DEALING with climate change should become a fifth objective of Powys County Council’s Vision 2025, a councillor has said.
Councillor Huw Williams made the suggestion for the corporate improvement plan at a full council meeting on Thursday, July 15.
Councillors were discussing the Corporate Improvement Plan Annual Performance Report for the 2020-21 financial year which compares how the council performed, to a number of objectives set under the umbrella of the Vision 2025 Corporate Improvement Plan.
Cllr Williams said: “It’s a good and comprehensive report to be honest, but I do feel there is something missing.
“Powys has declared a climate emergency, where is it included?
“It’s very weak in the report, we should be embedding decarbonisation in all of our policies in different areas.
“We have four priority areas; can I urge the cabinet that climate change becomes the fifth objective priority.
“The emergency declaration is not reflected in this report of Vision 2025. It’s mentioned but should be stronger in my view and the (Labour) group’s view.
“Climate change consideration should underpin all our plans as we move forward.
“The thing is, I believe the council is working in a range climate change intervention, so I urge all officers and members of the cabinet to include these plans in next year’s report.
“We do need to know how it’s been embedded in all our services.”
Head of transformation and communication, Emma Palmer, explained that the report looks at performance based on the original plan which was published in 2018.
Mention of climate change wasn’t “as strong at that time.”
Ms Palmer said: “When council approved the budget and alongside the updated annual corporate improvement plan, we strengthened some of the content around climate change, I still believe there’s more to do.”
Ms Palmer said that “behind the scenes” the senior leadership team had received a presentation on how the issue would be included in the next version of the report.
In the budget setting process for next year, Ms Palmer explained that heads of service would have to “consider climate change” and how they are supporting decarbonisation when they put proposals forward.
In September 2020 councillors voted overwhelmingly to back the climate emergency motion, which evolved into a joint effort spearheaded by the Liberal Democrats, added to by the Conservatives and finished off by a Labour amendment.
The Vision 2025 objectives are:
Develop a vibrant economy.
Providing effective, integrated health and care in a rural environment
Strengthen learning and skills.
Support residents and communities.
The report was approved by 54 votes for, 10 against and one abstention.