Agenda item

The Environment and Community Panel will be invited to attend for this item.



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Members of the Environment and Community Panel were present for this item.


The Climate Change Manager presented the report which provided an update on activities over the last 12 months and explained that following the May 2023 elections the Portfolio Holders group had been reformed and had an updated terms of reference.


The Panel was advised that the partnership continued to be co-chaired by the Borough Council’s Chief Executive and the Chief Executive of North Norfolk.  It was explained that the co-chairs championed the establishment of the partnership manager role and its resourcing, for an initial 12 months, from the Business Rates Pool and contributions from local authorities.


The Climate Change Manager advised that a full time partnership manager commenced in July 2023 and was hosted by North Norfolk District Council.  The purpose of the role was to develop and maintain a comprehensive climate change policy programme which delivered the three strategic outcomes of the partnership set out at section 2.5 of the report.


It was noted that Greg Pearson, Norfolk Climate Change Partnership Manager was in attendance via Zoom to answer any questions from the Panel.

The Panel was informed that the partnership was successful in a bid for UK Innovate funding for the Norfolk Net Zero Communities project.


Section 2.9 of the report set out the topics covered in partnership meetings over the last 12 months.


Appendix A of the report set out the Revised Norfolk Climate Change Partnership structure.


The Climate Change Manager explained that the partnership website was hosted by the Borough Council and updated by the Norfolk Climate Change Partnership Manager.


In conclusion, the Climate Change Manager explained that Councillor de Whalley, Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Biodiversity received regular updates and highlighted that there were clear signs that the partnership had developed over the last 12 months.


The Chair thanked the Climate Change Manager for the update report and invited Councillors attending under Standing Order 34 and the Portfolio Holder to address the Panel.


There were no questions from Councillors attending under Standing Order 34.

Councillor Mrs Spikings commented on the impact of flooding in Welney on residents and added that appropriate infrastructure was required.


In response to a question from Councillor Osborne on the announcement of  Norfolk Net Zero Communities project, the Climate Change Manager explained that the selection process had taken place and a parish had been identified and that a meeting would be scheduled in the future to talk about the project and obtain the support from the full Parish Council.


Following questions from Councillor Ryves on the measuring of carbon in different areas, the Climate Change Manager explained that the data was published by the Government Department for carbon net zero and was common data for local authorities in England.  It was explained that behind the data there was a complicated calculation for different data sets to obtain the end result on a common current level of carbon.  The data was used by the Borough Council to benchmark against other comparable organisations.


In response to questions from Councillor Long on the financial implications, the Chief Executive explained that the initial funding tor the Norfolk Climate Change Partnership Manager was from the District/borough level authority members of the partnership and each contributed towards the initial cost of the post together with funding from the Business Rates Pool agreed at the Norfolk Leader’s meeting.  The Council’s contribution was funded via the corporate climate change reserve.  It was highlighted that the post was fixed term and that further funding would be required.


The Climate Change Manager responded to questions from Councillor Nash on districts and communities assessing zero carbon emissions. 


The Climate Change Manager responded to questions and comments from Councillor Heneghan on the Norfolk Action Plan/tree planting schemes.


Councillor Long sought reassurance that the work of the partnership over the past year would not have any detrimental impact on the residents of West Norfolk.  In response, the Chief Executive outlined the aim of the partnership and that the Norfolk Climate Change Partnership Manager was actively looking for funding opportunities.


The Chair provided background to the agreement two years ago from all Councillors to declare a climate change emergency and to allocate a budget of £1m over 4 years.  The Chair commented that the Chief Executive had explained that there was co-ordination from Norfolk County Council and district councils.  The Chair explained that the Council had allocated £250,000 to green initiatives and asked how this could be brought forward outside the partnership and questioned which panel would be best place to explore this, Corporate Performance or Environment and Community Panel.  The Chair added that this could be looked at outside of the meeting to determine which policy and development panel should have the item on its work programme going forward.


RESOLVED:  The Panel noted the annual update.


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