Agenda item

Public Questions

Notice of question to be given in writing or by email by 12 noon, Friday, 26 November, 2021 to the Council’s Monitoring Officer ( and to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 10.


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The Chair informed the meeting that two questions had been received from members of the public who had each asked that their questions be read out at the meeting.


The first question was from Susan Kirkham as follows:


“Actions such as the Nottingham City Council Workplace Parking Levy that has raised £25.3 million in the first 3 years and licensing of the private rented sector to cover the enforcement costs of ensuring compliance with minimum energy efficiency standards.


In the first three years of operation, the workplace parking levy in Nottingham raised £25.3 million of revenue, all of which has funded improvements in the
city’s transport infrastructure, including the largest fleet of electric

buses. Recent research indicates that the levy has significantly
contributed to a 33% fall in carbon emissions, and a modal shift which
has seen public transport use rise to over 40%


Given the local, national and climate goals, and the Council’s financial position, how is the Policy and Resources Committee ensuring that all actions and decisions within the council are meeting our climate goals and are financially beneficial?”


The Chair read out the following response:


Wirral Council declared an environment and climate emergency in 2019 and in doing so established a corporate priority to respond to the emergency and influence others to do so. The Council has since established its environment and climate emergency policy, committing the Council to be net carbon neutral by 2030 and setting out the framework for doing so. A key element of the policy and carbon neutral commitment is for the Council to become a ‘carbon literate organisation’ to ensure all decisions and future strategy are informed by their environment and climate impact. Since commencing carbon literacy training 200 members and senior officers have attended the course. All Council reports set out the environment and climate impact of the recommendations being put forward. The Council also has a dedicated Climate Emergency Team, headed by the Climate Emergency Manager and their role is to coordinate and drive the Council’s Environment & Climate Emergency Action Plan. This includes working closely with senior regeneration and planning colleagues to support and advise on the development of the Council’s growth strategy and Local Plan, both of which are setting out sustainability objectives including build quality, future neighbourhoods design, a range of development levies including biodiversity net gain and prioritisation of active transport provision.


The Council is a leading partner in the Cool Wirral Climate Change partnership and supported the establishment of the Cool2 climate change strategy for Wirral and net zero target of 2041 (Wirral’s second strategy). Since the strategy’s introduction in early 2020 a range of initiatives have been commenced including a taskforce on low carbon building and an advanced position with a heat network pilot for the Birkenhead area.


In terms of a levy on workplace parking, the Council is developing its post Covid pandemic recovery strategy and new, post lockdown way of working. This will involve a permanent shift to more home working and reduced estate. Therefore, it is premature to consider future parking arrangements of provision, other than travel by car will be discouraged and a greater investment of active travel facilities at the future operational hubs. 


The second question was from Naomi Graham as follows:


“The report accompanying the Medium-Term Financial Strategy coming before this committee currently states that the MTFS has no environment and climate implications. Could the Committee ask officers to note that there are environment implications in all Council spend decisions and that there may be climate adaptations and risks that Wirral needs to address over the MTFS period. For example, using transport spend to reduce the impact on air pollution and improve health outcomes, to use all spend to increase the support for the local green economy, to consider spend decisions to improve health and well-being through green spaces etc?”


The Chair read out the following response:


There are no environment and climate implications of producing an electronic Medium Term Financial Strategy document, which is the subject of the report.  The document sets a strategy framework for the 2022 – 2027 budget and Medium Term Financial Plan. As part of the budget setting process for 2022/23 individual budget proposals will have robust business cases and equality impact assessments completed and it will be in these documents where the implications for the environment and climate will be made. These documents will be available to the Policy and Resources Committee in the new calendar year, in line with the 2022/23 budget setting process.