Agenda item

Progress Update for the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Action Plan

That the Committee notes the content of the report. 


The Committee received an update report on the Environmental Sustainability Action Plan.  The action plan overview was attached as appendix 1 to the report, which provided further details.


The Environmental Sustainability Strategy for the City of Worcester was approved by the Committee in October 2020.  The Committee then approved the Action Plan for the first phase of delivery of the strategy in March 2021.  It was agreed that the Committee would receive progress reports on the delivery of the action plan twice yearly.  This is the second of these reports.


The Deputy Director – Corporate Policy and Strategy, in presenting the report, informed Committee Members that this was an ambitious strategy and there was a lot to do over the longer term.  He highlighted the progress made so far.


The Committee’s attention was drawn to paragraph 9.1 of report for clarification stating that 2,573 is a percentage figure and not the number of vehicles.


Following a motion to Council on 30th November 2021 the Action Plan was to now include an objective to encourage and support the introduction of car clubs in Worcester.  This will be incorporated into the action plan update due to be considered by the Committee in the Autumn.  Meetings have taken place with Enterprise Cars who are keen to set up a car club in the Arboretum.  Once established officers will work with Enterprise Cars to identify other locations in the City.


A joint publicity campaign was developed to highlight Government proposals and to encourage more Worcester businesses to become Plastic Free Champions.  Committee Members were informed that to date 39 businesses have signed up.


Committee Members were also informed that the Council plan to host an Environment Summit at the Guildhall on Friday 30th September.  Representatives from local businesses, community groups, organisations and educational setting will be invited.  The event will focus on the five priorities in the Environmental Sustainability Action Plan.


The Corporate Director – Operations, Homes and Communities, the Deputy Director – Corporate Policy and Strategy and the Environmental Sustainability Officer responded to questions and comments from Committee Members, in particular the following:


·         The plan to roll out EVCP’s across the city, not just the Council but other stakeholders/partners/businesses need to be involved – this needs to be built into the strategy;

·         Carbon emissions savings as a percentage – a more statistical report to a future Committee;

·         Numbers of staff who have taken up the cycle to work scheme – written answer to be circulated;

·         Installation of gable gullies to enable vehicle charging at home – awaiting street charging information from the County Council;

·         Success of the ebike trial scheme for businesses data of usage and take up – a response was provided;

·         Any data on the potential to have electric turbines at Diglis Weir, which had been muted some while ago – nothing in the pipeline at the moment

·         Paragraph 16.6 of report - Plastic Free Champions how many businesses have signed up for this – agreed that the list of 39 who have signed up will be circulated;

·         Paragraph 7.5 Act on Energy scheme 200 expressions of interest but only 28 applications successful, why was this? – agreed a definitive answer to be circulated;

·         No reference to measuring of particulates in the report, monitors at the moment do not measure particulates– a report to Licensing and Environmental Health Committee on Air Quality will cover this;

·         Investment of £200k on EV charge points what impact does that have on the total number to be provided – technology changes rapidly, cost per charger can vary by a factor of 10 depending on the rate of charge, analysis needs to be carried out;

·         Type of chargers for EV’s at different locations;

·         Influencing developers/builders in the city to encourage the installation of bird/bat nesting boxes – information and guidance has been provided, can look at more biodiverse measures.  Officers to follow up;

·         Water quality testing and equipment – the Environment Agency are the lead authority on this, officers have not looked into investing time and money on this but can raise with the Environment Agency.

·         The Chair stated that this subject matter links up to other services /committees of the Council and it would be useful to have any links highlighted in future update reports to this Committee.


RESOLVED: That the Committee notes the content of the report.

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