Agenda item

Climate Emergency Update 2021

To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Sustainable Energy and Air Quality) that introduces a presentation on the council’s updated climate emergency strategy and progress.



The Chief Officer for Sustainable Energy and Air Quality submitted a report to update the Inner North East Community Committee on the Climate Emergency Strategy and progress.


An update was provided to the Inner North East Community Committee on the council’s climate emergency strategy and recent progress to reduce emissions. This included an overview of measures being taken to retrofit homes and buildings, installation of electric vehicle infrastructure and biodiversity measures such as tree planting. A couple of points highlighted were as follows:

·  £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.

·  Information about what measures had taken place locally were also shared. It was noted that Moortown Primary School has been fitted with Air Source Heat Pump, but not Solar Panels – it was confirmed an increase in heating bills would not impact on the school.

·  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.

·  Grant funding is available for homes where owner’s salaries are under £30,000 to be fitted with free solar panels.

·  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.


Members discussed a number of matters including:

·  Whilst it was acknowledged that the Council do not support on street vehicle charging, members raised concerns regarding the measures in place for residents living in back-to-back properties and the implementation of electric charging points. A suggestion was put forward that priority areas for pilots in relation to electric charging points be considered in Saviles & Mexboroughs estates in Chapeltown.

·  The importance of publicising the newsletter and schemes such as the electric vehicle trial scheme. Members requested that information be shared with ward members to ensure the good work of schemes is being shared more widely and reaching local businesses and residents.

·  It was confirmed that Parks and Countryside are on track for reaching their annual target of 250k for tree planting. A local resident in attendance raised concerns regarding the statutory process for registering interest to plant trees on various sites. Members also emphasised the importance of ensuring landowners acknowledge the benefits of biodiversity initiatives, as well as educating young people across schools.

·  In response to a question from a local resident regarding planting wildflowers on grass verges, Cllr Dowson offered to provide the relevant contact details to apply for permission regarding relaxed mowing on verges.

·  Clarity was sought on the availability of advice for homeowners regarding retrofitting and the costs associated / grants available.


The Chief Officer for Sustainable and Air Quality sought members views on whether they would be interested in attending working groups of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee. A number of members requested they be sent an invitation, as well as making all members of Council aware they can attend.


RESOLVED ­– To note the contents of the verbal update and comments raised during discussion of this item.


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