Agenda item


To consider a report by the Chief Officer Sustainable Energy & Air

Quality which provides an update on the council’s climate emergency

strategy and progress.




(Report attached)


With reference to the previous meeting when Members requested further information to be brought back to Committee, 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.


The Chief Officer Sustainable Energy & Air Quality submitted a further report which provided an update on the Council’s climate emergency strategy including:


·  Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme

·  Accelerating the electric vehicle transmission

·  Funded solar and insulation for homeowners

·  Establishment of the White Rose Forest

·  Air Quality update for the Outer North East Area


Referring to Council run schemes which promoted the transition to electric vehicles, Members requested if details could be provided in terms of; numbers of participants, what other Core Cities are doing, the types of scheme, participating organisations, details around take up and any feedback.


The Chief Officer Sustainable Energy & Air Quality said the requested information was not readily available and would be circulated to Members at the earliest opportunity.


Seeking further details about funded schemes for solar and insulation for homeowners, Members asked how the scheme was promoted.


Members were informed that a targeted mail out was circulated to all eligible houses in a particular area, social media and press releases were also used. In terms of response, it was reported that in excess of 1000 applications had been received, but the eligibility criteria would whittle this down to smaller numbers. Responding to a question as to “were there any targets set”. Officers confirmed that such data was available, there were 3-4 grants schemes available, all with different targets.


Commenting on the issue of tree planting/ clean air, Members asked if Officers were aware of a national scheme by the Water Authority to sell off woodland in their ownership, Ward Members were aware of two applications to sell off land in the Alwoodley area. 


In responding the Chief Planning Officer said he was unaware of any such scheme for land disposal. He suggested woodland had a high level of protection, usually identified as Greenbelt and any proposed development of the land would be contrary to National Greenbelt Policy.


Members made reference to the removal of street trees, suggesting that landowners/ developers were often reluctant to replace them, and asked if any action could be taken.


In responding the Chief Planning Officer said if the removal of street trees could be link to a planning application, it may be possible include a condition within the application to secure replacement planting or alternatively to instigate enforcement proceedings to seek the replacement of the removed tree(s).


Referring to the East Leeds Orbital Road (ELOR) and the creation of a number of areas of greenspace together with pocket parks. Members questioned what work was been undertaken in terms of tree planting.


In responding the LCC Highways Officer said there was a good deal of community engagement taking place to understand the level of tree planting required.


Referring to the design of electric vehicle charging points, Members asked if there were all a standard design or were they different types.


Members were informed that the design of electric vehicle charging points were not the same, there was a variety of types, which was done deliberately to attract healthy competition.


Members queried why the EV charging point in Boston Spa car park was for taxi use only.


Officers clarified that there were two EV charging points bays in Boston Spa car park, one for use by taxis and the other for general public use. Officers also confirmed that a “taxi only bay” was required as a condition of funding


Referring to air quality, Members suggested that improvements in air quality was a consequence of “lockdown” – Would that also be the assessment of officers.


The Chief Officer Sustainable Energy & Air Quality said air quality data was linked to commuter patterns which did show an improvement in air quality, but many organisations had made improvements to their transport fleet, introducing more electric/ hybrid vehicles which also contributed to improved air quality.


Reference was made to “Blue Infrastructure” (Water elements, rivers, canals, ponds, wetland, floodplains and water treatment facilities) suggesting Central Government needed to show more leadership on such issues. Could Blue Infrastructure be considered within the Climate Emergency Plan.


In offering comment the Chief Planning Officer said the issue of Blue Infrastructure had been raised at the City Council’s Development Plan Panel, he said it was generally accepted that policies required strengthening and LCC would be looking to review policies with a view to seeking greater strength and protection.


Members suggested Climate and Transport were very important to the Outer North East Community. The ONE area was very car dependent, but the Committee welcomed the opportunity to do much more, but it appeared that focus was elsewhere.


The Chief Planning Officer assured Members that the ONE area was not an afterthought and the re-shaping of Planning Policies was required. He said climate change had no boundaries and affected all parts of the city.


The Chair thanks officers for attendance and contributions.




(i)  That the contents of the report/ presentation be noted


(ii)  That the Chief Officer for Sustainable Energy and Air Quality be requested to provide further of LCC run schemes which promote the transition to electric vehicles, including; the number of participants, what other Core Cities are doing; the types of scheme, participating organisations and details around take up and any feedback.


Supporting documents: