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Declaration of Interests
Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item. Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.
No declarations of disclosable interest were made.
Details of questions should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support at least three working days prior to the meeting. Further information and a copy of the procedure are available from Democratic Services (Committees) (Tel: 01392 265115) and also on the Council web site - https://exeter.gov.uk/councillorsfaq/.
In accordance with Standing Order 19, a member of the public submitted a question in relation to a date by which the Carbon-Neutral Mandate Group will report back.
A copy of the question had been previously circulated to Members, and this, together with the response from Councillor Sutton, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder Climate and Culture are appended to the minutes.
To consider the report of the Programme Director for Exeter City Futures and the Deputy Leader & Portfolio Holder for Climate and Culture.
The Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Climate & Culture introduced the report and referred to the declaration made by Exeter on the 15 March 2019 to make Exeter a Carbon-Neutral City by 2030. This ambition was aligned to the vision for the city and the report offered Members an update of what had already been achieved in the transition to a low carbon economy. The report also included a paper by Exeter City Futures Community Interest Company (ECF CIC) entitled “Towards a Carbon Neutral Exeter” which provided an overview of the approach to enable the city to become carbon neutral. The City Council had made a clear commitment borne out by the significant expansion of her Portfolio to include climate change. She introduced key speakers and colleagues from Exeter City Futures, Exeter University and Exeter City Council and referred to a number of recommendations in the report for the next steps that Exeter City Council should take in order to become carbon neutral. The City Council had already made a number of significant changes in the way they worked, as well as a commitment to work in concert with other partners and stakeholders.
The Programme Director Exeter City Futures provided some context to the report and the shared vision for the future of the city that would enable the population to thrive. The vision that has been captured through engagement activities and included vibrancy, quality of life, ability to access services, clean air, with open spaces for children to play in and protection of the biodiversity. Exeter City Council had now made a commitment to ensure that Exeter should extol best practice in respect of projects and structures with strong partnerships in place with individuals, communities and businesses. The local authority had made a clear commitment to the operational reduction of carbon, but whilst it was acknowledged that it had not progressed as quickly as it would have wished, she was pleased to see that many of the features of those leading cities had been replicated in Exeter. This all represented a massive challenge which would include the following for Members to consider:-
· the creation of a road map that was owned by the city, to show what we need to do, to achieve a carbon neutral status as well as reflect the needs and priorities of the people who live in the city and she referred to the Exeter City Futures ‘12 Goals’.
· the City Council which had made a clear commitment about their own carbon emissions reduction and had committed some resources, energy and skills to achieve that to develop the road map.
· the creation of the Carbon Neutral Mandate Group which would ensure that the voices of people were heard, and offer an objective body to hold the city to account in delivering the agreed roadmap. Exeter City Futures provided a shared governance structure and partnerships and this was now ready to move forward with action and coordination of demonstrable projects to make that happen.