Decisions at Executive meeting – 6 November 2017Published Tuesday 7 November 2017
The outcomes of items considered at Harborough District Council’s Executive meeting on Monday 6 November 2017.
Overall carbon emissions in the Harborough district have decreased by nearly a quarter over the past decade, a new report has revealed. Councillors noted some of the positive work being done to address and respond to climate change, air quality and energy-efficiency in the district. According to the second annual report on Harborough district Council’s Climate Local Action Plan, overall carbon emissions in the Harborough district have decreased by nearly a quarter from 812.7 tonnes in 2005 to 653.1 tonnes in 2015. The council has also been working with the Flourish Partnership to provide grant opportunities for energy efficiency measures for residents. In total, more than 170 homes benefited from these measures during 2016 – equating to carbon savings of over 6,600 tonnes over the 20 year lifetime. Harborough District Council has also continued to reduce its own corporate emissions with carbon emissions from gas, electricity, and vehicle fuel, reduced by five per cent since last year. This has been achieved through improvements such as more efficient lighting and initiatives such as green travel plans, and working with contractors on fuel-efficiency training. Work is also underway to prepare for the impacts of climate change – such as flooding and other severe weather. Working with the Resilience Partnership, 24 parishes are preparing emergency plans – with 13 already completed. In addition tree planting and natural flood defence measures have been installed on the Bushby brook in the north east of the district – near Houghton on the Hill, and the results are being monitored. Road transport remains the largest source of carbon emissions, accounting for half of the overall emissions from the district. Other sources of emissions data collected include industry, domestic as well as land-use change and forestry. The council remains committed to working to reduce emissions across the district through its Climate Local Action Plan. Future plans include the introduction of electric vehicle charging points to further reduce transport emissions, as well as other initiatives.
Councillors agreed that, following an independent examiner’s recommended changes, the Kibworth Neighbourhood Plan should progress to a referendum on 25 January 2017 in the Kibworths. Neighbourhood plans help communities choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, what new buildings should look like, and are used to determine planning permission for the new buildings they want to go ahead.
The District Council has agreed to provide support to small businesses which experienced significant increases in business rates following a National Revaluation in April 2017. The Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme identifies 518 business properties eligible for support. The eligible businesses will receive 100 per cent relief for the increase in rates payable over last year. In total the relief amounts to over £330,000 and will be funded from Government grant. Councillors said they hope this financial relief will be welcomed by businesses in the District. Further support will be available in 2018/19 and 2019/20.
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