Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Via Video Conference
Contact: Liz Hornby
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that the focus of the meeting was the environment which was a priority for this Community Board.
The new school crossing for Chiltern Hills Academy School in Chartridge Lane was now published for consultation and the Chairman urged members to respond as it was essential that this school had a safe school crossing due to the high numbers of pupils who walk to and from school.
Welcomed Caroline Green, the new Co-ordinator for this Community Board.
The Chairman referred to the report from Thames Valley Police which had previously been circulated.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from David Martin.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any disclosure of disclosable pecuniary interests by Members relating to items on the agenda. If any Member is uncertain as to whether an interest should be disclosable, he or she is asked, if possible to contact the Monitoring Officer prior to the meeting.
Members are reminded that if they are declaring an interest, they should state the nature of that interest whether or not they are required to withdraw from the meeting.
To agree the Minutes from the meeting held on 3 December 2020.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2020 were agreed as a true record subject to the addition of listing the Parish Councillors in attendance who were:
Parish Councillor C Sully – The Lee Parish Council
Parish Councillor C Brown – Cholesbury-cum-St. Leonards Parish Council
Parish Councillor J Lherbier – Chartridge Parish Council
Parish Councillor R Watts – Ashley Green Parish Council
Parish Councillor V Martin – Great Missenden Parish Council
To respond to questions submitted to the Chairman by 5.00pm Thursday 4 March prior to the meeting.
There were no public questions.
Update about Buckinghamshire Council's Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy
Councillor Bill Chapple (Cabinet Member Environment and Climate Change) will be giving a short overview about the Council’s strategy.
The Chairman welcomed Councillor Bill Chapple.
Councillor Chapple introduced himself and explained that he was the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change and David Sutherland who was the Head of Climate Change and Environment.
Councillor Chapple explained that at the 16 February Cabinet meeting, it was decided this strategy would be taken out to Community Boards and schools. The key points of the presentation were:
· The Council accounted for less than 1% of emissions in the county although this would be looked at to see what improvements could be made, such as looking at council buildings and how a direct approach could be identified. Understanding the connection between the Council and emission source would lead to planning effective actions.
· Sixty actions had been identified and were within the strategy and had been arranged in order of the degree of control or influence that the Council had from direct sources, suppliers and partners.
· Highlighting the strategy of helping communities to address climate change which was particularly relevant for groups such as the Community Boards it was hoped that support would be given to local projects ambitions.
· It was noted that support was being given to two groups who would be planting trees in suitable places along highways/roads.
· In reference to Emissions Reduction Target. It was hoped the emissions would be reduced by at least 75% compared to the 1990 baseline (this was the baseline year that all national targets were based on). This compared to the UK National Target of 68% reduction by 2030 based on those 1990 baseline figures. This meant that the Council was setting a quicker pace that the national pace.
· By 2040 it was hoped to achieve a 90% reduction with a 100% reduction reached by 2050. It was also hoped that the county would be carbon neutral by 2050 although it was hoped this could be achieved earlier.
· Tree planting projects could help in achieving net zero emissions as it provides a negative emission or carbon offset which would lead to net zero.
· The aim was to plant a tree for every man, woman and child in Buckinghamshire; a figure which was, currently, approximately 543,000 although this figure could increase following the national Census due to take place in March 2021. However, the figure would have increased by 2030 due to all the development taking place within the county.
· The new woodland would absorb between 300 and 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 30 years and would require in excess of 200 hectares of land to accommodate the number of trees.
· Once the programme was completed, it was estimated that a total of 60,000 tonnes of carbon would be absorbed from the atmosphere therefore reaching a net zero emissions figure.
· The tree planting would also have other benefits such as supporting biodiversity gains, flood alleviation and amenity access for the public.
· An outline programme of works had been laid out. It was noted that it was a deliverable programme which would ensure that net zero ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
1. Update about the Communi-Tree Project – Councillor Nick Southworth
2. Update about the Re-Wilding Project – Paul Harding
3. Update about the Public Health Community Grow Project – Sally Hone
4. An overview of Sustainable Chesham – Vicki Mistry and Alison Phillips
5. Update about the Zone 9 Cycle Group – Pamela Wignall and Richard Dunn
Update about Communi-Tree Project
Councillor Nick Southworth explained that trees disappeared over the years and erosion of urban environment, the loss of tree lined streets had detrimental effect on the community. It was noted that pollution at the front of a house was reduced by 60% if trees were located in front of a property. Trees also reduced flooding and captured carbon among the many other benefits. Since 2017 vast amounts of work had been undertaken to get to a point to enable planting to take place. Funding had been approved and the Town Council had also approved £10,000 which meant that staff could be trained and equipment bought. CAT scanners were being bought and work with Buckinghamshire Council on licensing / site surveys was being undertaken in terms of getting people involved. In respect of Community engagement residents had been invited to nominate sites and following that response a long list of sites had been nominated. This list was being worked through. Residents would take ownership of the trees to maintain them. Covid had interrupted the work of planting trees. At first 35 trees were planted in the first few months of 2020. Covid then put everything on hold and no mass planting could be undertaken. As of December 2020 planting resumed and a total of 75 trees had been planted. The figure would be brought up to 100 within the next two weeks. A more ambitious project was being planned as the aspiration was for 1,000 trees to be planted in the next 2 years. It was noted that one of the biggest complaints was that residents had not got trees.
In answer to questions, it was noted that:
· Residents had contacted Communi-Tree asking whether it was possible to donate trees to the scheme. It was stated this was being investigated further.
Update about Re-Wilding Project
Paul Harding explained that there was a strip of land at the back of Lowndes Park along where Chiltern Academy was located which was mainly used by dog walkers who stuck mainly to the paths. He reported that he had been to the site with Jim Ashton, one of the country’s biggest rewilding experts, discussing putting in a rewilded woodland. The advantages were that the site is south facing with runoff down to Berry Pond and it was close to the town centre. There used to be woodland there around 150 years previously although there was some woodland on private land to the south of the site. It was hoped that a full ecosystem would be put in place with deadwood for wildlife, shrubs around the edges and wild flowers along with habitat boxes for owls, kestrels as well as smaller birds.
The stage had now been reached whereby work could start during the next planting season, i.e. next winter. Being Town Council land permission would need to be obtained. It was noted that there was a budget of between £5,000 and £6,000 which was not considered large but it was ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
1. Village Forum – any questions to be answered by Councillor Patricia Birchley.
2. Covid Support Group – any questions to be answered by Councillor Mark Shaw.
3. HS2 Update – any questions to be answered by Councillor Colin Sully.
4. Town Team update – any questions to be answered by Councillor Jane MacBean.
5. Funding Group – any questions to be answered by Councillor Patricia Birchley. (Report To Follow)
Board members noted the report circulated with the agenda.
Covid Support Group
Board members noted the report circulated with the agenda and the Chairman wished thanks to be passed on to everyone who had helped during the lockdowns over the past year.
Councillor Colin Sully explained that the process of engagement with HS2 had improved. Regular meeting jointly with the Missendens Community Board, HS2 and Buckinghamshire officers were now taking place along with Members interest group and it was noted that the Parish Council also had regular engagement. Unfortunately while the engagement had improved, the content had not. There had been controversy over the felling of oak trees in Leather Lane and the issue had escalated and that the Council, the Chiltern Conservation Board and Cheryl Gillan (the local MP) were all now involved. The contractors had now agreed to review their tree felling plans on Leather Lane and would present an update the day after this meeting.
There was now a major impact on the landscape issue. There was also a problem with potential traffic on roads. Attempts were being made to get a better understanding of risk and mitigation of risk of levels of traffic on the A413 which remained unresolved. It was understood that Buckinghamshire Council were holding a number of Schedule 17 applications which were awaiting approval but had not, as yet, received sufficient information from HS2.
The Chairman thanked Councillor Sully for his informative report and update.
Town Team Update
Councillor Jane MacBean reported that the focus was to re-open High Street by encouraging residents to come out of isolation and rejoin daily life when safe to do so.
The Town Hall was undertaking excellent work as vaccination centre.
It had been agreed to put on low key public events to put some life back into the High Street.
The pedestrianisation of Market Square was now in place and it was noted that planters would replace the barriers currently in place in the town centre.
Town Team were looking at ways to support Chesham Town app which had the potential to be a good vehicle for retail and traders in the town as well as community organisations and the council.
Caroline Green reported that the funding group met on 21 January 2021 for the third round of funding. Among the applications discussed were Chenies Footpath which the group agreed to put on hold pending revised final costs and detailed breakdown from Transport for Bucks with a revised bid. This revision had been received today (11 March 2021) and would be discussed at the next meeting of the group due to be held on 22 March 2021. The other application was from Transitions UK which was a mentoring and support project for young people at risk of offending or criminal exploitation. The bid was for £4,000 which was turned down by the group as they believed this should be funded centrally.
For the fourth round of funding, the ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 24 June 2021 at 7.00pm
Thursday 24 June 2021 at 7.00pm.