Agenda item

To receive petitions and public questions in accordance with Standing Order 9.


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Mr Cliff Goodman


Due to some issues with the sound the meeting was adjourned for 6 minutes to resolve it.


I very much welcome the Council’s Corporate Strategy that included strategy on environment protection, and also the recent announcement that the community in Marshland St James has been selected as the starting point for net zero communities in West Norfolk.

I welcome these initiatives as good starting points and hope that Councillors across this council, relevant businesses and residents will buy into helping towards success. 

Has the council any plans to make a programme of basic insulation to stop huge waste of energy escaping through poorly insulated roofs and walls part of the Corporate Strategy? and also is there a plan to ensure that the Corporate Strategy and Net Zero Communities proceed as live high importance projects with potential for warm homes that don’t cost the earth; delivering on the aims with possible cost benefits to the council?


Councillor Rust responded “that the Corporate strategy says that we’ll work with partners to minimise emissions from new and existing properties, housing and other developments.  We know how much heating homes can cost to our residents at a time when the cost of living is already sky high and not set to fall at any time.  Since February last year we have seen 115 declarations of eligibility for the Eco Flex scheme (Energy Company Obligation) designed to tackle fuel poverty and help reduce carbon emissions.  promote measures that improve the ability of low-income, fuel-poor and vulnerable households to heat their homes. Our energy efficiency officer has worked to ensure as many of our local residents as possible can access this scheme and since he has been in post we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of households submitting a declaration, which, once accepted, means they can access a full house retrofit which includes the installation of greener heating, solar PV, insulation and various other enabling works.  Although our housing standards team involvement technically ends once the declaration has been made, they have been following up the work with the installers and households to check everything has gone as expected.  Once the work has been done we do an energy efficiency rating can see how the property has improved in that respect.  We are now working on a project with the ICB to reach households that would automatically qualify for the scheme so we can reach them more easily.  It’s important that we remember that when we make a home more energy efficient we also reduce our own carbon emissions.  On average a household in the UK will produce 6 tonnes of CO2 a year.  With these energy efficiency measure the CO2 produced has been dramatically reduced.  In several instances the CO2 produced was 0, and the most was 1.6 tonnes.  As a result of the work done by housing standards our borough has saved 254 tonnes of CO2.  I’m always pleased to be able to talk about the amazing work undertaken by this team and I really appreciate being given the opportunity to do so again.” 


By way of supplementary Mr Goodman asked for clarification on the take up of the schemes, to which Councillor Rust stated that in the year since the Borough Council had been promoting the scheme in house the take up had increased and 115 properties had been improved.

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Q 2 - Mr Robert Shippey

A 'climate emergency' was declared in 2021 under the previous Conservative administration, and a target set of 2035 for net-zero corporate emissions and borough-wide by 2050 (in line with UK law). I assume those targets are still in place, even though they were not included in the recent corporate strategy of this administration. The new corporate strategy says you aim to 'Lead by example by reducing our own carbon emissions'. 

To address an emergency you must stop what you're doing, seek expert advice, reprioritise, and divert resources.

Since forming the new administration, has a plan been developed in line with the emergency to reach net zero by the 2035 or the 2050 target with tangible quantifiable steps? What budget has the new administration allocated to such a plan? 


Councillor Parish responded as follows: “The Council agreed its climate change strategy and action plan in September 2021. We also allocated a reserve fund of approximately £1m to support a range of activities such as improvements to our properties, installation of EV charging facilities across the borough and projects to encourage community action on decarbonisation. The Council also seeks to access government grants to support that work. The work of our Housing Standards team is such an example.


The strategy is due to be reviewed this Autumn and in Spring we will be providing an update on the action plan and reserve fund, our latest carbon footprint and begin the process of developing our new climate change strategy and action plan. We will be undertaking consultation on this in due course.”




By way of supplementary Mr Shippey asked what the Climate Change budget was.  Councillor Parish responded that the budget was in the process of being agreed.

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