At a meeting on Thursday 29th September Derbyshire Dales councillors approved a Sustainable Procurement Policy that sets out how the Council will support and challenge our suppliers to consider the climate change impacts of the supply of goods and services. The policy looks to embed good practice in sustainable procurement in day to day working as part of the procurement process and makes specific commitments to:
- Build a requirement for carbon reduction into the specification of certain contracts, where appropriate. This should include steps to reduce the carbon emissions of business activities as well as in the goods and services provided
- Ask and support suppliers in setting ambitious targets to carbon reduction through the life of relevant contracts, and set out clear ways for measuring and reporting these impacts
- Ask suppliers to take steps to ensure that the goods and services that they provide do not increase the vulnerability of the District to the negative impacts of climate change
- Encourage suppliers to reduce waste and promote re-use, remanufacture and recycling at every level of the supply chain
At a meeting on Tuesday 26th July Derbyshire Dales councillors agreed to move to phase two of the development of a potential small solar farm at Watery Lane, Ashbourne. This included a revenue budget of up to £40,000 to further explore the grid connection, planning and site use issues. The ambition is to install a 1MW array on the site towards the end of 2024.
They also approved an Interim Electric Vehicle strategy which sets out Council priorities and approach for encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and the installation of public EV charging infrastructure in the Derbyshire Dales.
At meeting on Thursday 24th March the Council approved the VisionDerbyshire Climate Change Strategy: 2022-2025.
The purpose of this strategy is to present a vision for Derbyshire to thrive and prosper as a net zero county.
What do we mean by net zero?
A ‘net zero’ emissions scenario is one in which we have taken all viable action to reduce emissions to zero in the first instance, and any remaining or residual emissions by the target date will be offset i.e. removed from the atmosphere, as a last resort.
The strategy sets out what needs to be done to reduce emissions across the county to net zero by 2050, or sooner, and how Derbyshire’s councils will work to achieve this through a series of ambitions and priorities, supported by an action plan.The strategy looks at how to reduce Derbyshire’s county-wide carbon emissions, taking into account those emissions generated directly in the county and those created outside of Derbyshire and which the county is, in part, responsible for.
The strategy is not intended to replace the individual plans held by individual Derbyshire authorities to reduce their own carbon footprints, but instead concentrates on the influence that these authorities can have in reducing emissions in the wider county. It identifies a number of priority areas in which joint working is expected to add value.
Derbyshire Dales councillors have unanimously supported a series of actions that further the District Council’s progress towards its 2030 net zero carbon emissions target.
At a full council meeting on Thursday 14 October, councillors backed the actions, which include a grant application for £807,116 made to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme for energy efficiency works and low carbon heating at authority's Matlock Town Hall headquarters, Agricultural Business Centre in Bakewell and Northwood depot.
If successful, work will complete by March 2023, reducing emissions by 136.68t CO2e annually – down by 17% on the Council’s 2019/20 total.
Thursday's meeting also approved a revenue budget of up to £30,000 to fund the engagement of an expert partner to carry out a detailed feasibility study into the technical and financial viability of solar PV installations on Council land.
Other actions will include disposing of the Council's Civic Car without replacement as part of a fleet emission reductions programme, and a ‘climate change impact assessment tool’ will be trialled for reports presented to Council, providing a consistent method of assessing the impact of projects or activities on the climate.
Councillors also approved a Climate Change Delivery Plan - a working document supporting the core aims of the Council's Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan. The delivery plan will evolve as projects progress. As well as addressing the Council’s own emissions the delivery plan also seeks to set out actions in respect of supporting emissions reductions in the district.
- Delivery of further phases of the housing retrofit scheme across the district, reducing emissions and tackling fuel poverty – a grant application has been made for a further £907,500 of funding
- Funding the installation of electric points in Hall Leys Park so that event organisers do not have to rely on generators to provide power
- Organising and funding the visit of the ‘fantastic homes’ exhibition to our market towns and main villages to engage with and advise residents about domestic energy efficiency, renewables and low carbon heating
- Developing a community engagement plan – bringing together residents to discuss what collective action is possible on climate change
Derbyshire Dales District Council unanimously approved a Climate Strategy and Action Plan designed to ensure the authority meets its target of being carbon neutral by 2030.
In May 2019 the council declared a Climate Emergency and, in pledging to make the authority carbon neutral in the next 10 years, also called on the UK Government to provide the powers and resources to make the target possible.
The Action Plan sets out a potential pathway to achieving net zero in terms of the District Council’s direct emissions, outlining in broad terms the level of investment - around £2.7-million - that would be required to meet net zero and the period over which that investment would need to be made.
The Council also agreed that the council’s carbon footprint be measured and reported on an annual basis and that the programme of works required to achieve net zero by 2030 is approved and built into the Capital Programme to be considered in November.
Councillors also noted the need to obtain funding to undertake the programme of works required to achieve net zero by 2030 and agreed to the recruitment of a Climate Change Officer on a 5-year fixed term contract.
The pathway to net zero identified in the Strategy is listed as:
- Energy efficiency improvements to existing facilities;
- Installation of biomass heating at Matlock Town Hall;
- Electrification of heating at 3 key facilities;
- Installation of roof mounted solar PV at 2 key facilities;
- Development of 2MW ground mounted solar PV;
- Electrification of the Council’s vehicle fleet.
Cllr David Chapman, who chairs the council's Climate Change Working Group, told the meeting:"I am reassured by this report. It gives us the definitive baseline and a clear pathway to carbon neutrality by 2030. That target now looks reachable within the timeframe which is very good news, though expensive."
Cllr Mike Ratcliffe, who originally took the Climate Emergency motion to the council, said:"This a very valuable piece of work. It gives us a concrete assessment of what we need to do and it gives us the associated costs. Now these are of course are never palatable in our money-saving environment, but we need to grasp this with both hands."
At its September 2019 Council meeting, Members considered a report on the work undertaken by the Derbyshire Dales Members’ Climate Change Working Group, including the production of a proposed road map to assist with the District Council’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030.
The Working Group members were:
Cllrs David Chapman (Chair) Richard Bright, Mark Salt, David Hughes, Peter O’Brien and Neil Buttle, with officer support to the Group being provided by the Head of Regulatory Services.
The Working Group had meet twice, and had produced an initial road map, setting out the issues and areas of work needed for the Council to work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and had identified 4 priorities for early work - transport, estates, planning policy and housing policy
The road map and full report can be viewed from pages 5-7 of the meeting agenda.
The Chairman of the Group advised Members that a dedicated email address would be live by the following week via the Council’s website and that administrative services, including minute-taking for the Group, were being organised. Cllr Chapman invited Members to send their suggestions/comments using the dedicated email address in due course.
In addition to the work undertaken by the District Council’s Working Group, a countywide officer group had been formed, to look specifically at climate change issues. The first meeting of this group was held on 17 September 2019, from which a Derbyshire Environment and Climate Change Framework would be developed.
At its meeting on 25 July 2019, the District Council considered a report asking for agreement of Terms of Reference for the formation and operation of a Climate Change Task Group, to further the decision taken by Council at its meeting on 30 May 2019 in declaring a Climate Emergency.
A Task Group was proposed to act as an advisory body to Council, to develop the District Council’s thinking and actions required to deliver upon the resolution. Terms of Reference for that Group were attached to the report, and the aims were set out in the report, based on a remit which directed the Group to focus on the District Council becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Political proportionality was not a statutory requirement, but was recommended in this case to ensure cross Council input and support, as set out in the report.
It was moved by Councillor Richard Bright, seconded by Councillor David Chapman and RESOLVED (unanimously):
- That the Terms of Reference set out in the Appendix to the report are approved;
- That the following nominations be accepted to serve on the Group until the next Annual Meeting of the Council, on the basis of political proportionality: Conservatives: Cllrs David Chapman, Richard Bright and Mark Salt, Liberal Democrat: Cllr David Hughes, Labour: Cllr Peter O’Brien, Green/Independent: Cllr Neil Buttle
- That attendance at formal meetings of the Task Group is classified as an Approved duty in terms of the Scheme of Members’ Allowances.
The Council resolved unanimously at its meeting on 30 May 2019 the following amended Motion, originally submitted by Councillor Mike Ratcliffe and supported by Councillor Joyce Pawley, in accordance with Rule of Procedure 16:
Climate change is an existential threat. Extreme weather events have caused damage and destruction in this country and have led to deaths and displacement of thousands of people worldwide. Natural habitats, wildlife and biodiversity are in peril, not only from climate change, but they are being adversely affected by human intervention, which in turn is enhancing the effects of climate change. Scientists are warning that we have a little over a decade to implement urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before we reach a global tipping point. Action is required at international, national, local and individual level to achieve the carbon reduction levels needed.
This Council pledges to:
- Declare a Climate Emergency
- Make Derbyshire Dales District Council carbon neutral by 2030
- Call on the UK Government to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible
- Work with partners across the county and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies
- Report back to Council within six months with the actions the Council will take to address this emergency
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Garry Purdy, assured Members and the public that an Action Group would be formed as soon as practicable, the constitution of which would be formulated for Council approval by mid-July, along with its Terms of Reference and proposed policies.