Agenda item

Carbon Action Plan: Update

To receive a verbal update and discussion around the priorities for next twelve months on actions relating to land allocation and procurements for initial projects contributing to sustainable energy generation and green sequestration.


Councillor Nick Mannion, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Regeneration, introduced the item before handing over to Ralph Kemp, Head of Environmental Services who gave a short presentation.

Ralph advised the Committee that part of his role including being the Responsible Officer for Council’s Carbon Commitment to become carbon neutral by 2025 and that he worked across council with officers to deliver this commitment.

Ralph gave the Committee some background to Climate Change that included flooding and heatwaves across Cheshire East and the North West.  These impacts were not felt equally across communities, however there was a strong ambition to reduce carbon across the borough.

The April Town and Parish Council Conference would include the launch of a carbon toolkit plus the Council was due to launch a crowdfunding project that would enable community projects to connect with business to reduce carbon, and other small scale community projects.

The Council aimed to be carbon neutral by 2025, that was for the carbon it could control and took into account everything it had operational control on by reducing emitted carbon by 45% and offset by 55%.

It was recognised that the Council needed a culture change to put carbon at the centre of plans.  The Corporate plan and Environment Strategy had objectives on carbon reduction and there was a new elearning course to form part of Personal Development Review (PDR) for employees from 2022 to encourage staff in delivering their job to reduce carbon.  Also there was a big procurement focus on social value and carbon reduction.

Cheshire East had received a government grant to decarbonise a number of council buildings.

The Council had learned lessons through the pandemic and part of that related to the fleet of vehicles held by the Council and business travel.  Carbon reduction could be achieved through the reduction of miles travelled and carbon per mile reduction through electric pool cars.  The Council had added its first electric van for community wardens.  Some vehicles were harder to adapt- e.g. bin lorries, however a trial for hydrogen powered bin lorries would be carried out and the Council was now trialing an electric bin lorry.

Alongside carbon and vehicles, the Council was looking at opportunities for nature-based capture of carbon e.g. where appropriate to plant trees, replant hedgerows and peat moss.  The was also the first solar farm at Leighton moss farm. 

Many Local Authorities had taken commitments.  Cheshire East Council aspired to be an exemplar with its approach to achieving carbon neutrality

The Committee were given the opportunity to ask questions, there were discussions about:

  • The inequality of decarbonisation, especially those with electric vehicles that had to trail wires across the street to charge their car;
  • That there had to be structural changes to grid to achieve 50% electric cars by 2030;


Peter Skates, Director of Growth and Enterprise advised the Committee that Richard Hibbert, Head of Strategic Transport was best placed to respond to future plans for electric vehicle infrastructure in car parks and residential schemes, as more people invested in electric vehicles.

Ralph advised Members that the Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure strategy would be available for review by the end of March 2021.

In terms of biodiversity, Ralph was working with the estates colleagues to identify farms, and land that was currently available to enable future committees to make decisions on land use and whether the council needed to purchase land or work with a partner. 


  • Ralph be thanked for his attendance and presentation;
  • That Ralph provide a written answer in respect of the electric vehicle pricing structure for the Committee;  and
  • The report be received and noted.