Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote meeting

Contact: Kate Clark 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

Supporting documents:


There were no declarations of interest. 



To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2020. 

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2020 were agreed.  The Chairman’s signature will be added showing approval. 


Update from LASER Energy

A presentation to be provided to Working Group members. 


A presentation and net zero update were given to members by Steve Marks from LASER Energy.


Members noted:


·         Gas use is particularly high, this is in part due to the number of sheltered/semi-sheltered establishments in the district.  A suggestion was to use a greener supplier which would be a challenge. 

·         Grey fleet emissions seems high and Mr Marks explained this is probably due to the use of large diesel/petrol vehicles by staff.

·         Electric vehicles – there are hidden costs in the manufacturing process of batteries.

·         It is worth noting that mileage covered would be less since lockdown and beyond through home-working. 

·         Community wind farm projects could be a consideration. 


Mr Marks explained the next steps are to schedule a project workshop for working group members, with a view to generating a first draft on carbon reduction, including high level scenarios to be shaped. 


Draft Carbon Action Plan


A draft Carbon Action Plan for the Council was presented to members.  This highlighted some key questions that the Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group were asked to consider.  Comments would then be used to shape the next version of the plan.  Potential actions will need to be first costed as well as assessed in terms of carbon emissions reduction and impact on working practices 


Overall members were happy with the plan, finding it clear and concise.  They made the following comments:


·         Recycling hardware technology – the understanding is that this is carried out by the Council, however this will be checked. 

·         Technology decisions – software/hardware choices to reduce energy consumption. 

·         As part of the key area ‘Energy’ insulation to be added. 

·         Transport – encourage walking, cycling, use of public transport.  Also, thinking of staff who are less mobile, the use of mobility scooters for shorter journeys. 

·         Homeworking is an important ongoing part of changing behaviours. 

·         A suggestion to add in a section showing what the Council has achieved so far. 

·         A subsequent Plan document could be produced which looks at the whole district. 

·         Timeline and priorities for action plans. 


It was agreed the Carbon Action Plan needs to be a living document with  regular reviews. 


Various word additions and changes to be added at the Chairman’s suggestion.  These will be amended in the document. 


SCATTER data on Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Folkestone & Hythe District

Supporting documents:


Members received a presentation on the SCATTER tool for greenhouse gas emissions and were given information describing the findings for Folkestone and Hythe district. 


The presentation is attached to these minutes. 


Air transport was mentioned and the effect this has on our district, page 5 of the presentation refers to this.    


Road transport and traffic surveys are carried out using cameras, ordnance survey maps and the DVLA, which identifies vehicle types. 


It was noted that all figures could change in the future and some aspects of the data is outside of the Council’s control. 


England Tree Strategy consultation

Supporting documents:


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is currently consulting on an ‘England Tree Strategy’.  Members received a summary of the contents of the strategy.  While some of the consultation is focused on the forestry industry, members of this working group were asked whether there are general comments that the council should make in response to the consultation. 


Mr Tofts gave a short presentation which is attached to these minutes.  He advised that the consultation closes on 11 September 2020 and relates to England only. 


Points mentioned by members included; 


·         The importance of coppicing.

·         Tree preservation orders – a suggestion to review rules locally and nationally. 

·         Tree planting and the importance of aftercare.

·         Training internally and externally around tree preservation within the district.


It was agreed that a response is needed from the Council to the consultation.  A draft response will be produced for sign off and submission.