Local Agenda 21 Statement

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					                                                                        Agenda Item No. 4


To:   Environment Panel
Date: 5 December 2000
From: Assistant Director (Environment)


1.1   This paper is intended to stimulate early discussion on revising the Council's
      Environment Strategy.


2.1   The Environment Programme Best Value Review (Stage 2 report attached as
      Appendix 1) has identified the way forward for the Environment Strategy. Notably:

        We need an Environment Programme that is wide ranging in its coverage, but
         which enables us to focus on the highest priorities on a year by year basis,
         closely linked to other processes such as the MTSP.
        Environmental issues need to be included in plans and processes throughout
         the Council at an appropriate level, together with appropriate monitoring
        The Environment Strategy needs outcome focused objectives with SMART
         targets, reviewed and set annually.

2.2   The Action Plan identifies that, by Autumn 2001, we adopt a 3-year Environmental
      Strategy with focussed objectives and SMART targets.


3.1   The following timetable is suggested:

        1 March      Environment Panel considers a final E2000 monitoring report and
                     advises on the key issues to be covered in a new Environment
        29 March     E&T committee approve final monitoring report.
        May/June     Issues consultation internally and externally - what should the priorities
        June/July    First meeting of appropriate Service Development Group (SDG)
                     considers a gap analysis of environmental issues, potential objectives
                     and targets and advises on priorities for the coming year.
        Summer       Detail put in place to set targets, particularly what action will result in
                     what outcomes so that realistic targets are set.
        Autumn       SDG followed by Council approve Environment Strategy for 2002-5.


4.1   It would be helpful to get an early indication of likely priorities. The Environment
      Strategy model envisages that Objectives with SMART targets will be set for
      internal issues while the Strategy will 'signpost' where other more externally
      focussed objectives and targets are set. Coverage is likely to be very similar to the
      current Environment 2000 but the strategy will provide greater focus on those areas
      where specific action is required from an environmental perspective.

4.2   The following are identified as possibles for internal focus:
       CO2 emissions from Council buildings
       County Council work related travel
       Water use in buildings
       Improving biodiversity in grounds and gardens
       County Council generated waste
       Purchasing - particularly paper

4.3   Likely areas for specific external focus are:
       Community wide action to reduce greenhouse gases
       Joint Municipal Waste Strategy
       Travel for Work and TravelWise
       Biodiversity and objectives for the wider countryside
       Environmental education

5.1   Environment Panel are invited to comment on the issues raised in this paper.

                                                                                  Appendix A

Environment Programme Best Value Review
Stage 2 Report
To:            Best Value Review Select Panel
Date:          1 November 2000
From:          Assistant Director Environment

1.1 The Best Value Review Select Panel considered the Stage 1 Report of the
    Environment Programme Best Value Review in May 2000. The Main Conclusions of
    the Stage 1 Activity were:
       i. An Environment Programme remains topical and relevant to the challenge of
          achieving sustainable development.
      ii. The scope, level of investment, and delivery methods are similar to other
          Counties, but there are important differences that should be examined as possible
      iii. The linkages to corporate policy, financial and performance planning should be
      iv. The output and delivery model is similar to most Councils, but the use of
          Environmental Management Systems (being widely adopted in the business
          sector) and delivery through external agencies needs further examination.
      v. Its high level objectives must be translated into intermediate objectives and targets
         which are SMART, so that the performance of the Environment Programme can
         be assessed, and its contribution demonstrated.
1.2 The conclusions of Stage 1 led to four areas of work in Stage 2. The results of these
    are considered below. To gather our evidence we did the following:
        Challenge: we looked at individual areas to challenge why we do things in the
         way we do.
        Compare: we visited and probed 5 County Councils, 2 Unitary Councils and three
         other organisations in some depth on their environment programmes.
        Consult: We used the results of the external consultation we had done as part of
         Stage 1 and carried out further internal consultations.
        Compete: focus was on alternative delivery models and how these might tie in.
1.3 The Panel are reminded that this review is about the processes that are used to
    ensure the environment is appropriately dealt with throughout the authority. It has
    not been about the performance of specific environment services although examples
    have been used to illustrate points.

2.0 STRENGTHENING LINKS (following up 1.1. i and, iii above)
2.1 This area of work aimed to address a perceived weakness in the links between the
    current environment strategy and key corporate planning processes, statutory plans
    and associated partnership plans.

                                                                                  Appendix A
2.2 The evidence from the four Cs work is:
      The public expects the Council to deal with a broad range of environmental issues.
       Internally, there is some desire to focus on a relatively small number of priorities
       but also to recognise the broad spectrum of environmental activity.
      Best practice is to distinguish clearly between inward looking objectives (getting
       your own house in order) and outward (community focused) ones. Other Counties
       construct environmental strategies by pulling together objectives from subject
      Integrating environmental issues throughout the Council's operational processes is
       the way to achieve action. However, current ownership of Environment 2000 is, at
       best, patchy and its objectives are not well represented in the corporate strategy
       and other plans. Staff feel there is duplication between E2000 and subject plans
       such as the Local Transport Plan.
      There is an increasing focus on sustainable development within other Councils
       and environmental action is being treated as a key part of this.
      Communication plays a key part in delivery. In            Examples:
       particular there needs to be an appropriate focus at       When considering authorising
                                                                   a new building members use
       all levels of the organisation, from member                 energy efficiency as one of
       engagement to environmental champions at team               their decision making criteria.
       level.                                                     Staff know to turn off
                                                                   computers when they leave
      Environmental Management Systems offer three                them for more than an hour.
       elements that are particularly useful: corporate
       commitment, focusing on significant environmental impacts and monitoring.
      Setting priorities and programmes for action on a yearly basis is preferable,
       provided a longer-term vision is in place, to guide action planning.
      Operational decisions are taken at the Service Plan Level while subject plans
       provide a longer-term perspective.
      The best performing Councils have strong leadership from the top and grass roots
       support among their staff. Our managers recognise this, but feel both elements
       need strengthening.
      Environmental policies/strategies form the basis for environmental action. Those
       that are focussed and have corporate commitment appear to have most success
       in implementation.
2.3 Our interpretation of this is that an environment strategy has to be broad and have
    long-term vision, but we also need to be clear about priority areas at any one time. It
    is important that this vision has a clear lead from senior managers and members but
    also has support of staff throughout the organisation. For this to happen there needs
    to be a simple and clearly understood link between the Environment Strategy and
    other plans and processes, particularly at the operational level. This should be easy
    to translate into action for busy managers. At the moment this is not the case.
    Distinguishing between ‘getting our own house in order’ activity and community
    focused activity helps to clarify processes.
2.4 Our conclusions are:
      We need an Environment Programme that is wide                Example: Long-term - all
       ranging in its coverage, but which enables us to focus       schools to be at DfEE CO2
       on the highest priorities on a year by year basis.           category A. This year all
                                                                    new school buildings at
                                                                    category A and move 3
                                             4                      schools from F to B.
                                                                                    Appendix A
      Environment needs to be included in plans and processes throughout the Council
       at an appropriate level, together with appropriate monitoring regimes.
      We need to refresh the officer and member structures to give appropriate authority
       to environmental action.
2.5 It is recommended that actions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 in our Implementation Plan are
    adopted to address these conclusions.

3.1 This area of work aimed to establish how objectives and targets should be structured
    to ensure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound)
    and have appropriate ownership throughout the Council.
3.2 The evidence from the four Cs work is:
      Externally, very few outcome focussed objectives were found. Other organisations
       tended to have input focussed objectives though many had
                                                                      Example: Our managers
       SMART targets. Our managers believe that action at team        liked "switch off all
       and individual level is best stimulated by very simple 'action printers overnight".
       statement' type objectives.
      E2000 has a few outcome focussed SMART objectives but most are input
       focussed and lack SMART targets.
      Successful organisations are good at converting objectives into processes which
       lead to achievement.
      Successful organisations had appropriate objectives occurring in plans and
       processes from the corporate strategy to individual goals and not just on obvious
       'environment' plans.
      Internally, managers are most likely to respond to objectives if they are in their
       own Service Plans and have local ownership.
      In other Counties the most effective mechanisms involve senior management
       groups ensuring objectives/targets are taken on board at all levels of service
      Focused, short-term objectives appear to be more likely to achieve action and
       people respond best if they can see the results of their actions.
3.3 Our interpretation of this is that appropriate environmental objectives, with SMART
    targets, should be considered for all plans. For non-
    environmental plans the focus will be on buildings        Example: An asset plan has an
    management and travel, while plans with a significant     objective for all new buildings to
                                                              have an energy efficiency rating of x.
    amount of environmental action need to be more            The design process then has a stage
    comprehensive. The very fact of setting these targets     in which the energy rating is
    needs to alter the way we implement plans. At all         assessed and modifications are then
    levels appropriate monitoring and review processes        made if it is not good enough.
    that further inform target setting are crucial. It is
    important to report results in simple language.

                                                                                   Appendix A
3.4 Our conclusions are:
                                                               Example: To reduce the amount of
      The Corporate Strategy needs to present a vision.       carbon dioxide being released from
       An adaptation of our current Environment                the energy we use to power County
                                                               Council buildings, taking into account
       Commitment should be incorporated within it.            yearly variations caused by the
      The Environment Strategy needs outcome focused          weather.
                                                               Target: Average reduction of #% per
       objectives with SMART targets, reviewed and set         year in the period 97/98 to 05/06
       annually.                                               Indicator: Weather corrected tonnes
                                                               of carbon dioxide from buildings per
      We must ensure that the processes that support          year.
       the plan are modified to take account of
       environmental objectives.
3.5 It is recommended that actions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in our Implementation Plan are
    adopted to address these conclusions.

4.1 This area of work aimed to establish if the Council should adopt an Environmental
    Management System and, if so, which one.
4.2 The evidence from the four Cs work is:
      Councils with experience of EMS are now focusing on ISO14001 rather than
       Environmental Management and Audit System (EMAS). There are also a number
       of 'in-house' non-accredited systems and various computer based toolkits in use,
       either on their own or as stepping stones towards one of the accredited systems.
      The benefits of an accredited EMS (both financial and environmental impacts)
       were, by and large, assumed rather than demonstrated. But several organisations
       suggested they had improved working practices through EMS. In particular focus
       and impetus had been achieved through the identification of 'significant
       environmental impacts'.
      A corporate approach gives the most weight to implementation and ensures that
       the initiative does not become confined solely to an 'environment'
       department/section. Also implementing an EMS strengthens corporate ownership
       of the need for environmental action.
      Most costs for accredited systems are in staff time and several organisations
       recommending a dedicated officer. There are also significant financial implications
       for the verification stage.
      Our managers consider an EMS a low priority although they acknowledge that it
       would encourage them to take action.
4.3 Our interpretation of this is that it is expensive to achieve an accredited EMS and
    few significant savings have yet been documented in organisations similar to ours.
    The Business Sector use it for PR and for risk management. It does appear that
    improved working practices can be achieved for the organisation, but there are other
    ways of delivering these benefits.
4.4 Our conclusions are:
      It would not be cost effective for this Council to pursue an accredited EMS at this
      Some of our working practices, particularly focus, could be improved by using the
       principles of an EMS. Using a simple EMS toolkit could help this.
                                                                               Appendix A
4.5 It is recommended that actions 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 in our Implementation Plan are
    adopted to address these conclusions.

5.0 DELIVERY METHODS (from 1.1ii)
5.1 This area of work aimed to establish whether there are other delivery methods that
    should be used to deliver all or part of the Environment Programme.
5.2 The evidence from the four Cs work is:
      Environment programmes in other counties, including Bedfordshire and
       Oxfordshire that are heavily externalised, have an internal core team. They then
       use a variety of methods for delivery of specific actions. For example:
        Some use of consultants on specific programme areas (e.g. energy
         management) or on discrete projects (e.g. to run energy awareness training),
         but we found no defined market place for external delivery of whole
         environment programmes.
        Three authorities use Environment Trusts who deliver specific activity. Use of
         an SLA to do this is good practice. These bodies bring resources to bear by
         means of their own networking and partnerships, and ability to attract funds.
         They do not work in the same way as consultancies.
        Partnership working, recognising that environment programmes cannot operate
         in isolation from other activities.
      A wide variety of practical mechanisms exist which could improve performance
       (e.g. cross departmental senior management groups, identification of the most
       significant impacts).
      Other counties report that main problem areas for delivering environmental
       programmes are lack of funding, providing training (especially for Members) and
       communicating environmental information.
5.3 Our interpretation of this is that environmental programmes are best delivered
    through a mix and match approach. Partnerships are essential and the role of
    environment trusts could be explored because of the 'additionality' they bring. Also
    environmental consultancies have a role in delivering well-defined aspects of
    Environmental Programmes.
5.4 Our conclusions are:
      There is a continuing role for a core Environment Team.
      We need to continue to push the role of partnerships and use consultants for
       specific areas of work.
      We need to explore further whether PECT (the local environment trust) could
       deliver additionality, particularly for our Local Agenda 21 Round Table.
5.5 It is recommended that actions 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 in our Implementation Plan
    are adopted to address these conclusions.

                                                                               Appendix A
6.1 The focus of this review has been the PROCESSES by which the Council sets,
    implements and monitors its environment strategy. A key conclusion is that wider
    ownership of clear targets is an essential ingredient of success. The review
    recommends a process by which this ownership will be achieved. This will result in
    indicators and targets by autumn 2001 for inclusion in the 2002/2003 Best Value
    Performance Plan. These will be indicators of desired OUTCOMES. But for the
    2001/2002 plan it is more appropriate to use a Yes/No OUTPUT indicator:
     Is an Environmental Strategy in place which has outcome orientated performance
     targets for the Authority's internal environmental management, particularly energy
     use in buildings and work related travel?
     Currently: No      Target for 01/02: Yes
     There is precedence for this type of indicator in Government set Best Value
     Performance Indicators (i.e. BVPI1).
6.2 The Government sponsored scheme 'Making a Corporate Commitment', which has
    been in place since 1993, gives a feel for the type of outcomes that will need to be
    addressed. The Government has recently relaunched this initiative under the title
    MACC2, and is seeking commitments from larger business and public bodies. The
    Council might consider signing up to this initiative when it adopts new targets next
    year. The most relevant part of MACC2 is shown at Appendix 1.

                                                                                                                                                       Appendix A
Environment Programme Best Value Review: IMPROVEMENT PLAN
Resources: The following programme can be achieved by refocusing current activity, particularly of the Environment Programme Team but also
a number of policy and action processes.
                                     Actions                                                          When            Who Involved               Results
1    Revise the Environmental Commitment and make it an integral part of the Corporate          Review of          Members             Corporate commitment to
     Strategy                                                                                   Corporate          Chief Execs         environmental improvement
                                                                                                Strategy           EPT
2    Adopt a 3-year Environmental Strategy with focussed objectives and SMART targets in        2002/3 - 2004/5    Members             Improved Environmental
     accordance with the model at appendix 2.                                                   plan in place by   All depts           Strategy and Actions and
                                                                                                Autumn 2001        External bodies     linkage to MTSP process
3    Refresh member and officer structures to give appropriate environmental authority as       To be effective    Directors & ADs     Ownership of environmental
     part of the modernisation processes. Possible option given in appendix 3.                  from Autumn        from all depts      objectives and targets by all
                                                                                                2001                                   departments
4    Use "Menu of Actions" approach to incorporate in-house environmental actions into all      For 2002/3         All depts and       Ownership of environmental
     Departmental & Divisional Service Plans.                                                   Service Plans      divisions           actions by all divisions.
5    Put in place a process for identifying and developing environmental champions and          During 2001/02     EPT/EMG             Local champions to pursue
     subsequently removing barriers these champions encounter.                                                                         environmental agenda.
6    Each department should monitor its environmental performance and have that                 Spring 2002        All depts and       Increased ownership of
     performance scrutinised by its scrutiny panel.                                                                members             environmental targets at the
                                                                                                                                       local level.
7    To amend the Council's current position on environmental management systems to:            Formally adopt     Environment         EMS discussions no longer
     Cambridgeshire County Council is committed to continuous environmental                     as part of         Division            an issue.
     improvement. It aims to maintain flexibility in environmental management                   Environment
     systems so as to make use of appropriate opportunities (currently Best Value               Strategy.
     and PC based toolkits) to achieve this. Such an 'in-house' route retains the
     option of future EMS accreditation should circumstances warrant it.
8    Evaluate a PC based Toolkit, through a practical trial, to identify if it will bring the   By June 2001       EPT                 Decision on what Toolkit to
     improvements to processes being sought.                                                                                           promote.
9    Incorporate environmental management into the Best Value process using the model           Autumn 2000        On-going Best       Improvement to service
     at appendix 4.                                                                                                Value Reviews and   delivery.
                                                                                                                   BV guidance
10   Reaffirm the role of partnerships in delivering environmental programmes, and ensure       Feed into Year 2   Environment
     that Best Value Reviews, particularly for those services with strong environmental         Best Value         Division
     impacts, consider partnership within the "compete" heading.                                reviews.
11   Further explore the option of an SLA with PECT focussed on the role of the LA21            Decide by          Environment         Additionality that this brings
     Round Table.                                                                               summer 2001.       Division            may be 'Best Value'.
                                                                                                                   LA21 Round Table

                                                               Appendix 1

The full Making a Corporate Commitment document can be found at:

     Page 6 has been attached as the appendix to this paper.

                                                                                                                                        Appendix 2
                                            The Environment Strategy
                             CORPORATE CONTEXT and LINKS TO OTHER PLANS
                              Cambridgeshire 2020
                               Long-term prospects

                                                                                                                Departmental /Divisional
                                                                                                                      Service Plans
                 Corporate Strategy (including MTSP & BVPP)                                                   Sets annual targets
Environmental commitment is a key part. It focuses on key outcomes e.g.                                       Links desired outcomes with
The Council will seek to minimise the amount of carbon dioxide and other                                       necessary inputs.
greenhouse gases its activities generate. In particular it will:
 reduce the amount produced from its own buildings and structures and from
the transport it uses,
 reduce the amount of methane produced by landfilling household waste, and
 use its role in land-use and transport planning to encourage solutions for the
wider community of Cambridgeshire.                                                                                                         Appraisals
                                                                                                                                      Sets accountabilities
                                                                                                                                       and goals for

                        Themed Subject Plan                                                 Environment Strategy
    e.g. Asset Management Plan(AMP), Local Transport Plan (LTP),                    Sets corporate objectives for
      Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP), Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)                   environmental management issues
                                                                                     e.g. carbon dioxide emissions from
    Sets corporate environmental objectives for the service. The
                                                                                     energy used in Council buildings
     number depending on how much of the plan is an 'environmental
                                                                                    Signposts location, but does not set,
     service' and the range of environmental issues it covers. For
                                                                                     environmental objectives in themed
     example the BAP has lots of objectives while the Lifelong
     Learning Plan might just have one objective regarding
     environmental learning.                                                        Identifies gaps and duplication and
                                                                                     outlines plans for dealing with these
    Set objectives and actions on key environmental issues as they
     relate to delivery of the subject service with focus on energy in                                                                  Key
     buildings, transport and purchasing/waste management.
                                                                                                                             Plan annually reviewed
                                                                                                                             and monitored
                                                                                              Other Plans
                                                                                      Community Plan, Partnership
                                                                                      Plans and other organisations          Plan reviewed and
                                                                                                  plans                      monitored to its own
                                                               11                                                            timescales
                                                                                                                 Appendix 3
                           Environmental Responsibility Structure
                        Full Council
              Approves Environment                                      Detail to be developed as
               Strategy & other Subject Plans
                                                                         part of modernising. All
                                                                         subject to consultation
                                                                         and final approval.
 Environment
  Portfolio Holder
                                         Service                                                              Environment
                                       Development                                                         Programme Team
                                          Group                                                          Responsible for:
                                                                                                          Delivering specific
                                                                                                           services e.g.
 Departmental                                                                                              biodiversity,
   Scrutiny                                                                                                TravelWise, air
                                                                                                           quality, including
                                                                                                           links to partners.
                                                                                                          Providing specialist
                                                                                                           environment advice
                                                                                                           to services across
                                                                                                           the authority.
            Environmental Management Group                                                                Encouraging
        (Replaces Environment Panel Officer Group)                                                         environmental
      1 AD plus a practitioner from each department                                                       management
      2 additional environmental specialists                                                              improvements
     Responsible for:                                                                                      through the Best
       Driving Environment Strategy                            SMALL Ad-hoc                               Value process
       monitoring and reporting to Environment                 working groups                            Running the
         scrutiny panel on Council's overall INTERNAL          Established on                              Environment
         environment performance                               time limited basis                          Strategy process,
                                                               to drive forward                            including monitoring
       establishing support for departmental groups
                                                               specific issue for                          overall picture.
       co-ordinating Council wide action campaigns
                                                               EMG                                        Providing support to
       establishing training programmes for members
                                                               i.e. energy                                 EMG on corporate
         and staff.
                                                               strategy group,                             monitoring
                                                               Travel for Work                            Providing specialist
                                                               Group                                       advice to EMG
                                                                                                          Administering and
                                                                                                           driving forward work
                                                                                                           of ad-hoc groups on
                                                                                                           request of EMG
                                                                                                          Providing advice to
       Each Department Promotes Action and Monitors Own                                                    Groups.
                       Environmental Impact
How is up to each department to determine. An illustrative option is
for a department to have an Environment Group that is chaired by the
AD on EMG, supported by the practitioner from EMG together with an
Environmental Champion from each operational unit. Responsibilities
would include:
  monitoring and reporting to departmental scrutiny panel on
    Departments overall INTERNAL environment performance
  providing support for departmental environmental champions
  running Departmental wide action campaigns
  running Department specific training programmes for staff.

                                                                                              Appendix 4

          Incorporating Environmental Management
                Improvements into Best Value
The process for incorporating environmental issues in Best Value Reviews is as
follows. This is the SAME process that will be used for other corporate or cross
cutting issues such as: Human Resources, Contract Management, Health, Crime &
Disorder, Equity etc.
A suitable balance will be achieved between all of these issues to ensure that any
one review is not overloaded. It is intended that corporate support officers will
actively encourage team to consider cross cutting issues such as the environment.
Month Best Value Active Encouragement                Significant Environmental
         Review                                      Issues
Sep                                                  Scoping carried out to identify
                                                     which of the years reviews are
Oct                                                  of significant interest from an
                                                     environmental perspective.
Nov                   Review team encouraged to      Reviews informed of specific
                      consider environmental issues, environmental interest.
Dec                   particularly travel and energy Programme of involvement
                      use.                           established.
Jan      Terms of     Environmental issues           Environmental issues
         reference    incorporated into TOR if       incorporated into TOR at an
         complete     consideration has flagged      appropriate level.
                      specific issues
Feb      Review       Environmental evidence         Environmental evidence
Jan      team does included as appropriate.          included as appropriate - may
Feb      Stage 1                                     be a half-hour session with
Mar      review.                                     review team or may be more
Apr                                                  significant.
May      Stage 1
Jun      Review       Further evidence input as      Further evidence input as
Jul      team does necessary.                        necessary.
Aug      Stage 2
Sep      review.      Review team encouraged to
Oct      Plan         re-visit cross cutting issues
         written.     and consider whether they
                      have been appropriately dealt
Nov      Stage 2