Agenda item


Report from Councillor Quinn, Cabinet Member for Environment, Climate Change and Operations attached.


Councillor Quinn, Cabinet Member for Environment, Climate Change and Operations provided an overview of the Climate Action Strategy.


The Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has made a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2038. This aligns with the target for Greater Manchester. In October 2021, following public consultation, the Council published its Climate Action Strategy and Climate Action Plan. These documents outline how the Council will work towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2038.


During discussion of this item Councillor Walsh sought clarification on the current flood defences on Hardy’s Gate Bridge. Councillor Quinn explained the reason for the original plan of remodelling the bridge didn’t go ahead due to a funding gap and whilst it is not at immediate risk there is a 1 in 40 chance a storm could be detrimental to flooding in the immediate area.


Councillor Bernstein asked based on where we are today are we confident that we will reach carbon neutrality by 2038. In response to the question Councillor Quinn stated the Council continues to prioritise climate action, and this was acknowledged last year with the publication of our Climate Action Strategy and Climate Action Plan and the creation of a Climate Action Team. There has been some positive progress recently but there needs to be a change from the government to ensure we are successful. It is also important to recognise that we need to act quickly as it is estimated at the Greater Manchester level that we will use up our Carbon budget in the next 6 years, which means that by 2028 we will already be on the path to greater than 1.5C of warming. The Council is heavily reliant on government being able to make the necessary national changes that help to support the Council to achieve its carbon reduction goal, as there are many areas that we simply do not have necessary level of influence i.e., decarbonisation of the energy grid.


Councillor Birchmore sought assurances regarding getting vehicle charging points on a proposed development on the East Lancs Paper Mill site. Councillor Quinn advised that for a number of years, the Environment Section have been recommending planning conditions requiring that all new residential properties with a dedicated parking space be provided with an electric vehicle charge point. However, following the release of the new Building Regulations in June 2022, electric vehicle charge points will be required by law on all new residential properties with a parking space. This will be enforced by Building Regulations and so will no longer be needed as a condition on planning applications.


Councillor Vernon questioned what action was taken to access the potential £8.5 million funding as Bury received £2.5 million. In assurance Councillor Quinn advised that Bury council were originally awarded £8.5 million to deliver a range of decarbonisation measures across 16 of our corporate buildings. The government set extremely challenging timelines for delivery of the decarbonisation measures and these challenges were made even more difficult by late notification of award, timescales changing throughout the project, the impact of COVID and long lead in times for delivery of equipment. Despite best efforts to deliver the original works it became necessary to reduce the scope in order to meet the agreed timescales and ensure the Council was not liable for the costs (if work ran over).Everything possible was done to enable works that were achievable in the timeframe to be delivered and we were able to complete decarbonisation works at 8 of our buildings.


It was agreed:


1.    Councillor Quinn Cabinet Member for Environment, Climate Change and Operations be thanked for his attendance and update.

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