Venue: Folkestone Room - Civic Centre Folkestone. View directions
Contact: Kate Clark
Chair's Welcome (including purpose of group and Terms of Reference)
The Leader (Councillor Monk) welcomed attendees to the inaugural meeting and advised that subsequent meetings will be chaired by Councillor Stuart Peall, Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Regulatory Services, Waste and Building Control.
The Leader drew members attention to the Terms of Reference.
Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Introduction of Low Carbon & Sustainability Specialist
Hazel Sargent introduced herself as the District Council’s Low Carbon and Sustainability Specialist and was looking forward to this challenging role.
National and Kent scene setting (Carolyn McKenzie, KCC)
Carolyn McKenzie, Head of Sustainable Business and Communities at Kent County Council introduced herself.
All present also introduced themselves.
A presentation was given to members, comments as follows:
· KCC is preparing an Energy and Low Emissions Strategy. The strategic framework is evidenced based with the action plan being updated annually.
· Air quality – the Government has produced various strategic papers, however net zero emissions target for the area is potentially 2030, evidence shows this is more likely to be the Government’s target of 2050. There are a number of hotspots in Kent and Medway areas where vulnerable residents reside.
· Solar/Wind energy – more infrastructure needed, notwithstanding nuclear energy. A move to reduce fossil fuels, further suggestions were wave energy and SSSR.
· EV infrastructure – looking at solar hubs/charging clusters in car parks.
· Aims to ensure construction, operation and material supply of buildings to produce net zero emissions by 2025.
· Consideration for mobility, connectivity, travel and offsetting. Encourage homeworking, superior broadband, alternative ways of travelling.
· LED lighting and heat generation. Very reliant on fossil fuels and important to look at alternative heat sources such as water or sewerage.
· Flood risks – the county council have reviewed flooding areas and the demographics, looking at who can and can’t help themselves. Planning at district level looks forward 100 years as part of applications received.
· Building regulations – consultation by central Government, looking at more stringent and less variable regulations to be proposed by 2025.
Members thanked Carolyn for her attendance and informative presentation.
Discussion on priority areas to explore
Adrian Tofts, Strategy. Policy and Performance Manager, gave a presentation to members, the following comments were made:
· Promote the purchase/lease of electrical vehicles.
· Encourage more cycling and walking, the charity Sustrans is a major force in this respect.
· Grants available for charging points and pool EVs
· Lorry Parks – encourage cleaner production of energy within parks.
· Kent and Medway Warm Homes initiative.
· Housing stock – a potential to move away from gas boilers to electric heating
· Recycling excess heat from crematorium sites along with mercury abatement.
· SALIX loans are available which provides interest free, Government backed finance to the public sector.
· Tree planting forward plan. A green infrastructure plan has been prepared that will identify projects that may include tree planting.
Agreed actions and next steps
1. Costings and/or action plans on items discussed today.
2. Ask Cllr Tony Hills and Max Tant (Flood and Water Manager, KCC) to attend the next working group with a view to addressing flooding risks in the district.
3. Recommend to Council that electric vehicles, charging points, costs and location are considered when replacing fleet vehicles.
4. Recommend to Council that the Civic Centre building energy impact on climate change is explored and costed
5. Promote reduction of food waste, packaging and healthy diets to all residents using a communication channel plan, such as ‘Your District Today’.