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Minutes of the Renewable Energy Generation Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, Bideford, on Thursday 30 May 2019 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:
Councillor J Herron

South Ward:

Councillor B Wootton

East Ward:

Councillor J Craigie
Councillor Mrs R Craigie
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor J McKenzie

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Councillor Mrs S Strode (Great Torrington Town Council)
Mr J Day

 

1.      ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

Councillor J Craigie was proposed by Councillor Mrs R Craigie and seconded by Councillor B Wootton.

RESOLVED: That Councillor J Craigie is appointed as Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.

Vote: For: 5, Against: 0)

(Councillor J Craigie assumed the Chair and thanked the Members for their vote.)

2.      ELECTION OF A DEPUTY CHAIRMAN

Councillor J Herron was proposed by Councillor Mrs R Craigie and seconded by Councillor Mrs Linda Hellyer.

RESOLVED: That Councillor Herron is appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.

Vote: For: 5, Against: 0)

3.      APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no absentees.

4.      DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

There were no declarations of interest.

5.      PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD

There was no public participation.

6.      CO-OPTION OF PUBLIC MEMBER TO THE COMMITTEE

Members discussed the co-option of former councillor and Chairman of the Renewable Energy Generation Committee, Mr J Day to the Committee.

It was proposed by Councillor B Wootton and seconded by Councillor Mrs L Hellyer.

RECOMMENDED: That Mr J Day is co-opted onto the Committee (with no vote).

Vote: For: 5, Against: 0)

7.      MINUTES

Councillor J McKenzie arrived.

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 April 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0, Abstention: 3)

8.      COMMITTEE TERMS OF REFERENCE AND FUTURE INITIATIVES

The Chairman indicated that the Committee’s name be amended to reflect the Council’s desire for Bideford to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Members agreed and discussed a range of broader points that included:

• Benefits of multi storey car parks.
• Encourage greater working from home opportunities.
• DCC Climate Emergency declaration.
o £250,000 allocated toward developing an action plan for future roll out throughout Devon.
o Aspiring to be Carbon Neutral.
o Establish partners.
o Inform citizens.
• The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning indicator that should global warming increase by 1.5oC by 2050 it will be irreversible.

Councillor Mrs Linda Hellyer felt that the Committee’s energies should be directed to the areas that the Council can influence / hold authority e.g. over their buildings or planting more trees (in the woodland).

Further discussion included carbon sinks (reservoirs / estuaries that have absorbed carbon over time) and the ability of trees to absorb emissions; the Chairman stated that 2,000 hectares of trees would absorb the emissions produced by Bideford.

It was proposed by Councillor J Craigie, seconded and

RECOMMENDED: That the Committee name is changed to the “Decarbonisation and Environment Committee.”

(Vote: For: 6, Against: 0)

Further discussion included TDC working with those that suffer the effects of fuel poverty in the community and 361 Energy CIC work in the area. (The Chairman will investigate inviting 361 Energy CIC to provide a presentation to, update, the Council.)

Members had sight of a draft terms of reference for the Committee, produced by the Chairman.

It was proposed by Councillor Mrs R Craigie, seconded and

RECOMMENDED: That the purpose of the Committee shall be to:

• Fulfil the Council ambition for the Town to be carbon neutral by 2030 through encouragement of emission reductions and increasing the number of carbon sinks.

• Establish and organise a number of working groups to deliver the wider environmental wellbeing objectives of the Council in the Town.

o Energy and Heat
o Transport
o Carbon sinks and biodiversity (CSB).

• Audit the Council activities ensuring maximum emissions reductions and use of Council land as carbon sinks, wherever possible.

• Support community organisations that help achieve the principal aim of the Committee.

• Improve energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty within the Town.

(Vote: For: 6, Against: 0)

Mr Day spoke about the Committee’s work to date and the ethos behind Community Energy noting that £20 million leaves the local economy through the National Grid. A renewable energy co-operative, owned by the local community, generates clean electricity and sells it at source, keeping profits in the local area. Surplus income can be used for social aims e.g. to reduce fuel poverty.

The model that places solar panels on agreeable businesses / schools would see benefits for the building owners, investors and the local economy.

He identified potential Bideford Sites for solar panel introduction, the continued courting of SWW and survey visits to the Pannier Market for quotations. (Members agreed to consider the quotations for the solar panels on Thursday, 20 June 2019 at 5.30 pm.)

There was discussion on the ownership of the Children’s Centre; Mr Day hoped that a crowd funding initiative could be set up in a repeat of the highly successful Pollyfield Centre from last July, that would coincide with the Marks and Spencer competition that yielded £1,000.00 in matched funds; potentially £5,000.00 could be garnered.

Mr Day referenced SALIX who provide low interest public works loans; the Chairman requested details on their application.

Councillor Herron raised concerns on transport and infrastructure.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer spoke about the DCC plan to promote walking and cycling referencing the Bridge over the A39 close to the Brynsworthy Lane that will lead to an innovation park. She again reiterated the Council’s remit - it’s level of authority.

The Chairman invited Members to populate the Working Groups, indicating that he would sit on each:

Energy and Heat: Councillors Herron and Wootton, Mr Day.
Transport: Councillors Mrs Craigie, Herron, Wootton
CSB: Councillors: Mrs Hellyer, Herron, McKenzie

 

The Chairman thanked the Members for their attendance and support. He concluded the Meeting at 8.17 pm.


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