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Network Meeting 13th February 2020, County Showground, Stafford

Introduction:


The Chair, Michaela Fyson welcomed over 50 representatives from a diverse group of organisations, particularly Councils, to the meeting. She said that the message from the recent CoP25 in Madrid was for "countries to take up the challenge" so, from this meeting “how can Staffordshire take up the challenge?”


Michaela handed over to CMS Patron, Jeremy Lefroy to conduct the formal business. He reminded
us that first AGM of Climate Matters Staffordshire was planned for October, Jeremy asked for any comments on the Constitution circulated before the meeting: None voiced.


Vote on accepting the constitution – Adopted unanimously.


It was unanimously agreed that the present interim committee should continue until the AGM,
namely: Chair Michaela: Fyson, V-Chair Kate: Copeland, Treasurer: Ian Trippier; Members: Tom
Bedford, Neil Dawson, Peter Lawrence, Jeremy Lowe, Ann Steele, Keziah Stott, PK Whalen.
Attendees were asked for anyone interested in joining the Committee to contact the Chair at the
end of the meeting.


Keynote Speaker
Mark Atherton, Director of Environment of Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Climate Emergency - The Greater Manchester Experience

Mark’s talk covered how Manchester developed their plans and how they are being implemented to try and achieve Carbon Free by 2038

  1. Greater Manchester Council contacted the Tyndall Centre on Climate Change at Manchester University for a scientific input. This allowed science-based targets to be set.

  2.  They then engaged a large number but diverse people and groups. 6000-7000 fed back.

    • A Green summit occurred in 2019.

    • People' s concerns were not directly Climate Change but consisted of: waste bins, recycling, air quality, the natural environment (i.e. biodiversity), cycling (i.e. health / well-being),

    • Mark Atherton wanted to show that these things are inter-related.

    • People accepted that energy supply and energy efficiency are very related.

  3. A 5-year plan was produced which included: 

    • Climate Change mitigation

    • Air Quality

    • Production and consumption of resources

    • Natural environment

    • Transport

    • Innovation

    • Resilience and adaption to the impact of Climate Change.

The Environment plan includes all sectors (but all work on different timescales and constantly updating)​

   4.Governance Strategy:

  • Whilst complex it led to the setting up of several strategy committees including a non-technical one and a Green City Board. It was important to recognise that most activities had been delivered by people and different organisations.

 

Greater Manchester’s Five Year Environment Action Plan can be found on
https://www.greatermanchesterca.gov.uk/media/1975/5_year_plan_exec_summ_digital.pdf

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Responses from the attending Staffordshire Councils

 

Contributions and updates were received from:

  • Staffordshire County Council. Cllr Conner Wildman

  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Carol Gibbs.

  • Staffordshire Moorlands DC. Cllr Joe Porter

  • East Staffs DC. Cllr Bernard Peters

  • Litchfield DC. Ashley Yeates

  • Cannock Chase DC. Cllr Paul Woodhead

  • Stafford DC. Cllr Tony Pearce.

Open Discussion

1. Questions to Mark Atherton: 

  • Manchester Airport development.

  • Where does the responsibility lie between the authorities for mapping carbon pathways.

  • HS2

  • To what extent does Manchester align with National Govt. Noted that Client Earth can take governments to court if they do not align with 2050 targets.

  • Are there plans for carbon sequestration for trees/soil.

2. Contributions “The way forward” for Staffordshire

  • Mapping data can be utilised with “SCATTER” and can be used by Local authorities free of charge.

  • Partnership working and sharing information.

  • Better communication

  • Possible sharing of resources.

  • Using the Education curriculum.

  • Long term impacts need to be included in plans.

  • Sustainability should be an essential aspect.

  • Royal institute of British architects Plans for reducing carbon over time specific time periods.

  • An important tool is the Local Plans created by Local Authority, integrating climate change in plans.

  • Road Haulage were looking for frameworks to invest in clean technology.

  • Comments for consultation should be on Council websites as up for consultation.

  • NFU in contact with national forest to bring farmers/landowners.

  • Don't want to do “stuff” in the UK which impacts people in other parts of the world.

  • Use of Farm carbon network from the beginning of activity.

  • Working with the Wildlife Trust.

3. Good News Stories

Professor Zoe Robinson, Keele University.

 

  • One of 25 Universities to declare climate emergency.

  • Working on being carbon neutral

  • Set up SEND - Europe's largest smart energy network generator, exploring tech and consumer elements.

  • HyDeploy - blending Hydrogen into the gas grid to reduce emissions - can include 20% in natural gas.

  • Solar farm and 2 wind turbines to be built on campus.

  • Lots of organisations coming to Keele to ask how to become carbon neutral.

  • Keele have resources and they want to put them towards Councils supporting their climate emergency work.

  • CAT to be used to facilitate change with continued engagement.

  • Lots of potential, untapped human resource of students

Judith Smith, consultant

  • Development of environmental goals which can influence businesses to make an impact. Judith is working through The Chamber of Commerce, SBEN

Tony Pearce, Stafford District Councillor

  • There is a No Planet B workshop in Stafford in February.

4. Chair’s closing remarks:

  • The Committee will review the need for Feedback forms.

  • Thanks to Jeremy and the NFU for the use of the room and the refreshments.

  • Staffs CC – have offered use of their Council Chamber for future meetings.

  • Together Staffordshire can make creative targets to reduce emissions.

  • Thanks to Mark and everyone for their attendance and contributions.

  • Meetings are / will be held in different places around the county.

  • It was noted that the President of CoP25, Carolina Schmidt said she was disappointed with the results of COP25 but Michaela Climate Matters Chair said: "I am encouraged by our conference today".

  • People were invited to put themselves forward to join the Committee and three people responded:

  • County Councillor and East Staffs Borough Councillor Bernard Peters, Cannock District

  • Councillor Paul Woodhead and Andrew Thompson, West Midlands Groundwork. All will be invited to the next committee meeting.