Agenda item

Energy, Change and Opportunity (ECO) Strategy

Report of the Director, Department of Neighbourhood and Planning is circulated.



Cllr Toby Sturgis, Cabinet Member for Waste, Property and Environment presented a report which sought Cabinet approval of an Energy, Change and Opportunity (Eco) Strategy, details of which were also presented. Cllr Sturgis confirmed that the Environment Select Committee had been involved in the development of the Strategy and was fully supportive of it.


This  represented the Council’s first strategy to address energy resilience and the effects of climate change following the report to Cabinet in June 2010. That report had highlighted the Council’s responsibilities relating to climate change and carbon reduction.


The report set out the background to the drawing up of the Strategy which included reference to the Council having signed the Nottingham Declaration on climate change. The decision to do so had been ratified by Council in September 2009 when it also reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to tackling the causes and effects of climate change and signed up to the 10:10 campaign.


The scope of the Strategy included both council services and Wiltshire as a whole in relation to those aspects of Wiltshire life that the Council could influence eg planning, transport, flood management and community engagement.  The Strategy set out where we are now, where we want to get to and the general approach for how we are going to get there. As a minimum various actions plans as mentioned in the report would be produced by the end of the year.


In response to a question, clarification was given over news reports that the Council had been fined quite substantially over its carbon emission rates. It was explained that this was not in fact a fine. The council was required to buy carbon credits in advance with the money recycled to the Council according to its success in reducing emissions. However, the Government had changed the rules and decided not to return any of the credit funding to large public and private sector organisations




That Cabinet:


(a)               approves the framework Energy, Change and Opportunity (ECO) Strategy set out in Appendix 1 of the report presented;


(b)              agrees that the Climate Change Board should oversee the delivery of the Strategy and be renamed the Energy, Change and Opportunity (ECO) Board and


(c)               agrees that the ECO Board should be responsible for approving and monitoring delivery against the following Action Plans to be developed during 2011 and 2012 under the framework Strategy:


                       (i)            Carbon Management Plan for the Council’s emissions

                     (ii)            Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Wiltshire

                   (iii)            Low Carbon Transition Plan for Wiltshire

                   (iv)            Renewable Energy Action Plan for Wiltshire


Reasons for Decisions


(i)                 Given the wide range of responsibilities that local authorities have relating to climate change, it is necessary to have a robust framework for discharging these responsibilities in the form of a strategy.

(ii)               The Climate Change Board was established in July 2009 with the aim of overseeing the Council’s Climate Change work programme.  It is well placed to monitor progress as it is chaired by the Cabinet Member for the Environment and has representation from a corporate director and service directors across the Council.

(iii)             Action plans will be developed to address the areas of responsibility that are not currently covered through existing Council plans and strategies.


Supporting documents: