The report of the Chief Officer for Sustainable Energy and Air Quality provides the Outer North West Community Committee with a presentation on the council’s updated climate emergency strategy and progress.
The report of the Chief Officer for Sustainable Energy and Air Quality provided an update for the Outer North West on the climate emergency strategy and progress, with a focus on the local Outer North West area.
Members were provided with the following information:
· £25m has been secured for de-carbonisation of the corporate estate and schools and included solar panels and LED lighting. It was noted that this had to be taken without any consultation due to limited timescales for the bidding process.
· Aireborough Leisure Centre has been fitted with Solar Panels and an Air Source Heat Pump. It was noted that this would assist in reducing carbonisation. There would be no increase in heating bills these would remain the same.
· Many sites across Leeds need heating upgrades and the Council were looking to use solar panels and air source heat pumps. Members were advised that savings would be made by not using Capital Money and the team were looking to secure funding from Government through a bidding process.
· It was noted that using air source heat pumps provided comfortable heat conditions. Members were informed that many other countries have been using this type of heating for 25 years and air source heat pumps are now much cheaper to produce and supply. Grant funding for fitting air source heat pumps is available from Government. It was also noted that work was on going for re-skilling heating engineers.
· The team would be happy to take Members to a local site to look at the technology and give a briefing of how the system works. Training and briefing sessions were available. It is important to inform residents what the Council is doing in relation to air source heat pumps and solar panels across the city. It was noted that upgrades were not being paid for from Council Tax.
· Members had sympathy with officers trying to secure bids and understood that there was sometimes no consultation due to short timescales. Members were advised of the processes that officers deal with including criteria for the bidding process. However, it was not possible to foresee if the criteria would change and officers need to be prepared for short bidding timescales.
· In relation to upgrades of community facilities such as community halls and theatres, Members were advised that they would receive match funding. It was noted that upgrades had been possible for such as Aireborough Leisure Centre, Spring Gardens and Suffolk Court as the heating had required replacing.
· Members were advised that air source heat pumps required cheap electricity which could be supplied by solar panels or similar.
· Planning officers are looking to address issues of energy efficient systems when developers submit plans for new developments.
· Air source heat pumps can work to -11degress Celsius and constantly renews itself.
· Grant funding is available for homes where owner’s salaries are under £30,000 to be fitted with free solar panels. It was noted that the team would do the assessments.
· It was noted that 8 electric vehicle points had been installed in the local Outer North West area. It was noted that the Council does not support on street vehicle charging and that most of the new charging points are available in district centres. The Council is wanting to promote cycling and walking as an alternative to using cars.
· An electric bike trial scheme was available until March so that cyclists could try electric bikes before making a decision to buy. The team have around 22 electric bikes which can be loaned out from the city centre for use across Leeds. The loan period is one month. It was noted that people who borrow the bikes are asked to get their own insurance whilst loaning the bikes.
· The team produce a city newsletter and an invite was given to Members to request a copy.
· Leeds DEC are providing free educational material to raise awareness of climate change to be used in schools which link into the school curriculum.
· A climate action training pilot was currently being undertaken in Seacroft. This links schools, third sector organisations to see what can be done in local areas to address climate change.
· The White Rose Strategy is looking to double the tree count across Leeds. This is a national scheme looking to link up with private landowners who might be able to provide land on which trees can be planted. The Council is looking to plant more trees on land it owns such as parks.
Cllr Latty requested that the team provide a briefing session to the Local Forum.
The Chair suggested that the team develop a workshop for the Members of Outer North West Community Committee and local groups.
The officer was thanked for attending the meeting and the update.
RESOLVED – To note the content of the report.