Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Climate Action Board - Friday, 13 October 2023 9.30 am

Contact: Jamie Beardsmore 

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


Members of the Board were welcomed to the inaugural meeting and invited to introduce themselves.


Cllr Temperton gave an update on the council’s work on climate. Bracknell Forest had hosted a climate summit in July 2023, which had been very promising and showcased the vast amount of work being done on climate change in a variety of sectors. Bracknell Forest had also advertised a scheme to increase take up of solar panels, the outcome of that would not be available until 2024, but initial signs had suggested it had been effective. Cllr Temperton had also had a meeting with Waitrose where good progress on reducing emissions with work being done including transitioning both their refrigeration and lorry’s into being powered by electric. Cllr Temperton had also taken on the climate change brief within the Berkshire Leaders group and was therefore hoping to be able to achieve Berkshire wide work to tackle climate change. The Board was also informed that it’s finalised name would be the Joint Climate Action Board (JCAB).


Climate Change Motion pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Brief summary of the content of the revised Motion


Cllr Temperton briefed the Board on the Climate Change Motion that been passed unanimously at Council on 13 September 2023. The motion marked the first time that Bracknell Forest Council had declared a Climate and biodiversity crisis. The main aim was to review, broaden and accelerate its Climate Change Strategy to ensure Bracknell Forest could achieve net-zero carbon emissions as close to 2030 as possible. To achieve this a Community Climate Emergency Strategy was to be co-produced with the community. The motion included a guarantee that the strategy would be carried out in a financially transparent way to show is affordability. The motion also included a review to explore the feasibility of a Bracknell Forest Local Climate Bond to support decarbonisation projects. 


Background of the Joint Climate Action Board pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Explanation of the JCB and how its has come into being with brief description of the working model, couple with Working Group Updates and Diversity/Inclusion.


Kevin Gibbs, Executive Director for Delivery provided a summary of the background of the JCAB, why it had been setup and how it would operate.


Information was provided on how the Council operated in relation to climate change and its capacity. Kevin started by highlighting that the Council had only a relatively small climate change team with 3 employees. Furthermore, it highlighted the Council’s total annual spend was approximately £86 million. This was to emphasise that Bracknell was a relatively small local authority and that would mean it would need to work with a wide range of partners to be able to have the capacity to make an impact on climate change. This meant that the success of the Borough in combatting climate change would be dependent on co-operation with a number of partners and the wider community. Therefore, the JCAB had been put together to oversee several working groups who could both make a difference in the community and highlight key voices on climate within the community. The work of the JCAB would also include updating an internal borough strategy to combat climate change.


It was highlighted that one of the key aims for Bracknell Forest was to ensure that the transition to net-zero was a just transition, that was fair to all. So that this was achieved the working groups were asked to think about representation within their groups and ensure there was equitable representation across both visible and invisible demographics. Furthermore, it was asked if working groups could try to identify and share any skills with the JCAB that the Council might otherwise not have access to.


Working Group Expectations Q & A


Following agenda item 3, there were questions and discussions on the role of the JCAB and how it could best operate with its working groups. In this discussion the following points were raised.



  • The importance of diversity within the working groups to show the JCAB is representing the whole community and seeking to make just improvements.
  • Bracknell Forest did not have the resources to fight climate change alone and the co-production with the community and partners would be vital in fighting climate change.
  • The JCAB should be used to cascade ideas and information produced by different working groups as well as advertise work done within working groups that needed further support such as volunteers.
  • The possibility of using volunteers in pollution monitoring, to help track levels of pollution within Bracknell Forest.
  • Members of the public that don’t fall into any other specific working groups can get involved through either the Community or the Health Working Groups.
  • The need to increase engagement within schools and staff in education to get the most out of the Education Working Group.
  • The need to include small business, not just big business, including the need to provide support to small businesses to help them achieve climate targets.
  • Working Groups have the authority to reach out to communities they deem underrepresented and to invite them to get involved.


From the discussion the following actions were agreed for the JCAB going forward:


  • ACTION – All working groups should include discussions on water, energy, pollution and biodiversity.
  • ACTION – Ensure there would be businesses representatives from a wide range of businesses across all sectors.
  • ACTION – Cllr Temperton would email schools to try and ensure they are proactive with engaging with the Education Working Group. 
  • ACTION – Ensure there is collaborative action between sub-groups.
  • ACTION – Members of the JCAB’s email addresses would be circulated to ensure co-operation was possible.
  • ACTION – A template terms of reference and meeting templates would be produced that each working group could then reference. The council will also look in to providing on-line Teams meeting platform access and/or assisting with physical meeting room spaces within Time Square.

·       ACTION – Ideas around goals would be produced to support the working groups which would be shared.


Community Climate Change Strategy pdf icon PDF 17 MB


Damian James, Assistant Direct for Contract Services provided an update on the work Bracknell Forest Council had been doing on climate change. The strategy was to be co-produced with the community within Bracknell Forest. Damian presented statistics from the Department of Energy which showed the change in CO2 emissions between 2005 and 2021 as well as projected emissions to 2030. In 2021, the emissions figure for the whole of the Bracknell Forest borough was just over 407.6 Kilotonnes of CO2e. The vast majority of emissions arise from transport, power consumption and domestic heating. Over the last two years there had been work done to present an annual report on climate change to the full council. The most recent report was available to view on the Bracknell Forest website. Over the two-climate change summit’s that had taken place, 25 pages worth of output had been produced.


Partners were then invited to share ideas on what could be included as part of the Community Climate change strategy. In discussion and questioning the following points were raised and noted:


·   The importance of ensuring any new planning applications are climate change conscious.

·   That residents should have every opportunity to use Bracknell Forest Council public transport instead of private transport with higher emissions.

·   Hard plastics had started being accepted for recycling in the previous year and it was hoped a trial for the recycling of soft plastics would being in April 2024.

·   The importance of ensuring messaging on recycling to the public is coherent and concise, to ensure it has the maximum reach and impact.

·   There was discussion about building links with universities on the issue of climate change as they often have a lot of experience as well as scientific expertise. The Leader agreed to pick this action up.

·   The hierarchy of waste, with reduce, reuse or recycle being the preference. Plastic being turned into energy from waste should only be used as a last resort. The key to achieving this is to ensure residents are putting items in the correct bins to ensure all plastics end up in the necessary places.

·   An event would hopefully be organised for young people in the town centre on 27th October where children would be able to play a game teaching them about which bin different throw-away items should be put in, hoping this would spread awareness and build conversations on recycling with both parents and children.

·   There was research being undertaken on the legal restraints of the climate change bond and ideas of how it would be used would be discussed once this research had been done.

·   Ideas for the strategy content need to come back to the JCAB from the various Working Groups.



Any Other Business


The next meeting was to take place on Friday 12 January 2024.