Agenda item - Chairs Communications

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Agenda item

Chairs Communications

Minutes:

55.1      The Chair provided the following communications:

 

“The city council declared a climate emergency in December 2018, and we have committed to becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030. We have to address the climate crisis urgently and our local actions in and around the city will make an important contribution to addressing this challenge. I am pleased to feedback following approval of a report at P&R Committee on 5 December, the Carbon Neutral programme has now been established and the committee also formally agreed the establishment of a cross-party member group to oversee this programme.

There are steps that the council, public sector partners and local businesses can take to reduce their carbon emissions. We also want to involve our residents and we will develop an engagement programme to inform and support the carbon reduction work. As part of this, I am pleased to report we are organising a climate assembly, to bring together a randomly selected but representative group of around 50 residents to shape how we combat climate change over the next decade. The assembly will have good geographical coverage, involving residents from across our city.  It will be designed and facilitated by an independent organisation, which is experienced in delivering deliberative engagement processes, and a procurement process is underway. We are planning that this first climate assembly will focus on transport which, along with energy, causes around 95% of carbon emissions in Brighton & Hove.  We anticipate that the climate assembly will meet in March and April to help shape a programme of action for delivery from summer 2020. The assembly recommendations would help shape the consultation for the next local transport plan for the city.

On the 7th January I was delighted to host a visit from the Transport Minister, George Freeman MP accompanied by the Director of OLEV (the Office for Low Emission Vehicles) to congratulate us on the initial rollout of our 200 on street Electric Vehicle Charging Points funded by OLEV following our successful bid. As well as demonstrating to the Minister that Brighton & Hove is a forward thinking city in our planning and thinking, it shows we can deliver innovative transport projects quickly and with great skill. I discussed with the Minister our ambition to be a Carbon Neutral City by 2030 as well as our emerging Transport Infrastructure that is embracing technological innovation, including the transition to EV’s, on-line and virtual Parking Payment Systems as well as support to public transport from multi-operator ticketing. I also shared our further thoughts on how we were open to the City being a future test bed for innovative projects and programmes that might aid the transition to greater take up of sustainable public transport, walking and cycling, a switch to electric and hydrogen fuels that will also support our Carbon Reduction aims.

I have met the Minister now on several occasions now and believe he now understands that our City means business in its Transport and Climate ambitions.  I am also pleased to see the reintroduction of the Environment Bill in the Queen’s speech before Christmas along with a proposal to establish an Office of Environmental Protection. We look forward to hearing the details of this over the coming months.  It was also announced in the Queen’s speech that a National Infrastructure Strategy will be brought forward to set out a long-term vision to improve the nation’s digital, transport and energy infrastructure. It is important that Government works with local councils to deliver on its infrastructure commitments, including transport and energy infrastructure”.

 


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