Highlights from Cabinet – Monday 11 December 2023

We have detailed some key highlights from the Cabinet meeting, held on Monday 11 December 2023.

New Climate Strategy

Members debated recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the Council’s Climate Strategy 2023.

The Climate Strategy has been refreshed following a review carried out in 2022/23 in partnership with stakeholders and the wider community.

The strategy sets out how the council will use its powers and influence to make Rother district carbon neutral, and reduce the council’s operational emissions to Net Zero, by 2030.

Cllr Kathryn Field, Lead Member for Environment, said: “This is a very well written strategy. It is very clear and sets out what we want to achieve. It identifies five themes, and we will look at each theme twice during the year at the Climate Change Steering Group meetings. I look forward to the strategy informing everything we do in the future.”

Cabinet unanimously agreed to recommend approval of the Climate Strategy. Full Council will consider the strategy and recommendation later this month and will be asked to give its approval.

Introduction to East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Local Nature Recovery Strategy

Members discussed the new East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Local Nature Recovery Strategy.

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) were introduced through the Environment Act 2021 and aim to recover nature and improve the wider local environment.

Cllr Susan Prochak, Lead Member for Planning, said: “The LNRS is at the heart of our Local Plan. You may not recognise it living where we do, but we live in one of the most nature depleted countries in Europe and this strategy is designed to reverse this and improve and enhance our local environment.

“Once the strategy is complete, we should have a habitat map of Rother, as well as a list of our biodiversity priorities. It is a huge support for us in our Local Plan.”

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) is the Responsible Authority with a legal duty for producing the LNRS covering the administrative areas of ESCC and Brighton & Hove City Council; Rother District Council is a Supporting Authority under the LNRS regulations.

Cabinet unanimously agreed to grant delegated authority to the Director – Place and Climate Change, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning, to submit responses to East Sussex County Council at key stages in the preparation of the strategy.

Funding for trees to commemorate King’s Coronation

Rother District Council has been allocated over £76,000 from DEFRA’s Coronation Living Heritage Fund, and details of the Micro Woods projects and Community Orchard Grants were reported to Cabinet.

Cllr Kathryn Field, Lead Member for Environment, said: “As Cllr Prochak has said, we are very a nature depleted country and anything we can do to help restore that balance is a good thing. With this money we can plant trees, get the community orchards going, and increase our local biodiversity.”

The Director – Place and Climate Change was authorised to accept the Coronation Living Heritage Fund grants from DEFRA, and to procure goods and award grants to complete the projects.

Cabinet also recommended that Full Council approve the inclusion of the Micro Woods projects and Community Orchard Grants in the council’s Capital Programme with budgets of £27,149 and £49,024.50 respectively.

Published: 15th December 2023

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