% increase in cycling rates and 30% increase for walking, set against 2016 figures.

·  An additional aim was to decarbonise the Council’s vehicle fleet which was ongoing but so far successful.

·  Department for Transport data was presented, outlining, carbon emissions from transport had decreased over the period of 2019 to 2021 but had slightly increased over 2020 to 2021. Distance travelled data corelated with carbon emission data and substantial work was required to achieve net zero, it was hoped that further uptake in EV use will further reduce emissions.

·  EV uptake data outlined in 2022 there were 26,730 zero emission vehicles registered in Leeds, this was only 7% of the approximate 407,000 registered vehicles.

·  Data for active travel and public transport use during peak commuter hours was overall positive with a long term trend for uptake in sustainable travel options and a 10.9% reduction in car use over 2022 to 2023.

·  A notable intervention of the service was the closure of city square for motor vehicle access, which reduced vehicle commutes by approximately 6,000 cars, however, for context there was around 1 million car journeys within the district daily.

·  A travel to work survey had been conducted, with some businesses mandated through the planning authority to engage with the travel plan network and had displayed a decrease in car use and alterative travel methods promoted to commuters. Data outlined a continued decrease in car usage, which corelated with working from home effects. Measures to reduce car use required more stringent policy for example, planning conditions and plans had reduced car parking space provision at new office sites.

·  Training sessions had been conducted by the service in relation to road safety and influencing sustainable travel for road users most at risk of harm, including cycle training in schools.

·  Strategies of the service were required to be conscious of wider Council strategies, such as Health and Wellbeing and Vision Zero to develop all encompassing, safe travel models with delivery aimed at culture and attitude changes and enforcement, as well as physical changes to highways.

·  The strategy was engaged with bus reform, through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) with a consultation conducted to consider options, including franchising. The decreased fare of £2 for a single a £4.50 for a day rider had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

To note the date and time of the next meeting as Monday 19th February 2024 at 2.00 pm



RECCOMDENDED – To note the date and time of the next meeting as Monday the 19th of February at 2:00pm.