Agenda and minutes

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee – Consultative Meeting - Monday, 13th September, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: REMOTE

Link: to View Meeting Recording

Items
No. Item

16.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies received.

 

 

17.

Declarations of Interests

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

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

 

 

18.

Notes - 28th July 2021 pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To receive the notes of the consultative meeting held 28th July 2021.

 

Minutes:

RECOMMENDED – That the note of the meeting held 28th July 2021 be

noted.

 

19.

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 climate.emergency@leeds.gov.uk by 4 p.m. on Wednesday 8th September 2021.

Minutes:

No matters were raised on this occasion.

 

 

20.

Working Groups Update

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

Minutes:

The Chief Officer for Sustainable Energy and Air Quality, Polly Cook, provided

an update to Members on the progress of the working groups to the

Committee as follows:

 

·  Behaviour Change and Transport – The group had not met since the last consultative meeting. At the next meeting, the group will focus on making public transport the most attractive mode of transport.

·  Biodiversity and Food – At the most recent meeting, Members focused on the Low Carbon Food event taking place 29th September 2021 at Kirkgate Market, finalising each of the Council’s commitments and action plan, to be presented at the event.

·  Planning, Buildings and Energy – The group had not met since the last consultative meeting. At a future meeting, the group will continue work on the action taken in regard to the PAS 2035.

·  Finance – The first finance working group meeting was held following discussions at the last Committee meeting. The meeting was attended by Bankers Without Boundaries and Abundance, and Members discussed finance options presented previously in more detail. It was agreed that officers from across the Council will meet to identify a potential place-based scheme and look at alternative ways to invest, in preparation for opportunities for pilot projects.

 

21.

Adapting Parks and Green Spaces for Climate Change pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Parks and Countryside) that provides illustrated examples of how parks and green spaces are already helping to address climate change issues and in doing so enhance the experience of people who visit.  In particular, the ambitious plan to create 50 hectares of woodland each year over 25 years to 2045 on council land is highlighted along with the key benefits that this will bring.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Parks and Countryside) submitted a report that provides illustrated examples of how parks and green spaces are already helping to address climate change issues and in doing so enhance the experience of people who visit.  In particular, the ambitious plan to create 50 hectares of woodland each year over 25 years to 2045 on council land is highlighted along with the key benefits that this will bring.

 

The following were in attendance:

 

-  Antony Stringwell, Recreational Development Officer, Parks and Countryside

-  Simon Frosdick, Business Development Manager, Parks and Countryside

-  Mike Kinnaird, Development Manager, Parks and Countryside

 

The Recreational Development Officer introduced the report, the key developments set out, their benefits in the following areas:

 

·  Parks and green space management, including:

o  Relaxed mowing

o  Pollinator friendly habitats

o  Cemetery maintenance

·  Parks and green space developments, including:

o  Investment opportunities

o  Ponds and wetlands

·  Tree and woodland planting

 

Members discussed a number of matters, including:

 

·  Relaxed mowing. Whilst the benefits of relaxed mowing and wild flower meadows were recognised and supported by Members, it was requested that Members be provided with real time updates on relaxed mowing sites in their wards, noting that some sites have been subject to a significant number of complaints. In response, Members were advised that Councillor Carlill is currently working on a comprehensive communications plan for relaxed mowing across Leeds, which will be circulated to all members and published on website for residents and visitors. Members suggested that messaging boards across the city could also be used for communications around relaxed mowing and the environmental benefits.

·  A more sensitive approach to relaxed mowing on cemeteries. Related to the above discussion, Members reported specific complaints in relation to cemeteries. It was noted that a more sensitive approach is necessary for such an emotive topic, with clear communications to families of the Council’s strategy.

·  Quality of trees planted. Members provided examples of tree planting projects within their wards that had not been successful due to the small saplings becoming damaged in busy public areas, and were advised that the upcoming Leeds Local Plan Update will provide an opportunity to revisit policies relating to tree planting and wider climate emergency priorities. Members were also encouraged to contribute to the current Local Plan consultation.

·  Utilising grassland on housing estates across the city. Members commented on the lack of access to green spaces in the most deprived inner-city wards of Leeds. Officers offered to circulate information relating to grassland mapping across the city to Members outside of the meeting. Related to this, Members stated that more investment is needed for developing green areas within Council owned housing estates, which could be utilised for biodiversity projects where appropriate. The Chair requested an update from Housing Leeds at a future meeting on this matter.

·  Use of harmful weed killers. Members reported complaints from local residents around the careless application of harmful weed killers, such as Glyphosate, to grass in parks and roadside verges in Leeds. It was requested  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

COP26 and Climate Action Plan update pdf icon PDF 407 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Sustainable Energy and Air Quality) that introduces a presentation from the Chief Officer (Sustainable Energy and Air Quality) providing an update on what is happening locally in the lead up to COP26, the UN Climate Summit taking place in November 2021, along with an update on the development of the council’s Climate Action Plan.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Sustainable Energy and Air Quality) submitted a report that introduced a presentation from the Chief Officer (Sustainable Energy and Air Quality) providing an update on what is happening locally in the lead up to COP26, the UN Climate Summit taking place in November 2021, along with an update on the development of the council’s Climate Action Plan.

 

The following were in attendance:

 

·  Polly Cook, Chief Officer for Sustainable Energy and Air Quality

·  Paul Foster, Transport Planning Manager, City Development

·  Helen Miller, Principal Planner, City Development

 

The Chief Officer delivered a PowerPoint presentation, highlighting several local events taking place to build momentum in the city and region in the lead up to COP26 in November, as well as examples of action taken as part of the council’s commitment to the four goals of COP26. 

 

The Chief Officer advised Members of the upcoming launch of the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Action Plan in November 2021, and opportunities to contribute to the online public consultation taking place until 24th September 2021. The Chief Officer also outlined the progress to date in reaching the council’s emissions targets and city-wide key aims. The Principle Planner then presented an update of the Leeds Local Plan Update and current scoping consultation focused on sustainability and carbon reduction. Finally, the Transport Planning Manager presented an update on the new transport strategy for Leeds, and the outcomes of the recent city-wide consultation.

 

Members discussed a number of matters, including:

 

·  Circular Economy. It was requested that an item focused on ‘reducing and reusing’ be added to the agenda of a future meeting.

·  Composting food waste. In response to a query, Members were advised that support and guidance for composting can be found on the LeedsByExample website and will be a key focus of the Low Carbon Lunch event hosted in partnership with FoodWise Leeds on 29th September 2021.

·  Freight and waterways. Members noted the opportunities to utilise the canals and rivers in Leeds for freight purposes as opposed to large vehicles on roads and were advised that officers are working at a regional level to identify sustainable freight options, including the use of waterways.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

a)  That the contents of the report, along with Members’ comments, be noted.

b)  That the updates requested be added to the Committee’s work programme.

 

 

23.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Monday 1st November 2021 at 10.00 a.m.

Minutes:

The next meeting will be held on Monday 1st November 2021 at 10.00 a.m.