Agenda and draft minutes

Climate Change Cabinet Advisory Group - Monday, 7th August, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent. View directions

No. Item


Update on the Net Zero Strategy pdf icon PDF 3 MB

A presentation as an introduction to the CC CAG.


Dr Hannah Scott (Climate Change Officer) gave a presentation on the updated Net Zero Strategy, making the following key points:


·  CO2 levels have risen at an exponential rate.

·  There is now an unbalanced CO2 cycle cause by the burning of fossil fuels which is causing climate change.

·  CO2 is produced through various differing means e.g. in homes through burning natural gas for heating using a gas boiler and cooking on gas stoves. It also is released into the atmosphere whilst burning petrol and diesel in our cars.

·  Electricity also uses fossil fuels. Previously we had used coal to produce electricity. The coal would be mined, crushed and burned. This heat would be used to turn water to steam which then turned a turbine. The moving turbine produces electricity, and in turn is transported to homes through power cables. Now we use a mixture of gas and renewables to create electricity. We need to stop burning fossil fuels and expand the use of renewables.

·  Methane levels have also increased. This is a very potent greenhouse gas.

·  Farming industries are responsible for the majority of methane emissions. This specifically came from ruminants. The increase of meat and dairy consumption across the world has increased methane emissions.

·  Likely impacts of climate change include:

1.  Heat waves and droughts

2.  Extreme storms and flash flooding

3.  Food system shortages

4.  Ecosystem disruption


·  It was predicted by the Met Office’s UK Climate Projections for the South East that, by 2080 summers would likely be hotter by around 5°C to 6°C.

·  Climate change was emphasised  as a public health emergency.

·  In 2020, Australia was burning, 28 people were killed with over 2,000 homes being lost. Additionally, it was estimated that 1 billion animals were lost, with one third of the entire koala population perishing.

·  In 2022, the UK saw a heatwave of 40.3°C. It was noted that 2022 was the warmest year since records began in 1884.

·  Thanet District Council pledged to make the Council net zero by 2030 in the core carbon footprint. This included emissions the council has direct control over, for example the estates and activities.

·  A net zero directors groups had been set up specifically to address the core emissions, and to aim to achieve net zero by 2030.

·  The greatest emissions from Thanet as a whole stood with transport and emissions from homes. TDC has pledged to assist the KCC, business and the government to reach net zero by 2050 district wide.


Members commented and asked the following questions:


·  There was lots of work to do regarding the Net Zero strategy..

·  It was of importance to communicate that climate change was considered a public health emergency. Training should be provided to all Councillors and staff at Thanet District Council.

·  Questioning was raised regarding how the communications team were getting the climate emergency messages out to the public.

·  Low cost ways of engaging with the public could be through social media influencers. 

·  Questioning regarding solar power on new builds was raised.



Dr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.


Suggested work plan for the CC CAG (September 2023 - January 2024) pdf icon PDF 50 KB

A draft work plan will be presented to the group for discussion.


Dr Hannah Scott referred to the draft work plan which had been circulated prior to the meeting, and asked members for comments and questions.


Members commented and asked the following questions:


·  Electric vehicles created an illusion, these were not totally green, and instead the Council should look into hydrogen based vehicles.

·  Questioning around losing greenery and trees and it being essential to replace was raised. 

·  The council had numerous assets which could be recommended for audit and report, these could be better managed to protect biodiversity further.


Dr Hannah Scott responded to members comments and questions with the following points:


·  Whilst electric vehicles are not totally green as there are embedded emissions and precious metals when creating them, there is still a significant difference in the running emissions in comparison with petrol and diesel vehicles.  Hydrogen based vehicles would be looked into for larger vehicles, however they are much less efficient than using electricity directly and so electric vehicles will be chosen where possible.

·  Regarding the greenery and trees, it was hoped that the new biodiversity net gain legislation would achieve this moving forward.

·  Assets which could have increased biodiversity would be addressed in a further meeting of the climate group.


Manston emissions briefing pdf icon PDF 338 KB

A summary of the Manston Airport emission report published by RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) in May 2023.


 Dr Hannah Scott referred to the Manston Airport Emissions Report which had been published and shared prior to the meeting. Dr Hannah Scott read this report using a powerpoint presentation to illustrate. The full report is linked to the agenda title above and a summary is set out below:


·  The report summarised the following points regarding Manston Airport:

1.  Emissions

2.  Impact of the airport’s emissions on Thanet’s Carbon footprint

3.  Aircraft Emissions

4.  Offsetting emissions

5.  Cost of reducing emissions

6.  RSP’s Carbon Minimisation Action Plan

7.  UK commitment to climate change


·  Thanet District Council keeps a watching brief on the carbon emission plan of Manston Airport as agreed and detailed in the Net Zero Strategy (p8). The purpose of this report is to update the Climate Change Cabinet Advisory Group (CAG) on the emissions report by Manston airport.

·  It was predicted that the majority of construction work to Manston Airport would be completed by year two in time for the airport opening.

·  The tables in the report, taken from RiverOak Strategic Partners, emphasised the projected emissions in year 2, and additionally in year 20, which had been the predicted peak forecasted year.

·  The predicted total embodied emissions stood at 636,000 tonnes of CO2.

·  The emissions released from the day to day running of the airport on the ground (Airport operations energy use - middle of the table) will be 9,000 tonnes of CO2e per year. Ground support equipment will also release 400 tonnes of CO2e in year 2 and 1,800 tonnes of CO2e in year 20. RSP has committed to become net zero in their on the ground operations within 5 years of opening (by 2030), which will address these operational emissions.

·  Emissions from the extra road traffic was estimated to be 13,900 tonnes per year. This had the potential to increase to 36,000 tonnes of CO2 in year 20 in response to increased business.

·  The increase in emissions within Thanet’s boundary specifically was not calculated due to the routes of extra vehicles not being concretely set out at the time of the meeting.

·  The aviation sources would produce the majority of the emissions. This was predicted to stand at 221,800 tonnes of CO2 from year 2, with the potential to increase to 730,000 tonnes of CO2 per year by year 20 of the airport being in operation.

·  Even though the aircraft emissions do not come under Thanet’s carbon footprint, in order to understand what these figures mean, it is useful to compare them to emissions for the whole of the district of Thanet.

·  In year 2, the aircraft from Manston will create more emissions (221,800 tonnes of CO2) annually than any sector in the district of Thanet. The aircraft will create over 60% more emissions than all the transport in Thanet (134,600 tonnes of CO2) when the airport first opens.


·  According to the RSP report, in year 20 of operations, due to the predicted increase in flights, the aircraft will create significantly more emissions than the whole  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Sustainable Energy Presentation pdf icon PDF 145 KB

A presentation on funding success and the overall retrofitting plan.


Eve Lockton-Goddard, (Sustainable Energy Project Lead) gave a presentation on funding successes and the overall retrofitting plan, making the following key points:


·  There was support to private sector homes to reduce carbon emissions, whilst also ensuring affordable warmth. This would be achieved by:

1.  Help households and landlords install insulation, heating,

ventilation and renewable energy measures.

2.  Developing schemes with funds to help.

3.  Providing advice on improvements.

4.  Developing community initiatives.

5.  Creating referral routes, and supporting households in fuel



·  Schemes which would commence in September 2023 included the Home Upgrade Grant (2), ECO(4), ECO Flex and great British Insulation Scheme.

·  There were also Thanet District Council schemes for households which were “able to pay” for measures, this was noted as the Home Energy Reduction Option (HERO.)

·  There was crisis support for households available through the Household Support Fund. This allocated the council £521,000 to the following:

1.  Citizens Advice Bureaux: Vouchers for food & other goods

(bedding, microwaves etc.)

2.  RISE: White goods. Curtains/poles and Carpets.

3.  Multi Agency Task Force: Household goods.

4.  TLS: Welfare service Food/energy/water bill support. Carpets Clothing, Bedding and blankets, Curtains, White goods.

5.  Cost of living support payment £150 to eligible households.


·  The Thanet Energy Advice and Referral Service continued to support householders of all tenures.

·  The advice service was recruiting a new energy advisor.

·  Solar Together received a great response in spring 2023, with a total of 260 applicants from Thanet. The Next auction for Solar Together was scheduled for 28th August 2023.

·  Communications in order to promote schemes included community outreach events, schools competitions, thermal imaging of homes, mail outs, interactive map showing who can get what support and social media campaigns.


Members commented and asked the following questions:


·  There was a lot going on regarding sustainable energy in Thanet.

·  There had been a need for more capacity and resources to support the team for a while, the further recruitment within the team was a positive.

·  Questioning around applications for schemes were raised, did the schemes wait for households to apply.

·  Questioning on how many retrofitting schemes had been completed was raised.


Eve Lockton-Goddard responded with the following points:

·  The schemes would target through datasets and marketing. It was also important to look inwards into specific wards. It was of high priority to be out in the community and promote the schemes.

·  Stats could be shared with members at a later date.



Update on the Cycling and Walking Strategy pdf icon PDF 1 MB

A progress update on the cycling and walking plan for Thanet.


Adrian Verrall (Strategic Planning Manager) gave an update on the cycling and walking strategy, making the following key points:


·  There was an apparent push forward for active travel programmes.

·  Active Travel England’s aims were to support ambitious and inclusive active travel programmes.

·  The Cycling and Walking infrastructure plan was a district wide plan. This sought to connect places across the district with safer, and accessible, routes for all citizens to use. In turn helping Thanet to achieve targets concerning carbon neutrality, whilst improving air quality, health, access, highway safety and the economy.

·  In 2020 the Council commissioned Sustrans for an audit of the walking and cycling routes in Thanet during this period of time. The audit focussed specifically on the Urban Area. This identified eight cycling routes, four walking zones and two focus junction improvements.

·  Further work in 2023 included the Capability Fund. This was a bid for £42,000. This includes £12,00 to assist with development of the LCWIP, £20,000 to assist with a rural audit and £10,000 to assist with scheme planning and network design, including early plans sufficient for bid stage assurance against ATE design tools, for one scheme.

·  There were several tasks for the next period, to be delivered by 12th January 2024, these included:

1.  Initial stakeholder and community engagement

2.  Desktop network planning for cycling

3.  Planning for walking

4.  Follow up stakeholder engagement

5.  Auditing of cycle routes

6.   Auditing of walking measures

7.  Prioritising improvements

·  There had been two stakeholder engagement sessions in June 2023, and the online engagement tool was live at the time of the meeting.



Members commented and asked the following questions:


·  Questioning was raised concerning whether there was an option to consult on the scheme prior to funding being granted.

·  Further questioning was raised concerning if there was a possibility of last minute communication to promote schemes through the communications team.


Adrian Verrall responded with the following points:


·  It was hoped that schemes could be consulted on prior to funding being granted.

·  There had been a Communications Plan in place with further promotion taking place for this via social media posts, up until the closing dealing for the online engagement tool. This was also disseminated to members via the Loop and Kent County Council.


Climate change related events pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Updates from CAG members on upcoming events.


Dr Hannah Scott gave a short presentation on the following eco activities which would be running during the summer and autumn months in 2023. Links to many of the events are included in the presentation attached to these minutes. These included the following:


·  Biodiversity walks run by Thanet District Council and the Bumblebee Trust had been arranged for Thursday 10th August 6pm at Foreness Point, and Wednesday 16th August 2pm at Foreness Point.

·  The East Kent Coast 2023 Photographic Competition.

·  Seashore Safaris in Broadstairs and Birchington until 21st August 2023.

·  Beach cleaning activities included the ‘Great British Beach Clean 2023,’ which would be held on Saturday 16th September at Cliffsend and Birchington.

·  Beach Clean of Pegwell Bay in Cliffsend would commence on Friday 1st December 2023.

·  Cycling Events were to commence every Sunday from the 10th September 2023 until Sunday 24th September 2023. Look out for TDC comms to sign up to these cycling events.