A Notice of Alteration was published in the addendum. In accordance with Procedure Rule 2.19.18, Members agreed to the alteration to the motion.
Councillor Chandler moved the altered motion and in doing so called for greater collaboration between local and national governments to respond to the challenges of climate change and urged the Council to support the motion, citing:
· the Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan 2020;
· a recent resolution by the Local Government Association General Assembly in respect of climate change, which this motion was aligned with; and,
· a report by the National Audit Office which made recommendations about the role of local authorities in delivering the UK’s net zero target, and the funding and collaboration required to achieve it.
Councillor Essex seconded the altered motion on behalf of Councillor Ritter, who wasn’t able to attend in person (in accordance with procedure rule 2.19.2).
Members discussed the Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2020 and other initiatives to drive the Council’s climate change agenda, such as:
· the formation of a cross-party Environmental Sustainability Working Group;
· a joint initiative with Surrey County Council to purchase solar panels for residents living in the borough;
· tree planting workshops;
· converting the Council’s transport fleet to electric vehicles; and,
· engaging with young people living in the borough to encourage their participation in the Council’s climate change initiatives.
Members acknowledged the scale of the challenge, the important role of local government, the need for greater collaboration with partners, and highlighted the need for additional funding and regulation to deliver the net zero target.
1. In this year of the COP26 climate conference, add our voice to calls by the Local Government Association, and write to Alok Sharma MP asking for national government to ensure the adequate representation of local government at COP26, in order to promote the significant contribution, leadership and efforts of local councils in reducing carbon emissions across the UK, and to champion the innovative and rapid progress being made at a local level to tackle climate change; and,
2. write to the Prime Minister, Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26, Secretary of State for Housing and Local Government and the Leadership Board of the LGA and the informing them of:
i. Our view that better partnership working between Government and Local Authorities is required to adequately respond to the climate challenge;
ii. Our support for a joint Local/National Government Climate Change Partnership Taskforce, as previously advocated by the LGA and asking for one to be established as soon as possible; and
iii. Our commitment to engaging constructively in such partnership working to deliver both national and local net zero targets and if possible increase our local ambition as a result of establishing appropriate regulations, benchmarks and targets and establishing long-term funding mechanisms.