To consider a report by the Chief Officer Sustainable Energy & Air Quality which provides an update on the council’s climateemergency strategy andprogress.
The Chief Officer Sustainable Energy & Air Quality submitted a report which provided an update on the Council’s climate emergency strategy and progress.
Addressing the report together with an on-screen presentation, Mr C Newton, Policy Officer, Sustainable Energy & Air Quality Team spoke about the introduction of climate change measures across the city but, in particular in the Outer North East Area, which included;
· Air source heat pumps, solar panel and LED lighting at Bardsey Primary School, Wetherby St James Primary School and at Wetherby Leisure Centre
· Improving the Energy Efficiency of Housing – Eligible homeowners to receive free solar panels/ insulation if they live in an inefficient home
· Electric Vehicle Trials – Multiple businesses/ charities having trialled an electric van, two rapid charging points to be installed in Wetherby and Boston Spa car parks and a residential charging site to be installed at Crosslet Street car park (6 bays)
The presentation included a map of the city “Carbon Emissions for your Area”, the map was colour coded to show low emission areas (Blue) to high emission areas (Red) based on the estimated average annual carbon footprint per person for each Lower Layer Super Output area (LSOA)
The presentation also included further details about air quality in the Outer North East area and how Members could assist in promoting the various schemes.
Commenting on the carbon emissions map, Members were concerned that the Wetherby area was not included on the map, suggesting that adequate preparation had not been carried out in preparing for this meeting.
Members were also concerned about the data provided in the map which appeared to demonstrate that the outer rural areas were identified as high emissions areas while the inner-city areas had the lowest emission areas. Members questioned the accuracy of information provided and asked how it was calculated.
Members were informed that the carbon emissions figure for the city was divided by the population of a particular LSOA to provide a figure/ grading for that area. However, this was only one source for gathering such data.
Members made reference to public transport, suggesting, if it was to be assumed the information was accurate, it was a significant argument for seeking better public transport in the outer areas.
Members sought further details about the scheme for free solar panels/ insulation and requested to know how many applications had been received and were there any from the Outer North East area.
Members were informed that the LAD scheme was based on energy efficiency of the home and the income of the resident. Funding was available for 150 homes, to date 500 applications had been received. In terms of the number of applications for the ONE area, that was currently not known but would be provided to Members once it became available.
The Chair referred to the 2 questions which had been raised as part of the Open Forum
The first question had been submitted by Mr Graham Slater from Barwick in Elmete & Scholes Parish Council who asks:
What are the City Council’s views on the placing of recycled plastic benches instead of hardwood public benches, this was the subject of much discussion within our Parish Council, because the parish Council are seeking to get 5 or 7 memorial benches sponsored and located at new sites within the village.
In responding the project Officer said a key consideration was the whole life cost of the bench (the energy generated in making it). It was suggested recycled plastic was a sustainable option with near zero carbon emissions. It was also suggested that wooden benches would be good in the long term, wood was durable and again was a sustainable option.
The second question had been submitted by Penny Staples, Founder and Chair of Boston Spa, Wetherby & Villages Community Green Group who asks:
How are the City Council planning to assist those living in houses with no off-street parking to charge their electric vehicles.
The Project Officer said the City Council were investigating options for on-street charging. New technologies such as wireless charging were currently been tested. A review of policy was required given the rapid growth in electric vehicle usage.
Members expressed disappointment with the overall presentation, the omission of Wetherby of the map demonstrated a lack of preparation, a more detailed explanation of the carbon footprint methodology map was required and further details about the LAD applications, in particular applications from the ONE area
(i) To agree the report/ presentation was not acceptable
(ii) That the Chief Officer for Sustainable Energy and Air Quality be requested to attend the next meeting with an updated report/ presentation, including a more detailed explanation of the carbon footprint methodology map, further details about the LAD applications, in particular applications from the ONE area and to address the issues raised around public transport (Transport strategy) in the outer areas.