Agenda and draft minutes

Environment & Climate Action Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday, 12th October, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Email: Democracy@enfield.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME AND APOLOGIES

The chair will welcome members.

Minutes:

The Chair, Cllr Mahmut Aksanoglu, sent his apologies for lateness and Cllr Susan Erbil chaired the meeting until he arrived at Agenda Item 4.

 

Cllr Has Yusuf attended on behalf of Cllr Ayten Guzel and Cllr Chinelo Anyanwu attended on behalf of Cllr Ahmet Hassan.

2.

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.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest registered in relation to any items on the agenda.

3.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To agree minutes of previous meeting

Minutes:

The minutes of the Environment & Climate Action Scrutiny Panel held on the 13th July 2021 were agreed.

4.

MERIDIAN WATER ENVIRONMENT STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 111 KB

 

 

Officers to report on progress made in the last 12 months delivering the Meridian Water Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a report on the Meridian Water Environment Strategy progress update, outlining the last 12 months of delivery.

 

In response the following comments were received:

 

1. In respect of the introduction in Appendix B of the report, where navigation was given to explore answers to questions previously posed.  It was felt that these questions should have been shared to provide more context to the report.

 

2.  In response, the Leader of the Council, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, advised that the questions gathered through the Members Enquiries system were collated and under her instruction, Officers put together the report based on the answers.  She invited any further outstanding questions to be put to the Officers verbally at the meeting. The Chair also asked if supplementary questions need responding to, if they could be sent to him, he will ensure they are answered. ACTION

 

3.  Clarity was sought regarding the Public Open Space of 30%.  How was this calculated, per head or land space and how is this done elsewhere?

 

4.  In response, at the 30% metric, much benchmarking was done with major developments in and around London to ascertain best practice.   It was therefore important that Meridian Water was seen to have a relationship with nature, this being a common metric within the industry.  The amount of open space per 1000 people within a development was researched and the calculations were therefore based on 24.5K people living in Meridian Water, and 6K working there; the metric is 1 hectare of open space per 1K people, again deemed good practice as much of the area will comprise of low rise, low density accommodation, a higher metric would not be viewed as suitable.

 

Providing enough open space per head is not a suitable calculation as account needs to be taken that residents in a block will have less space that those in a bungalow for example. Not everyone uses green space at the same time. Meridian Water residents will have access to many other comparable urban spaces, built with good, creative designs for many to enjoy.

 

5.  The amount of green space in Edmonton as a whole was questioned.

 

6.  The figures quoted represent a borough wide average taking into account other parts of the borough, as Enfield has huge green spaces overall.   The targets set for Meridian Water in terms of green space are set by the Government and London Mayor in context with the Local Plan.   London is still in the midst of a housing crisis and a balance has to be reached. It is deemed that 30% green open space is best practice and still allows the development of affordable homes.

 

Meridian Water is able to deliver parks and open spaces whilst connecting with the neighbouring Lea Valley.

 

7.  Point 8 of report on page 5 of the pack should read 2020 not 2021 and will be updated.

 

8.  With regard the recycling of household rubbish, how can residents living in high rise blocks carry out heavy refuse easily.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

REVIEW OF THE WETLANDS AND PROPOSED ACTIONS pdf icon PDF 7 MB

To note the review of the wetland and tree planting work

Minutes:

The Panel received an update on the Wetlands and Woodlands in the Borough.

 

The following points were highlighted by Ian Russell, Principal Engineer.

 

1. The Borough of Enfield has three main rivers which are natural assets, their downside is flood risk.

 

2.  Pipe drainage was explained in detail and the multiple benefits of wetlands includes flood storage, water quality, biodiversity and amenity.

 

3.  Constructed wetlands slow the flow and funding for wetland projects has been provided by a variety of external organisations.

4.  Over 150 Rain Gardens have been created Enfield in recent years, known as mini-wetlands, providing similar benefits to wetlands but in an urban environment. Although smaller, if abundant in numbers, have the potential to address flood risk and other urban issues.

 

5. National flood management measures include ponds and wetlands, river restoration, re-connecting floodplains and woodland creation.

 

In response the following comments were received:

 

1.  Residents need to be educated on the reasonings behind rewilding and wetlands. Complaints are received from residents that the type of trees being planted in their streets are more suited to parks and open spaces and not for street planting.

 

In response, over the last few years much work and research has been done to ascertain the right species of trees most suited to streets.  30 years ago this work was not being carried out.  Older trees are now beginning to be replaced with more suitable trees that grow upright, spread out less and consider root growth (thus avoiding subsidence issues).  With this in mind, many larger trees reduce a lot of carbon and pollution and a balance is needed, as well as careful consideration.

 

2.  The work of the tree department was commended, and the work valued over the years.

 

3.  It was confirmed that 2 beavers will be introduced.  It is hoped that they will then go on to have children and increase in number (they breed annually).  They need to be kept in an enclosure but may need to be moved if the family gets too big.

 

4.  With regard to the Rain Gardens, how is the accumulation of litter being addressed?

 

In response, litter gets trapped easily in Rain Gardens and this is addressed every two months.  If vegetation is dense and established, litter is more hidden, and this has been recognised as an issue.  The team are looking at a new project of moving this responsibility to the grounds maintenance and waste team and the handover period is currently being refined.

 

5.  With regard to the proposed tree planting in Enfield, it is understood that the trees will not flourish for many years thus the solution is not immediate. Perhaps other areas need to be considered?

 

In response, there is a pruning plan for every tree in the Borough.  There is a record of every tree and where trees are removed, a new tree is planted, which is more specific and suited to the environment.

 

6.  Maintenance is a big issue, what is the plan for this?  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next Environment & Climate Action Scrutiny Panel meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday 9th December

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as Thursday 9th December 2021.