Agenda item

Announcements and Communications

To receive any announcements from the Chair, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive.


The Chairman announced that details of the engagements undertaken by herself and the Vice Chair since the last meeting had been circulated to all members.


Over the festive period, HM Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman, announced several Cumbrian people had been named in this year's New Year Honours List.


Of these was Norman Clarkson of Calderbridge, near Seascale, for services to the community in West Cumbria. Mr Clarkson was Chairman of Cumbria County Council in 2012/13 and a former Mayor of Copeland 2005/6, and Mr Brian Hough for services to the local community and Diabetes UK. 


Cumbria County Council employee, Mr Clive Johnson was awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal (QFSM) for his dedication to the Fire and Rescue Service in Cumbria.


Mr Johnson, from Staveley, had worked in the Fire Service for 50 years before going into retirement. He joined theService in 1968 when he was 18 years-old and climbed ranks from Firefighter to Watch Manager.


The Chairman thanked everyone who had bought tickets for the Chairman’s Raffle this year.  One of the charities which would be supported from this would be the Royal British Legion to assist with the work they do all year round in the county to support the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. The raffle this year raised £600.00 for the Chairman’s Charities.


The annual Christmas celebration events for our looked after children, foster carers and their families from across Cumbria took place in both Carlisle and Barrow in December. They were a huge success and a great opportunity for the County Council to show its appreciation to foster carers for their ongoing support and commitment.


The Chairman thanked officers in the Communications team and the fostering teams who organised and attended these events.


The Leader and the Chief Executive had no announcements to make on this occasion.


Mrs Celia Tibble, Cabinet Member for Environment made an announcement about Climate Change.


The climate was changing and extreme weather events were becoming more frequent.  It was undeniable that the impact of this change was having a very real effect; Cumbria had experienced severe flooding and storms several times in recent years. Therefore adapting to the impacts and supporting communities to live with significant changes was important, and Cumbria was already doing this.


The UK had been leading the international effort to cut emissions and passed the Climate Change Act in 2008.  There were mandatory carbon targets that were legally binding for the UK – different sectors were expected to play their part in meeting their targets, including the public sector. It was imperative that carbon emissions were reduced to limit the impacts of a changing climate. 


Cumbria was proud to have a number of communities leading the way in encouraging more sustainable and low carbon living.  Local Flood Action groups were helping to support households to get the information they needed about flood risk in their areas.


The County Council first took action back in 2009 publishing the Carbon Reduction Plan. This was quickly followed by a countywide strategy that brought together partner organisations across a variety of sectors to tackle emissions and reduce the impacts of climate change. 


In 2015 the Council signed the Climate Local pledge led by the Environment Agency and Local Government Association.  This provided a framework within which the Council could continue to develop projects that reduced emissions and demonstrate the commitment to action as a community leader.


The Council had reduced emissions through its waste contract and reducing waste to landfill, through the buildings programme Better Places for Work, through the installation of LED street lighting, low emission fleet vehicles and pool cars and through the introduction of video conferencing to reduce the need to travel. 


The Cabinet Member agreed to update Council on the progress of the Climate Local refresh later the year as the County Council continued to take action around climate change.