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Reference to Cabinet from Overview and Scrutiny Commission on the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan

Meeting: 13/07/2020 - Cabinet (Item 4)

4 Reference to Cabinet from Overview and Scrutiny Commission on the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan pdf icon PDF 66 KB



1.         That the recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission be considered when taking a decision on the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.

2.         That a formal response be provided to the Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel at its meeting on 1 September, setting out for each recommendation whether the recommendation is accepted, partially accepted or rejected.


The Leader thanked Councillor Tobin Byers, who had stepped down from his Cabinet role and paid tribute to the work he carried out while he was a Cabinet Member.  The Leader advised that Councillor Allison would be overseeing the waste contract and climate change element of the portfolio on an interim basis over the summer, and the Leader would be overseeing the adult social care and health elements of the portfolio including chairing the Health and Wellbeing Board, in order to provide direction and support for the Directors during the Covid recovery phase.


The Leader advised that items 4 and 5 would be discussed together.  For the purposes of the minutes, the decisions are set out under the relevant agenda item.


At the invitation of the Chair, Councillor Peter Southgate, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission addressed the meeting and presented the reference report.  He welcomed the strategy and action plan, the response to which would define the Council’s policies on climate change for the next 30 years.  He outlined the four recommendations of the Commission and asked that the Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel play a supportive role in scrutinising the actions as they come forward.  Councillor Southgate paid tribute to Councillor Byers for his work on the climate strategy.


At the invitation of the Chair, Pippa Maslin addressed the Cabinet on behalf of the Climate Emergency Working Group.  She thanked Councillor Byers and the officers involved for all their hard work and thanked Cabinet for their consideration.  She also thanked the community and voluntary organisations involved and welcomed the collaborative way of working.  She ask the Cabinet to use the strategy and action plan to lobby the government for change to protect the future health and wellbeing of the borough. 


The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance thanked all those involved in the climate change strategy and the cross party effort, including the work undertaken by Councillors Byers.  He acknowledged that climate change was the great challenges of our time and thanked those in Sustainable Merton, the voluntary sector and the Climate Emergency Working Group for their commitment.  The report recognised that tackling climate change required the efforts of the whole community and that the cost of tackling climate change could not be borne by the Council alone, particular in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that significant investment from central government would be required.


The Director of Environment and Regeneration paid tribute to Councillor Byers for his work and for helping to create an evidence based, community based plan.  The delivery of the plan was beyond the financial capacity of the council and will act as a strong lobbying platform and a basis for behaviour change in the community to deliver climate change.  A delivery plan would follow this and there would be an implementation group formed over the next few weeks and months in order to have a community based group to work alongside scrutiny in the delivery of the plan. 


The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4