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Agenda item



The Chair stated that the Committee had received a Deputation from Ben Griffiths for consideration –copy interleaved


Ben Griffiths outlined the deputation as follows –


We welcome the climate emergency declaration, Vision 2030 and its Action Plans with many commitments tied to specific months, it is a shame that some are opaque and some do not include timelines. We have identified 80 commitments due in 2020/21. This includes 31 which have already passed their due date. For all the commitments which already which have passed their new due date we would like to be able to check whether they have been met, or not met, or partially met, or if we must, we can note the Council has not provided information about progress on that commitment.

One of those commitments we know hasn’t been met. There was no action plan for the circular economy produced in December 2020. I am grateful that when I asked about this two months ago, Keith Townsend, Corporate Director admitted a mistake was made. Also Vision 2030 states that a tree budget would be developed by March 2020 but there is still no tree budget. I have asked Mr Townsend who has admitted a mistake was made. It is not surprising or terrible if a few commitments were mistakes or subsequently slip a little, especially during the COVID outbreak. But it is critical the Council is open and accountable and I am grateful that Mr Townsend has acknowledged that any amendments to commitments should be made in an open and transparent way. On 30 December 2020, I asked him how that openness and transparency will be demonstrated but I have not received a reply. The Council was keen to announce the publication of Vision 2030 but I have not seen any public explanation of the current position on the circular economy action plan or the tree budget

We are calling on the Council to be entirely explicit about progress and to make information easily accessible to the community so we can all work together to tackle the climate emergency


1.    The ERSC (Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee) should receive a report at every meeting on progress on all the commitments that are supposed to have been met. This should be in plain English so we can all understand and should provide alternative dates where dates in Vision 30 are not met. Reports should be published before the meetings so Councillors and members of the public can prepare questions

2.    The Council website should make sure that a simple to progress on all the commitments that are supposed to be met is displayed whenever people search for Vision 2030. It is not acceptable to display Vision 2030 without acknowledging where the commitments are not being met. That is a recipe for creating frustration and distrust

3.    A monthly email update should be prepared giving additional information in plain English about progress on all the commitments  that are supposed to have been met. This should go to local climate change groups like ICAP, inspiring Sustainable Islington, FFI, XRI, and to all other individuals and organisations who request it

4.    Update reports along these lines should be prepared for all meetings of the overarching environmental alliance group of interested parties which the Council has agreed to support

5.    It would be really good if enquiries and correspondence on this topic are dealt with in the spirit of recognising the climate and ecological emergencies


The Vision 2030 commitments should not be treated as just another Council work stream but as demonstrated, a commitment to tackle the dire threats to work


·         Committee noted that a written response had been sent to the presenter of the petition by the Director of Environment and Regeneration, Mr. Townsend

·         In response, the Corporate Director acknowledged the error in relation to the circular economy action plan, reminding the meeting that the Net Zero Carbon strategy 2030 was endorsed in November with a view of it becoming policy in December. Work is taking place to turn the strategy into an active process. The Director noted that it is a significant aspect of work and consideration would be given as to how progress can be reported going forward

·         A Member referred to the response to the deputation , noting that  Council officers were working extremely well given the difficult circumstances of COVID, however it was important going forward to ensure that progress was documented in a transparent manner and this could be shared with the Scrutiny Committee. It was stated that consideration would be given to the process of reporting progress

·         Reference was made to the need to lobby Government and the GLA with regard to additional funding, and it was stated that London Councils were working together at both officer and political level and a recognition that Islington is leading on Green Energy

·         The Committee noted the Climate Emergency special meeting of the Committee scheduled to take place on30 March


The Chair thanked Ben Griffiths for attending and presenting the deputation