Agenda item

Environmental Performance Report 2022-23.


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport which provided information on progress made in delivering the Council’s commitments to net zero and gave information on the performance of the Council’s Environmental Management System for 2022-23. The report also gave an update on progress in delivering the aims and objectives of the Council’s Environmental Strategy 2018-2030.  A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 9’, is filed with these minutes.


In presenting the report, the Director explained that the report included the Council’s environmental performance, progress towards achieving net zero and greenhouse gas emissions and related to the Council’s progress in delivering the existing 2030 and 2045 targets.


Arising from discussion, the following points were raised:


      i.         Regarding the increase in office mileage claimed, Members were informed that claims made were for petrol, diesel and electric vehicles (EV). When completing the claim, staff were asked to specify the type of car, so figures could be compiled for the level claimed for journeys made by EVs if this was required. The performance figures in the report were compared to the period during the pandemic when there had been very little travel undertaken by staff, hence the increase in office mileage shown. However, the current mileage claims were less than those made pre-pandemic. Data showed that there was a rise in the number of claims made for EVs, as more staff purchased such vehicles.

     ii.         A Member expressed concern that the biomass boiler had not been working recently. It was explained that it was currently running and Members were informed that this method of generating energy was well proven and was a strong contributor to the Council’s renewable activities. There had been issues previously with sourcing parts for the boiler with delays experienced as parts were sourced from Germany. Additionally, it had been challenging to source parts during the pandemic, as with parts for other pieces of equipment.

    iii.         In response to Members concerns about the significant decline in the number of Leicestershire rivers, from 99.6% to 0%, which were in good chemical status, the Director explained that this was due to a change in the Government’s methodology for calculating the data. Members were informed that data for the county was in line with national performance. The County Council relied on other agencies, for example the Environment Agency, water companies, etc. to support achievement of the performance targets in this area. The County Council did not have a specific target on river water quality but did contribute to the achievement of the national target.

   iv.         Members asked that the Environment Agency and Severn Trent be invited to attend a future committee meeting as a follow up to their previous visit to enable the Committee to understand what was happening to Leicestershire rivers and what could be done to rectify the situation. The Director agreed that this was possible but added that clarity was needed about what would be discussed with them and Members would need to collate questions for submission to these organisations in advance.

     v.         Regarding the solar PVs, Members were informed that 10.9% of electricity used by the County Council had been generated from its solar PVs. The Council had considered the feasibility of installing rainwater harvesting equipment at County Hall about 10 years ago but had found that the costs of installation were exorbitant and so had not proceeded. However, the Council did consider installing solar PVs on new buildings and had installed them on the building for the Access Group, in Loughborough.

   vi.         The Director explained that the actions detailed in the report for Leicestershire activity towards achieving the net zero targets would be re-prioritised should the revised targets be approved, especially in light of the Council’s financial situation. Members welcomed a simplified and more accessible action plan being developed

  vii.         Mr. Pain CC added that the initial Action Plan included a large number of projects and identified where the Council had an advocacy or leadership role in delivering them. Many partners had been brought together and key stakeholders identified in order to work towards achievement of the net zero targets. He supported the Director’s comments about the activities being re-prioritised in the short to medium term within the resources available.

 viii.         Regarding the installation of renewable energy and rainwater harvesting on new buildings, it was up to the Local Planning Authorities and district councils to determine standards for their areas, and this could also be driven by the Government setting new legislation.


Members commended officers for presenting such a transparent and honest performance report and for the achievements made which were detailed in the report.




That the update provided on the Council’s environmental performance for 2022-23 and progress made in delivering the aims and objectives of the Council’s Environmental Strategy 2018-2030 be noted.


Supporting documents: