The Committee gave consideration to a report which presented and sought approval of revised terms of reference for the Council’s Environment and Sustainability Working Group.
The Group’s original terms of reference had been approved by the Committee in December 2019, when the Group had been formed to oversee the development of a new strategy for the Council related to sustainability, climate change and the environment.
The group had worked with Officers to develop a Strategy, with work culminating in the adoption of the Council’s Sustainability, Climate Change and Environment Strategy and action plan by Full Council on 28th June 2021.
As such the original terms of reference of the Group had been fulfilled, and it was therefore considered its terms of reference should be refreshed, re-aligning the Group’s work to now oversee the delivery of the actions contained within the Strategy.
Key changes were the Purpose of the Working Group (Section 2) and the widening of the pool from which membership could be sourced (3.2). The Group remained non decision making and would be required to report at least annually on its progress.
Since writing the report, the Lead Officer, with support of the Working Group’s Chairman, indicated increasing the size of the Group from six up to eight may be of value. It was also noted that a vacancy had recently arisen on the Group. Should the Committee be minded to increase the membership, the vacancies / new positions would be discussed with relevant Committee Chairmen and the nominations submitted to a future meeting of this Committee for approval.
It was questioned whether increasing the size of the Group was the most appropriate action or whether the Group should have a nominated reserve arrangement like some other Groups. The rationale for the proposal was shared, this primarily being increased flexibility, and it was confirmed that the current vacancy was not due to a lack of interest.
Serving Members of the Group, expressed support for increasing the Membership, and as such the following amendment to the Draft Terms of Reference was proposed and seconded: -
“Ref 3.1 - The Working Group shall comprise at least six and up to eight Members including the Member Champion for Environment and Climate Change”
On being put to the vote the amendment was CARRIED.
With no further comments, and having been moved and seconded, on that basis it was:
RESOLVED that, with the inclusion of the amendment, namely, “Ref 3.1 - The Working Group shall comprise at least six and up to eight Members including the Member Champion for Environment and Climate Change”, the revised Terms of Reference for The Council’s Environment and Sustainability Group, as detailed at Appendix 2 of the report be approved.