Portsmouth Climate Action Board January 2022 Zoom meeting minutes



Professor Steve Fletcher (SF) – University of Portsmouth


Meg Howson (MH) – Friends of the Earth

Mark Scarborough (MS) – The Hive

Trevor Mose (TM) – Portsmouth Hospitals Trust

Nick Sebley (NS) – Portsmouth Climate Alliance and UOP Researcher

Kelly Nash (KN) – PCC Strategy Advisor

Jerry Clarke (JC) – Portsmouth International Port

Andy Ames (AA) – Wilder Portsmouth

Miriam Sampson (MSa) – Board Christian Climate Group Facilitator

Scott Ramsey (SR) – Board Climate Festival Lead and Restructure Group member

Jenni Jones (JJ) - Sustrans

Kristina Downey (KD) – PCC Climate Strategy Advisor

Martin Palethorpe (MP) – Board advisor and Restructure Group member

Natasha Layley (NL) – Welfare Officer UoP

Shipa Ahmed Khan (SK) – Portsmouth Bangladesh Business Association & Restructure Group member

Clare Seek (CS) – Board Restructure Group member

Stef Nientowalski (SN) – Shaping Portsmouth

Stan Marlow (SM) – Unison and Trades Union Council

Apologies - None

Update on Board community projects

Community E-Cargo bike scheme – (JJ)

Partnership with Sustrans; raised £5366.00 via a Crowdfunder and bought two bikes to be used for the community. Next steps: Research hosting a bike at John Pounds Centre and continue with promotional materials and videos

Try before you buy with Southsea cycles, supported by local councillors and community. Bikes are available for hire from 4th Jan – membership system in place £1ph for members for affordability. Non-member rate is £25 for the whole day. Currently, bikes are being hired out almost every day. Expect demand to increase further with better weather – also looking to work with schools for school runs.

Brambles Infant School & Nursery (AA)- the Board worked with the school on a Climate Crowdfunder, winning first prize and raising £9000. It also recruited volunteers to advise, such as Martyn Cox, the Mail On Sunday gardening correspondent and author. Now looking at training teachers as part of the Wilder Portsmouth scheme, creating a pond area, new grass area and wild garden at the school.

Manor Infants School (NS), The Board was instrumental in initiating the project and securing the funding for 500 native trees to create a wildlife hedge around the perimeter of the playground. These were planted on 22rd Jan. Lord Mayor and PCC Deputy Leader attended, and a very good turn out from the parents and community. Southsea Green, Tree Council and Charles Dickens Community Orchard also attended. Next Steps: Nick meeting with Zoe White PCC officer looking to replicate the greening schools project with other schools. And Forgotten Veterans to make raised beds.

Wilder Eastney (NS) (opp. Coffee Cup Eastney Beach)– 60 people signed up originally, and held a community day in Sept 2021 planted bluebells / snowdrops some of which have now come up. Also installed bird boxes and planters, made by the Forgotten Veterans.

More recently 20 fruit trees were donated by the CD Community Orchard / Tree Council, and on Dec 12th residents were invited to plant and (informally) adopt a tree dedicated to loved ones who have passed away. Partnership work with the Stacey Centre and others, helped bring together a great community event. Presentation gave list of supporters and partnership with different groups and organisations.

Nick has spoken to PCC to look at making rewilding an easier process in the future so that permission can be granted quicker.

Nick has been contacted by DR. Heather Rumble, University of Portsmouth wants to do a study on the rewilding project.

Board Christian Ecumenical group (MSa). The Christian Climate action group has 31 people on the mailing list including both Cathedrals, 12 Anglican Churches, Roman Catholic Diocese, 7 other denominations and Quakers.

Exploring carbon reduction in Church buildings and looking at greening land around Churches. Some are participating in the ‘A Rocha Eco Church’ initiative. The Anglican Church has a bronze level and is working towards Silver.

The Church of England is nationally committed to Net Zero by 2030. Climate Sunday Services were held around COP26. Various events held for Portsmouth Climate Festival, locally there is a focus on members to reduce Carbon Emissions, share resources and offer a support network in promoting climate issues.

St Mary’s Church has applied for funding for an E-Cargo bike. The group is looking at funding opportunities to help with greening Church land. Several Churches have started environmental action groups and there are other ongoing projects.

Climate Risks video project (NS) Producing 2 min social media video summaries of the Climate Festival event. Interviews with academics outlining local impacts of climate change and what we can do to help. The project delivered by students & academics at the University of Portsmouth should be ready by March / April 2022.

City Wide Strategy subgroup (NS) is starting up again with Kristina’s support and guidance. If you want to join please email info@portsmouthclimate action.org.uk

Updates from Board member orgs.

MS– HIVE have a list of volunteers who can offer support to deliver any projects – do get in touch they will be able to help.

TM– the Integrated Care System (ICS) for Hampshire & Isle of Wight (which replaces what was previously known as the Sustainability & Transformation Partnership or STP) is working on a Green Plan in response to the NHS Net-zero carbon targets. The ICS has a sustainability sub-group which comprises estates leads from both commissioners and providers and is overseeing the regional response and looking to add value to the work of individual Trusts. Regional priorities include: travel & transport, medicines procurement and digitally enabled working.

Net-zero carbon plans are also being developed by each individual Trust setting out actions for the next three years. All Trusts are required to have a Board approved plan in place. Trevor offered to provide a fuller update at the next meeting.

MH – Would this include hospital food? Trevor – Yes, this will include hospital food, less waste and more plant based options.

KD – Is putting together an organisational inventory for the council and quantifying data this will be published annually. Is also looking at the City Wide Strategy.

SF – University of Portsmouth has a change of staffing for the Climate Strategy, responsibility now with the Chief Operating Officer, Bernie Topham. Looking at long term change for procurement which accounts 80%, waste processing etc. Will have a more robust plan at the next meeting.

JC – Portsmouth International Port, looking at Hydrogen electrolyser and a hydrogen subsea craft for putting boats in water. Air quality analysers are working well at the Port, however fuel supply and engines are old. Looking for dual fuel battery funding.

To enable shore power to shipping when docked alongside need around 30MW of electricity supply; Port currently has 2MW. Looking at potential projects to work on this, but currently this is more than is available for the whole city. 2 hybrid ferries led to reduction in carbon emissions. Various other projects are ongoing.

JJ– School streets in Portsmouth, press release to go out at the end of the week, has had a lot of support for this project.

SF– great to see on the ground practical projects going on and also the community involvement. Thanks to everyone.

Restructuring Subgroup: Presentation

Nick Sebley – PowerPoint presentation.

Group consisted of Nick Sebley, Clare Seek, Stef Nientowalski, Martin Palethorpe, Scott Ramsey and Shipa Ahmed Khan.

Group studied models used in other areas, Manchester, Reading, Bristol, Winchester, as well as looking at two local public-private partnerships: Shaping Portsmouth and The HIVE

Nick delivered a presentation on the different models used in other areas and linked to how it could potentially work in Portsmouth. The different areas had a blend of paid staff and volunteers, some were hosted partnerships while others were council led & funded, some were independents with a membership / partnership model.

Wider networks of these models varied by city. Reading a hosted partnership, have a themed strategy led by Council officers with strategy and action plans and responsibility for each theme. Also has 120 organisations in the wider network.

Manchester have a separate CIC and also a separate Advisory Academic group. The CIC has paid staff as well as seconded staff from MCC

Bristol a CIC which has a board of co-chairs / leads on the strategy with independent academics. 85% of funding from founder members. All board directors are outside of the council. Being a CIC / CIO means they can access funding from the National Lottery Climate Fund to co-develop and deliver community action plans.

Winchester predominantly Council run. WINACC CIC, an independent entity from the council, has 350 voting members, hosted by the University which also provides IT support. WINACC gets annual grants from the council in addition WINACC received a £750K grant from the Energy Redress Scheme for a domestic retrofit scheme. This is something that they were able to apply for as a CIC / Charity.

Whichever model Portsmouth decides it has to be an Interdependent model, with a close partnership with the council.

Nick also gave an overview of The HIVE (now a Charity) & Shaping Portsmouth (CIC) structures and briefly discussed benefits of CIO.

CIO model can build alliances with other cities, lobby the government, deliver climate action programmes through grants; the Restructure group’s broad consensus is to set up a CIO, with seed funding from PCC. It would take a partnership role in the creation of the city wide strategy.

Potential challenges presented, length of time to set up. But projects could be running alongside while CIO paperwork is being done; currently looking at around 8 months to be registered with the Charities Commission..

Other alternatives include: keep the current model but would need more admin support from PCC and more allocated staff time from Board member organisations or have a council led model.

Discussion of Restructuring presentation

SN thanked NS on behalf of the restructuring group for all his hard work and putting the information together.

SF – thanked the restructuring group and invited questions.

MS– Further information with extension on all the possible ways of working. Other options will be helpful, with highlighting pros and cons for each.

Question around the difference between a CIO & CIC?

NS - A CIO can apply for project and core funding grants, receive donations / standing orders with Gift Aid, as well as sell products or services. A CIC can’t access as many revenue streams.

KN– What would be the wider offer for the City and the outcomes it would be seeking to achieve. Looking at the objectives. Form and function needs to be part of the final offer.

SN – is there a clear indication whether seed funding is available. We need an idea of the amount of seed funding that will be available from PCC. Which would enable us to put a programme in place with an idea of the amount of funds available

KN – could be a commissioned model, but would need a clearer idea of what the offer is. Would need more detailed information and early community based work that could potentially be done. What particular expertise would be needed? How does it fit into the city agenda? Needs more detail around the offer.

SF – Once PCC are clear with what the offer is then PCC will look to explore in collaboration.

NS – It’s important that there is a democratic mandate for whatever the new model is, council needs to take the responsibility for transport emissions etc. Look at a co-leading on the strategy. Whilst other projects are ongoing.

MH – Is the Council thinking about continuing Nick’s role? Concerns around the huge task of setting up a CIO and also time required to do so. Prefer things to carry on as they are and build on what is already being done. The council does have to provide the staff as we can’t rely solely on volunteers.

KN – PCC doesn’t fund the current role, Nick’s role is paid for by the University. Tristan’s role was part funded by the council.

NS – advised group that his role might end soon, but is keen to meet with Kristina to start working on the City wide strategy.

TM – grass roots activity, business and community engagement is good. But for bigger organisations this level of funding would not make much difference. However a focus on engagement and education with bigger organisations alongside would help.

NS – The big emission cuts needed are impossible without changes in central government policy. A CIO could push / lobby for these government changes, via alliances with other cities and campaigns; it could also prepare local communities for those policy changes, so the public understand and welcome them rather than react adversely. There are lots of existing social problems such as fuel poverty, social isolation, air quality, anti-social behaviour, lack of green spaces etc. that could be addressed through climate action: a CIO should focus on these win wins. Some ideas like a circular economy are not well understood within government circles either, so there is room there for campaigning.

Summing up and conclusions

SF - Thank you for the discussion

We need to be clear: what does the board want to achieve?

What is the best way to achieve this?

Who would be tasked to set up the legal status / group or suggested model that will be agreed?

Where do we get the strategic leadership from?

Where and how does an academic / scientific arm fit into the model we agree upon?

Restructuring group has been tasked to present a formal offer at the next meeting in March/April.

SN – should we have a plan B – in case the board are not happy with our recommendation?

KN - What are the outcomes we want to achieve? What are we working on in the meantime for a short action plan and a longer term action plan for the new structure?

NS – role could end in the next few weeks, so thought needs to be given on how this could be continued alongside the work that is already existing.

SF - the work going forward needs resources, unless any organisations around the table are happy to put forward for paid staff, going forward it seems that we need to have a change of status in order to apply for funding.

MH – Council should pay for staff to take this forward.

KN – when the objectives are clear then resources can be discussed. What is it we want to achieve and how. Resourcing discussions would come after this.

SF – Thank you to everyone and to the sub group for all the hard work and presentation given today.

Meeting closed 16:56