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Climate Emergency Advisory Group

In 2019 Chippenham Town Council declared a “Climate Change Emergency” and set up a Climate Emergency Advisory Group. Membership of the advisory group consists of six Chippenham Town Council councillors and six members of the local community who have relevant skills and experience in the subject.

Chairman: Councillor Teresa Hutton, Mayor of Chippenham
Vice Chairman: Alex Lockton
Members: Cllr Ruth Lloyd, Cllr Nick Murry, Cllr Chris Ruck, Cllr Sandie Webb, Anne Berrett, Glynis Cosgrove, Gillian Johnson, Kiran Sakhyani, Karen Simpson

The advisory group meets monthly in the Town Hall to discuss, research and make recommendations to the Strategy & Resources Committee on matters where Chippenham can contribute towards tackling the climate emergency.

Meeting 20 November 2019
Items on the agenda:
• Pledge to work towards a goal of making Chippenham carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account Greenhouse Gas emission from both production and consumption
• Call the UK Government to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible
• Work with Wiltshire Council, surrounding parishes councils, other councils and relevant partners including businesses, educational establishments and civil society organisations, to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C )
• Update from Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan, Chippenham Area Board, Presentation from the Waste Transition and Carbon Reduction Lead Officer at Wiltshire Council and Renewable Energy Strategy Workshops.
• An update from the Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group which looked at and highlighted the stages to achieve the Neighbourhood Plan, the objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan, what has already been completed and what work is currently in progression, especially in regards to infrastructure and sustainability within Chippenham.
• An update regarding the Chippenham Area Board hosting a Climate Change focused evening, with the aim to engage with the public.
• The Waste Transition and Carbon Reduction Lead Officer at Wiltshire Council, Tracy Carter presented to the group regarding the work Wiltshire Council have already carried out and the current progress of work since declaring a Climate Emergency in February 2019.
• The Centre of Sustainable Energy extended an invitation to the members of the Climate Emergency Advisory Group. The meetings are two part renewable energy strategy workshop.

Meeting 6 January 2020
Items on the agenda:
• Climate Emergency Advisory Group Plan, Chippenham Area Board, Community Energy, Sustainability School Event and Zero Chippenham Tree Planting Scheme.
• The Climate Emergency Advisory Group considered the best ways to ensure the group is utilised to its best ability; a collaborative approach with Chippenham Town Council and Wiltshire Council.
• An update was provided in regard to Chippenham Area Board taking place on 3 February 2020 with an environmental theme. The evening will include a mix of local community groups and organisations each having an information stand, followed by workshops. CEAG agreed to attend the event and have a stand.
• Community Energy covers aspects of collective action to reduce, purchase, manage and generate energy. Community Energy projects focus on local engagement, local leadership and control and the local community benefiting from the outcomes, and is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It was raised that in the South West of England there are already several Community Energy Groups set up and Zero Chippenham are looking to become a benefit group of this community.
• The group were informed that they had been contacted and invited to Redlands Primary School sustainability event in March. It was agreed that group member Gillian Johnson would represent the group and attend the event.
• It was raised to the group that Zero Chippenham, a local sustainability group within Chippenham have launched a tree planting scheme to help with the offset carbon emissions within Chippenham. It was confirmed that all trees will be planted in the local area.

Meeting 10 February 2020
Items on the agenda:
• Chippenham Area Board took place at Sheldon School on 3 February 2020. 134 individuals signed in and the exhibition space was full of local groups, including Chippenham Town Council and Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan. Zero Chippenham, who led the workshop at the Area Board meeting have an upcoming wash up of the meeting and the report will be fed back to the group.
• An update to the group on the two confirmed dates for primary school visits for the sustainability school events. Councillor Desna Allen will be attending in a Mayoral capacity.
• The next key step for baselining is for the Town Council Estate to achieve zero tonnes of CO2 emissions. It was highlighted that a clear plan would need to put into place to help achieve this including a mixture of smaller projects and larger, more time consuming projects that may take years to implement and successfully complete.
• Communication and Engagement was considered as it was highlighted to the group that it may not be seen that Chippenham Town Council are not doing enough in regards to the climate emergency and a communication plan may be appropriate and beneficial to the public. Agreed for more meetings to take place before we communicate agreed actions.

Meeting 16 March 2020
Items on the agenda:
• The new logo was presented to the group and it was highlighted that it uses the same framework as the Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan branding to enable consistency. It was agreed that this branding will be used and also used on all public platforms such as agendas, promotional material, Chippenham Town Council website and Talk Chippenham newsletter.
• The group agreed to have a public information stand at the upcoming Chippenham Town Council Annual Town Meeting on 29 April 2020.
• A member of the group led a report on the first sustainability school event, which took place at St Peters Primary School on 4 March 2020. The presentation the students included a brief introduction into the Climate Emergency Advisory Group and Climate Change. It was reported that the children were all interactive and showed interest.
• Councillor Desna Allen received 29 letters from pupils, which she replied to personally and some of which were appropriate to be passed on to Michelle Donelan MP, Wiltshire Council Highways and Chairman of Chippenham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to highlight issues including protecting green space and traffic issues within Chippenham.
• It was shared that Chippenham Town Council is registered with the national campaign ‘Great British Spring Clean.’ It was made clear that social media would be used to promote the events running from late March until April, mainly to encourage the public to take part. Litter equipment would be borrowed from the Council’s Environmental Services team.

Meeting 7th September 2020:

Items on the Agenda:
Chairman’s Announcements:

• The Climate Emergency Advisory Group were informed and updated on the new battery powered Environmental Services equipment. The equipment will not only reduce the petrol consumption currently used by the Town Council, but will also provide benefits to the residents through a reduction in noise and zero emissions.
• The group were reminded of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust consultation evening on 28 September 2020 for all councillors and CEAG members to attend.

Election of Vice Chairman:

• Alex Lockton was proposed by Councillor Nick Murray. There were no other nominations and with all councillors in favour, Alex Lockton was elected as Vice Chairman for the municipal year.

Recap on where the group are and priorities moving forward:

• An update was provided as Ariane Crampton has been recruited by Wiltshire Council as Head of Carbon Reduction.
• It was highlighted that the Head of Carbon Reduction at Wiltshire Council has started to write a carbon reduction strategy, which should be adopted ready for post elections in May 2021.
• An initial conversation has been made with Wiltshire Council looking at the baselining figures. More data will be made available to the group from future Census.
• It was agreed that CEAG will present to Full Council a presentation of progression so far, so the other councillors can engage. It was also suggested that the Head of Carbon Reduction should be invited to the next Climate Emergency Advisory Group meeting.

Bee the Change presentation:

• Heather Moore from Bee The Change presented to the group regarding the history of the Bee The Change project, the purpose of the project and the various local engagement projects it undertakes including vegetable growing and working with local crafts people.

CEAG Vacancies:

• Discussed potentially adding a public member to the group that had biodiversity knowledge to assist with the group.

Future Agenda Planning:

• It was asked if it was possible to see how COVID-19 has impacted the Town Council and its carbon footprint.
• It was also highlighted that Zero Chippenham is currently discussing ideas that could be fed into the group.

Meeting 5 October 2020:

Items on the Agenda:

Chairman’s Announcements:

• The chairman welcomed Nikki Jones from Avon Needs Trust to the Climate Emergency Advisory Group Meeting

Future Action Plan:

• Alex Lockdown presented to the group the initial thoughts that were considered by Gill Johnson and himself from the Friends of the Earth 50 point plan.
• It was highlighted that although their initial thoughts were shared, it should be a larger group discussion.
• Both Alex Lockdown and Gill Johnson were thanked for their initial research, and the momentum it now gives the group.
• It was discussed that the list needs to prioritise what the Town Council could do from the 50 point plan.
• It was agreed that the presentation would be circulated to the group as a whole, so each member can make feedback.

Borehole at Stanley Park Sports Ground:

• The Head of Leisure Services verbally updated the group on the approved installation of a borehole at Stanley Parks Sports Ground. The project started due to an increased year on year cost of water for the ground. The total cost of the installation would be £23,265 and would have a 2 and half year buyback after which water would be free.
• Initially the borehole would be plugged into mains, but the next step would be looking at solar powered options.

Avon Needs Trees Presentation:

• Nikki Jones presented to the group regarding the work of the fairly new charity ‘Avon Needs Trees.’
• The charity started due to the lack of woodland alongside the River Avon between Bristol and Chippenham. A plot of land has already been purchased just outside Calne with the scope to plant approximately 9000 trees.
• An invitation was extended to the members of the Climate Emergency Advisory Group to visit the site outside Calne, when safe to do so.

Climate Change Network Evening Report:

• Karen Simpson informed the group that the publication of the report from the Climate Change Network Evening has unfortunately been delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
• The report will be shared with the group after it has been presented to the Wiltshire Council Area Board on 7 October 2020
• Councillor Nick Murry thanked all Councillors, CEAG members and officers who attended the original network evening.