Agenda and minutes

Climate Change Sub-Group - Wednesday 12th July 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Via Zoom

Contact: Governance Services 


No. Item



To note any substitution of Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.

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The following substitution of a Committee Member had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules:


Councillor F. Thomson for Councillor J. Lake



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An apology for absence was received from Councillor J. Lake.



To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2023 (previously circulated).

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The minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2023 were approved as a correct record by the Chair.



To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on the Agenda.

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Councillors F. Thomson and P. Zukowskyj both declared non-pecuniary interests in items on the agenda as appropriate by virtue of being Members of Hertfordshire County Council.


Councillor P. Zukowskyj also declared a non-pecuniary interest in being a member of the Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership (HCCSP).



Report of the Executive Director (Place) on Wenta’s Action Zero Programme.

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Report of the Executive Director (Place) on Wenta’s Action Zero Programme.


Over 99% of the Welwyn Hatfield business community is an SME.  They therefore have a crucial role to play in tackling climate change. However, many of the businesses just do not know where to start.


WENTA is a not-for-profit social enterprise that exists to make it easier and greener to start and run a successful business and their actions zero programme will support and guide the boroughs SMEs to understand what actions they need to take to reduce their carbon emissions.


The programme has already been successfully delivered in Hertsmere Council, Stevenage Borough Council and Watford Borough Council.


The project would deliver the Zero Gold programme to up to 100 SMEs at the cost of the Zero Silver Package, which provides a saving of about £1,800.  Invoices will be received monthly, ensuring that payment is only required for the number of businesses that subscribe to the programme.  The Zero Gold package is made up of webinars and e-learning content including carbon foot printing and target setting and planning and they will also have access to an experienced Net Zero business adviser.


The project fits really nicely with the approved climate change strategy, which commits to working with and supporting, encouraging and engaging businesses in initiatives to reduce carbon emissions.


The council will receive from WENTA a quarterly report on the number of sign-ups, and share business post code date of sign-up, age of business and provide case studies on those businesses who have made significant progress. Updates will be given to members at the meetings.


The following points were noted:


·       Members thought it seems quite a useful and assistive direction for SMEs to go into and support them in building their business.

·       The Executive Member for Climate Change asked what is the total reserve, so that members had an idea of the scale of the commitment. Officers stated £150,000 was allocated quite a few years ago, and have about £65,000 left in reserves.

·       The Executive Member for Climate Change asked is there a path for SMEs from the achievement of the programme to achieve something like ISO 14,001? One of the things that seems to be missing is that, whilst there is action that the Council can ask SMEs to undertake to achieve net zero, there are other environmental gains that might go alongside that and actually the development of SMEs towards a full blown lifecycle assessment of products they are producing and an environmental management certification like a ISO 14,001 might be something that is quite attractive for SMEs to consider and engage with and draw them in.  Officers stated at the end of the one year long programme, there is a gold plus standard that WENTA have and businesses could sign up to that at their own expense. It is around £150. The council can point them in the right direction to something else they should have a look at e.g. newsletters, or webinars.

·       Members were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



Verbal update from officers on work the Council have been doing on Climate Change.

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Members received a verbal update from Officers on how the council is doing with Climate change plans.


The team have managed to appoint a Climate Change Officer. The team are excited to really push forward with the Council’s climate change agenda and the team understand that there are a number of areas deemed to be priority. The team will be working with key officers, as well as portfolio holder for climate change over the coming weeks, to ensure that the council are working towards a 2030 net zero promise and in the most structured way possible.


Received the annual monitoring report for Hatfield Swim Centre, which was completed following the heating system upgrade, as part of the public sector decarbonisation scheme phase one. For the year 1 March 2022 to 28 February 2023, the overall carbon emissions from the building associated with gas and electricity, the new decarbonisation scheme in operation were 169.1 tonnes of carbon for the same period in 2019, the total carbon emission was 698.4 tonnes, so this reflects a 76% reduction in the building's annual carbon emissions. As part of Phase 1, the council also completed similar schemes to campus east, the main Council building and also campus West, as they finished slightly after, the council are still monitoring systems and hopefully should be able to provide an update as part of the next meeting.


The team are looking to reform the Climate Officers Group. The team will be working on the terms of reference over the coming weeks and to ensure that internal officers are conscious of their obligations to assist with meeting the Council's overall aims and objections, this is something we should be able to update the group at the next meeting.


In regards to the Climate Emergency UK Scorecards, in March this year the council were able to respond to the scorecard comments collected by climate emergency UK imposed on all UK councils. This right of reply period closed in May and the council are expecting the results of the evaluation this coming Autumn and unfortunately there has not been a more definitive date so we will update the group if this changes.


The team will be meeting with key officers within the council to review the current action plan to make sure it is on track and to review the actions and make sure targets are being met.


The council are looking at forming some sort of Climate Alliance. Following on from the Climate Emergency UK Scorecard, it was clear that the council, as an organisation, need to prioritise engaging with residents, businesses and organisations within the borough, and with that in mind, we will be looking into forming a platform to assist with bringing this all together we are at a very early-stage discussions.  Members were also given a list of the benefits of signing up to an alliance.


The following points were noted:


·       Members noted the reduction in annual carbon emissions through the de-carbonisation grant and were happy that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.



Verbal update on the work of the Partnership from Cllr P. Zukowskyj, Executive Member for Climate Change.

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Members received a verbal update from the Executive Member (Climate Change) as the Council’s representative to the Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership (HCCSP).


It was noted that a presentation was circulated to members on HCCSP from Councillor Graham McAndrew who was the previous Chair of HCCSP and Matt Partridge, Chief Executive of Stevenage Borough Council.


The presentation was about New Lead Member Induction on HCCSP. It was noted the Chair of HCCSP is now Councillor Adrian England from Dacorum Borough Council. 


It was noted the Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership (HCCSP) links to the Hertfordshire Growth Board, which is chaired by Councillor Chris White from St Albans District Council.


It was noted some of the actions plan documents approved were Carbon Reduction, Biodiversity, Transport, Water and Behaviour Change.


Members hoped the new administration would continue to align Welwyn Hatfield priorities with the HCCSP.


It was noted the next HCCSP meeting is in July 2023.




Members noted the update from the Executive Member.