Venue: Virtual Meeting/Remote - Please use links on the Agenda Front Sheet to join the virtual meeting
WELCOME AND APOLOGIES
The Chair, Cllr Yusuf welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Bernie Lappage.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.
Cllr Yusuf declared an interest as an Enfield representative at the North London Waste Authority and a member of the Waste Implementation Board. Following advice from the Monitoring Officer, Cllr Yusuf will not Chair the Scrutiny Panel, if either of these bodies are in attendance.
Cllr Rawlings declared an interest as a member of both Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.
Cllr Lemonides wished it to be noted that as a result of a clash of scrutiny meetings he had to give apologies for the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Panel. Moving forward, he hoped this would not be an issue again.
INTRODUCTIONS - PURPOSE OF MEETING
The Chair to introduce the purpose of the meeting.
The Chair out-lined the purpose of the evening, to facilitate the Environment and Climate Action Scrutiny Panel in devising a work programme for 2020-21.
LOCAL PRIORITIES FOR 2020-21
The Scrutiny Panel will hear from the following, out-lining priorities and areas of challenge.
Cllr Guney Dogan (Cabinet Member for Environment), Cllr Ian Barnes (Deputy Leader and Cabinet Lead on Climate Action), Doug Wilkinson (Director of Environment and Operational Services).
1) Cllr Ian Barnes, Doug Wilkinson and Dominic Millen provided an overview of the priorities within their service.
2) Reference was made to the Corporate Plan and the 3 cross-cutting themes providing a lifetime of opportunities. The Climate Action Plan, which contains over 100 actions, will be officially launched on 10 September 2020. Just some of the many actions relate to walking, cycling, reduced waste, increased re-cycling, energy use in homes, street-lighting and the natural environment. It was noted that the Climate Action Plan should be at the heart of all decision making.
3) The priorities for 2020/21 were summarised as follows;
· Launch and deliver the Climate Action Plan (CAP)
· Imbed the CAP in all policy decisions
· Enfield Chase Woodland, 50,000 -100,000 new trees
· Working with suppliers to reduce their emissions
· New electric charging points
· Engaging with schools, eg, increased re-cycling
· Training module to be developed for staff
· Develop a new Parks and Open Spaces Strategy
· Agree and adopt an environmental strategy for Meridian Water
· Waste service changes
· Electric charging points
· Active travel
4) The Chair thanks the Cabinet Member and Officers for their presentation and then asked if Scrutiny Panel Members had any questions or comments.
5) In response to a question, it was confirmed that the events Strategy will be circulated to stakeholders in September/October.
6) It was noted that the council are considering their position in relation to electric scooters, however, Enfield are not participating in the London trial. Bike hire schemes are being costed out at the moment and the council are currently working with North Middlesex Hospital, installing cycling facilities within the hospital grounds.
7) It was commented that following periods of lockdown, air quality has improved and wildlife is returning. It was agreed that pollution had reduced considerably and to maintain this, Low Traffic Neighbourhood Schemes and School Streets have been implemented. Although videos have been produced to promote both schemes, face to face consultation would be preferred, however this is constrained by Covid-19 restrictions.
8) It was suggested that Councillors and Officers should set an example by reducing use of cars in favour of walking or public transport.
9) It was noted that the Council is responsible for 10% of all emissions in the borough and will target areas we can control or influence. For example, the council owns 8% of all housing in the borough and housing is one of the major contributors to emission levels, along with schools.
10)In response to a question relating to the demand for electric charging points, it was confirmed that in the next 5 years, 250 additional charging points would be installed. The engineering infrastructure on Enfield streets would need to be considered so that the most appropriate solution is identified to deliver the commitment.
MERIDIAN WATER ENVIRONMENT STRATEGY
To receive a presentation on the Meridian Water Environment Strategy.
Cabinet Members and Officers will be asked to leave the meeting at this point.
1) Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Peter George and Rafe Bertram provided an overview of the presentation which identified that environmental sustainability is the over-arching theme of the Meridian Water scheme and is integral to the project. It was noted that Meridian Water is an exemplar for sustainability.
2) Meridian Water will contain 10,000 new homes and create 6,000 quality jobs and will have the highest environmental sustainability standards. These standards align with international and national policies, in addition to the Enfield Climate Action Plan.
3) There will be a number of initiatives used to implement and support the strategy, over 3 distinct time periods; Carbon positive economics, inclusive digital strategy, sustainable transport, biodiversity and landscape, social sustainability co-benefits. The Heat Network will provide de-carbonised heat, generating low carbon levels.
4) It is planned for the strategy to go to Cabinet in October, following scrutiny consultation. Consultation has also taken place with the GLA, Cabinet Office, other quangos and organisations, contractors and developers.
Following the presentation, The Chair asked members of the scrutiny panel for any questions or comments.
5) There was a debate on the exact number of homes to be realised as part of the development. It was confirmed that as part of the 25 year plan for the project, the numbers of new houses will be 10,000, as endorsed by the GLA and the Mayor of London and reflective of funding received. It was noted that additional clarification on this point was required during further scrutiny.
6) A comment was received that although the presentation looked detailed, there was a need to ensure that the future development and implementation of the strategy is held to account.
7) It was agreed that to allow effective scrutiny, reports or presentations should be received well in advance of the meeting.
8) It was agreed that scrutiny comments relating to the range of ‘green’ jobs would be included in the final submission. As part of the skills academy on site, training for appropriate ‘green’ occupations would be included.
The Chair thanked the Leader and Officers and asked them to leave the meeting to allow the Panel to discuss their work programme.
To agree and prioritise items for the new work programme.
8) The panel had a discussion on how they would like to approach scrutiny this year. It was suggested that getting the public involved would be useful. It was noted that scrutiny needs to be a critical friend on all subjects, including the Meridian Water Environmental Strategy. A comment was received encouraging members of the panel to contact officers in advance of scrutiny meetings to clarify areas in advance. It was reiterated that all scrutiny panels should receive timely reports, allowing considered questions to be asked.
9) The initial items agreed to form the work programme for 2020/21 were:
· Parks and Green Infrastructure Strategy
· Waste Service Changes and Fly-tipping
· Climate Action plan Implementation
· Meridian Water Environmental Strategy
10) In addition to the items above, Members would like to consider School Streets and the Home Insulation Policy. The date for an additional meeting in January or March 2021 will be confirmed with the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
For information, the Terms of Reference of the Environment and Climate Action Scrutiny Panel are as follows:
1. To examine and report on the strategies, policies and services of the Council and matters of importance to Enfield as they relate to the Environment
2. To consider environmental matters on request from another standing committee and report its opinion to that standing committee.
3. To take into account in its deliberations the cross-cutting themes of the achievement of sustainable development, climate change, and the impact on health of Enfield residents
The Terms of Reference for the Environment and Climate Action Scrutiny Panel were noted.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
To note the date of future meetings as follows:
Thursday 16 December 2020
Tuesday 9 February 2021
Thursday 29 April 2021
The dates of future meeting were noted as follows:
Wednesday 16 December 2020
Tuesday 9 February 2021
Thursday 29 April 2021