Committee Work Programme for 2022/23
- Meeting of Climate & Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 23rd June, 2022 2.00 pm (Item 12.)
To provide the Committee with an updated Work Programme for 2022/23
That the Committee notes the work programme and provides comment where needed
The Vice-Chair looked at the provisional plan set out at the moment, but asked for suggestions from the committee for additional items to be added.
Councillor Goodwin raised that the Climate Action Working Group used to be a meeting on its own, separate from the scrutiny committee, he did not feel 25 minutes did the Carbon Action Plan justice, and wanted a separate meeting again for two hours where all climate issues could be focussed on.
Councillor Al-Yousuf informed the Committee that there had been several discussions on Councillor Goodwin’s point. This committee if it feels it wants it could dedicate a meeting to one topic, or have additional meetings. It’s a decision for the whole committee to decide. Additionally to form a separate working group is difficult in getting staff, and councillors together all at one time.
Councillor Ruth Smith knows the Cabinet member for Climate Change was asking how climate Change should be approached, so this committee could liaise or recommend suggestions to the Cabinet member.
The Vice-Chair asked the Group Manager – Commercial Development what his guidance would be with the Committee Work Programme. The Group Manager – Commercial Development eluded to the committee looking at cost, issues, procurement, and climate change decisions for the Work Programme. The committee here, is to add significant value and scrutiny to anything that comes its way, not to look into all the detail, the officers do that, but to scrutinise the higher level decisions. The Group Manager – Commercial Development also suggested that the Committee could if it wanted to, set up a small working group to work with the officers to report back to this Committee, that is all in the committees power to do so, however officers are more than capable in dealing with the detail and reporting back to the committee.
Councillor Coles added that the reason the Climate Action Working Group was set up, it emerged from a motion, and that motion has now concluded with the setting up of the Climate Action Plan.
Councillor Mead added that a working group is a task and finish group, there are no minutes that go out to the public domain, therefore you lose transparency and you are unable to have public engagement. Whereas this committee allows open and honest transparency and public engagement.
Councillor Goodwin hoped that the Cabinet Member for Climate Change would set the agenda for this so that it can be scrutinised.
Councillor Booker, stated that in September there are already many items on the agenda. Perhaps there could be one for Climate on its own once the Cabinet Member for Climate Change has announced the agenda.
The Vice-Chair stated these were pencilled in but it is open for discussion what the Committee wants to review in September and beyond.
The Group Manager – Commercial Development expected the Council to review its corporate plan, clearly that will have elements within it that the Committee should be looking at. That is a significant policy decision, and should be on in September. Look at where scrutiny can add most value.
The Vice-Chair stated he would want to look at the 99% climate challenges, as the focus is currently on 1%, and how this could be explored.
Councillor Ruth Smith had a suggestion for work streams, community energy, talking to other partners about what can be done for Witney, in affordable new energy. Delivering for residents as well as our own buildings.
The Group Manager, Bill Oddy explained that Councillors, would speak to the cabinet member, and if a policy decision was happening, this committee could call that in and scrutinise it.
The Climate Change Manager, Ness Scott informed the committee that Enysham was a pilot working with low carbon solutions, an action plan was in place, updates will be in the bio annual report.
The Vice-Chair concluded Councillors should email himself, Councillor MacRae and Democratic Services with any work programme requests.
The Group Manager suggested that as the September Committee is the next Committee that the order of what’s on the work programme agenda could be drafted today. Council Plan and the Waste Service Review are significant items and should be scrutinised before it goes to Cabinet. Carbon Action Plan update also should be on the agenda.
The Vice-Chair agreed and suggestions from the committee should still come through to be looked at, and maybe there could be scope for additional committee, we await the Chairs return for his input.