Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 26th November 2009
Title of Item/Report
Environment Select Committee Review of Carbon Management
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented the findings of the Environment Select Committee review of Carbon Management, which took place between May 2009 and October 2009, which sought to identify options for future strategy / policy / service provision that would deliver efficiency savings and sustain or improve high quality outcomes for Stockton Borough residents.

The Committee recognised the important role the Council had for public leadership of this issue and how effective the plans needed to be to impact upon carbon emissions. The Government wanted to encourage and empower local authorities to take additional action in tackling climate change, where they wished to do so. Stockton Borough Council was part of the Tees Valley Climate Change partnership, which aimed to tackle climate change in the most efficient way through sharing resources and efficient sub-regional collaboration on cross-boundary issues. The Council accounted for 2 per cent of carbon emissions in the borough which although was not a significant percentage overall was considered high as the Council is not a manufacturing organisation.

In addition the Committee wanted to examine and identify any opportunities to reduce the costs of the Council's energy bill.

It was noted that following consideration of the recommendations by Cabinet an Action Plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented, detailing officers responsible for action and timescales.


1. Officers investigate the possibility of starting or supporting a local carbon offsetting scheme ensuring that any monies are retained in the borough or failing that within the Tees Valley.

2. A Carbon budget pilot scheme is introduced to explore the practicalities and potential benefits of introducing such a scheme on a Council wide basis and an evaluation report be produced after one full year's carbon budgeting, bringing forward recommendations on the feasibility of scheme across all Council's services.

3. The principles set out in the Sustainable Commissioning and Procurement Strategy are endorsed and that all aspects of sustainability including environmental and carbon reduction issues be integrated into each stage of the procurement cycle from necessity of need to award of contract.

4. The work of the sub-regional and regional procurement groups in using sustainability criteria when contracting for supplies and services be endorsed.

5. In order to identify strengths and weaknesses within schools a report be compiled so that all schools were identified showing their level of commitment to the carbon reduction strategy.

6. Options are developed to consider the relocation of the Energy Advice Centre to The Shambles, or a more prominent position, to increase public awareness. If the centre can not be relocated then it should be clearly signposted from Stockton High Street to its current location. Also the role of contact centres in providing additional energy advice services be explored.

7. An audit of all Stockton Schools is carried out to identify where mechanical ventilation and air conditioning is used and a plan to replace with natural ventilation be developed.

8. All council new build and refurbishment should aim for BREEAM excellent rating or the nearest appropriate achievable efficiency.

9. An action plan be drawn up for the refurbishment of SBC buildings to improve the DEC rating as soon as possible.

10. The investigation of using SBC community centres as community education facilities to show energy saving and micro generating technologies.

11. Publicity is given for the measures used in new and refurbished council buildings in order to stimulate interest in the technologies for both domestic and commercial properties.

12. Developers applying to build in Stockton Borough should be advised of, and adhere to, the requirements contained in the Core Strategy on Sustainable Living. Planning consideration should also be given regarding the orientation, layout and material use so that buildings will have the lowest carbon impact.

13. The possibility of introducing wireless connectivity and e-readers for councillors and officers attending meetings to reduce the amount of printing required for meetings be explored.

14. SBC lobby bodies such as government departments and the Local Government Association to make conferences and seminars available to view online including documentation.

15. A concerted effort be made to encourage greater use of phone & video/web conferencing to cut down on business travel.

16. The Workwise scheme, allowing appropriate staff to work from home, be increased as much as possible to reduce the number of car journeys and the carbon output in council buildings.

17. The Workwise programme address any unfairness that might arise when exporting the carbon footprint and associated costs to council employees.

18. A strategy for ICT across the council leads to greater efficiencies and more effective management of the carbon emissions including the use of shared printers and purchasing equipment at the minimum required specification.

19. The introduction of an energy saving strategy across all Stockton's schools to ensure energy saving approaches are taken for all non-networked items of technology (i.e. whiteboards, non-networked computers, projectors etc).

20. The specification to procure bidders to form a Local Education Partnership to deliver the Building Schools for the Future programme is drafted to ensure that the most carbon efficient ICT systems are provided and maintained under a managed service agreement.
Reasons for the Decision
In order to further improve Stockton Council's position as a local leader within the climate change agenda and assist the reduction of carbon emissions from council buildings.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Cunningham declared a personal, prejudicial interest in respect of the item entitled Scrutiny Review of Carbon Management as a result of his employment, left the room and took no part during discussion of the item.
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Friday 4 December 2009

Date of Publication: 30 November 2009

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