Agenda item

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:- 

The deadline for the submission of public questions is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.


The Leader advised that there had been no petitions received on this occasion but that a question had been submitted by a Member of the Public in relation to Agenda Items 6 (Council Highway Inspection Policy) and 9 (BCP Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation) and that two statements had been submitted from Members of the Public in relation to Agenda Item 8 (2020/21 Quarter 4 Performance Report) and Agenda Item 9 (BCP Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation).

Question from Soo Chapman

Agenda Item 9 Local Plan objectives need updating. They are aspirational but meaningless given the unambitious "carbon neutrality ahead of 2050" statement. Clearly the "wide range of evidence" gathered at the public consultation is out of date regarding   impacts now visibly accelerating as climate approaches dangerous tipping points and feed-back loops significantly earlier than anticipated. An existential threat. 

Agenda Item 6 The Decision Impact Statement Final Report (Highway Inspection Policy) admits the proposal does not account for the potential impacts of climate change (flooding, storms, heatwaves).

How will BCP inform, incentivise, and motivate residents through the diminishing window of survivability before our home planet becomes uninhabitable?

Response by the Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning

I would like to thank Mrs Chapman for her question. National planning policy requires that local plans contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, whilst planning for development that the area needs. We recognise the role that the Local Plan has in influencing a range of measures to reduce carbon emissions contributing towards meeting both national and local net zero carbon targets. The objective on climate change sets the scene - to adopt a proactive strategy to tackle climate change impacts - whilst other objectives set the overarching approach to promoting a sustainable pattern of development that will be key to reducing carbon emissions.

A range of policy options identified in the draft plan will be developed further to form detailed policies that on implementation will contribute to the aim of carbon neutrality. For example, promoting a brownfield-first approach to development that maximises urban potential in sustainable locations, energy efficiency in buildings, reducing the need to travel, supporting accessible local commercial centres, promoting green infrastructure, and promoting cycling and walking routes and facilities. We have also recently reviewed our car parking standards to promote lower car use in sustainable locations.

But all that comes next. First, we want to hear the views of the community and encourage people to engage in the local plan consultation process to make their thoughts known about these key issues that will shape the future of BCP.

Response from the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing and Waste

I would like to thank Mrs Chapman for her question. The proposed Inspection Policy seeks to harmonise BCP Council’s response to the national code of practice for Well Managed Highway Infrastructure which is concerned with identifying immediate safety defects on the highway network rather than network improvements and changes which would allow for a response to wider factors including climate change.   Inspectors do identify drainage defects through their scheduled inspections and follow up public reports.  Whilst the inspections themselves do not result in direct changes to the drainage system, all the data gathered is used to inform investment strategies including the recently adopted Highway Asset Management Strategy and information is also made available to Flood and Coastal Erosion Team to support future decision making.

BCP Council is progressing our Climate Action Plan, Flood Risk Management Strategy, Air Quality Strategy and Highway Asset Management Strategy all of which will inform our activities to respond to the climate change challenge including our engagement with our communities and businesses. "

Statement from Soo Chapman

Ignoring their terrifying climate report of 24.11.20 which is still negligently and incomprehensively unshared with the public BCP's "prospects, positivity and pride" are clearly out of kilter with the environmental literacy required to protect residents from "untold suffering". 

Egregious political and media leadership is genocidally failing to incentivise the wholesale, radical behaviour change required to decarbonise at speed and scale and retain a habitable planet.

Harriet Stewart-Jones' excellent Echo letter yesterday points out that BCP needs to step up with a plan to communicate, educate and serve- for the good of us all (planet, nature and humans).

Statement from Melissa Carrington

Government has recently set a new target for CO2 reduction of 78% by 2035 and committed to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030. However, after recent global heatwaves, wildfires and surface water flooding, even scientists are shocked by the speed of change. We need urgent action on climate resilience and emissions reductions.

BCP council’s lacklustre response is unfathomable. Even after doubling the budget for climate, the amount is inadequate. Where are the policies to encourage area wide emissions reductions? 2050 is too late; most of the reductions are required in the next 10 years. Every month of delay counts.