Agenda and minutes

Environment and Climate Change Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday 25th October 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 3 - Town Hall, Huddersfield. View directions

Contact: Jodie Harris  Email:


No. Item


Membership of the Panel

To receive apologies for absence from those Members who are unable to attend the meeting.



Apologies were received from Gary Kitchen (Co-optee)




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 379 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on  the 30th August 2023.


The Panel considered the Minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 30 August 2023.


RESOLVED: That the Minutes be approved.



Declaration of Interests pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Members will be asked to say if there are any items on the Agenda in which they have any disclosable pecuniary interests or any other interests, which may prevent them from participating in any discussion of the items or participating in any vote upon the items.


No Interests were declared


Admission of the Public

Most agenda items take place in public. This only changes where there is a need to consider exempt information, as contained at Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. You will be informed at this point which items are to be recommended for exclusion and to be resolved by the Panel.


All items were considered in the public session.




The Panel will receive any petitions and/or deputations from members of the public. A deputation is where up to five people can attend the meeting and make a presentation on some particular issue of concern. A member of the public can also submit a petition at the meeting relating to a matter on which the body has powers and responsibilities.


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10, Members of the Public must submit a deputation in writing, at least three clear working days in advance of the meeting and shall subsequently be notified if the deputation shall be heard. A maximum of four deputations shall be heard at any one meeting.


No deputations or petitions were received.



Public Question Time

To receive any public questions.


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, the period for the asking and answering of public questions shall not exceed 15 minutes.


Any questions must be submitted in writing at least three clear working days in advance of the meeting.


No public questions were received.



Council Owned Tree and Woodland Management Policy pdf icon PDF 458 KB

The Panel will consider the finalised draft replacement Council Owned Tree and Woodland Management Policy.



Joe Robertson, Woodland Development Officer




The Panel considered the finalised draft replacement Council Owned Tree and Woodland Management Policy.


The item was introduced by Councillor Yusra Hussain, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Culture and Greener Kirklees who highlighted that the replacement policy brought forward ways to better use resources bringing benefits to the economy, net zero targets and public health. 


The item was presented by Joe Robertson, Woodland Development Manager and it was explained that: 


·         A review of the Council’s existing tree and woodland management policy identified that the policy required updating.

·         This review work resulted in a redevelopment of the existing documents to provide a new progressive policy which was:

o   Better aligned with current Kirklees commitments and corporate goals

o   Lined up with the new national duties placed on Local Authorities 

o   Reflective of changes in public attitude

o   Delivering services using resources more efficiently

o   Providing a safe environment for Kirklees’ communities

·         Engagement had been undertaken, including a presentation to the former Economy and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Panel in January 2023, for comments on the early draft.

·         The Comments provided by the Panel and the actions taken to address them had been detailed in the finalised draft,

·         The finalised draft, including Policy Statements, an updated Risk Framework, Management Standards and Service Standards.

·         The tree and woodland management policy linked into other key policies such as planning, climate change, and corporate cleaner and greener objectives.

·         The new policy was required to link into national policies such as the environment act introduced in 2021 and the Health and Safety Act was a key consideration of the work.


The Panel noted the presentation highlighting that the draft policy was a progressive and positive document. The Panel also expressed thanks to officers for taking the previous recommendations from scrutiny on board.


In the discussion to follow, the Panel asked a number of questions around the management of public expectations, guidance around the planning process in relation to protecting trees, tree replacement standards and woodland management and maintenance commitments.


In response to the Panel’s question around the management of public expectations, Joe Robertson advised that a copy of the full policy document would be available online, but work was also being undertaken with the Councils Communications team to develop a web base with user friendly information, which would also help streamline access to service delivery through a proforma. 


In response to the Panel’s question around planning permission Joe Robertson advised that the Local Plan set out a robust policy around the removal of trees which was linked to the value of the landscape and the value of the tree. If the tree was important, the Local Plan and planning process would not support its removal unless there were very clear reasons why, and the draft replacement Council Owned Tree and Woodland Management Policy aimed to reflect this.


In response to the Panel’s question around the limited access inspection regime Joe Robertson advised that most all woodlands were publicly accessible, and that limited access would only be applied in a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Update on Local Air Quality Management pdf icon PDF 5 MB

The Panel will consider the 2023 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR) and will receive a presentation providing an update on Local Air Quality Management.




Chris Sheilds, Senior Environmental Health Officer- Air Quality

Additional documents:



The Panel considered the 2023 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR) along with a presentation providing an update on Local Air Quality Management.


The item was introduced by Councillor Yusra Hussain, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Culture and Greener Kirklees, who highlighted that local air quality management was a legal responsibility placed on all Local Authorities. It was important to note the strong links of air quality to public health, and looking ahead there was to be a focus on emerging legislation with regards to air quality and ensuring that the legal limits of primary pollutants were met in Kirklees. The Council had knowledge of its local communities and challenges faced, making them best placed to lead air quality actions working alongside partners to implement the appropriate solutions, and the team were committed to seeking external funding for larger scale projects to support the Air Quality Action Plan.


Shaun Berry, Operational Manager- Air Quality, Energy and Climate Change gave the presentation which explained that:


·         The Environment Act 1995 introduced the Local Air Quality Management statutory duty, to review and assess air quality and act where air pollution concentrations breached legal, health-based standards.

·         Air quality across Kirklees was generally good when compared to the national trends and other local authorities.

·         Nitrogen Dioxide was the primary pollutant in 9 of the 10 AQMAs (Air Quality Management Areas across Kirklees) and other pollutants were also measured.

·         Roadside monitoring of pollutants was undertaken through diffusion tubes, automatic monitors and zephyr sensors.

·         Air pollution had a significant effect on public health, and poor air quality was the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK.

·         It was also important to note that where there were inequalities there was a correlation to higher levels of exposure.

·         Progress in improving local air quality was detailed within the Council’s Air Quality 2023 Annual Status Report which was submitted to DEFRA annually. 

·         The 2023 ASR reported on the period January 2022 to December 2022 on the AQ monitoring and Air Quality actions that had taken place across the Borough.

·         After submission, DEFRA would confirm approval and ratification of the report.

·         At that time, DEFRA would also provide feedback to indicate where AQMA’S could be revoked or where an new AQMA would need to be declared.

·         Of the 10 AQMA’s across Kirklees, there had been an overall positive decline, from 2012 to 2022.

·         £500K of external funding had been sought through the annual DEFRA Air Quality grant funding scheme and the announcement on the bid was expected Spring 2024.

·         The Kirklees bid proposed use of an innovative Air Quality solution provided by Pollution Solutions, called Roadvent(subject to funding/successful bid).

·         Roadvent worked by extracting exhaust fumes/AQ pollution from within the road area and funnelling through a filtration system to lower AQ concentrations.

·         Laboratory test result suggested Roadvent could be an effective solution.

      The Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) was a legal requirement required by DEFRA where a local authority has AQMAs.

      The AQAP outlined the action Kirklees Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Work Programme 2023/2024 pdf icon PDF 660 KB

The Panel will consider its work programme for 2023/24.




Jodie Harris, Principal Governance and Democratic Engagement Officer


The Panel considered its Work Programme for the 2023/24 municipal year. It was noted that arising from the Panel’s scrutiny of the Re-Profile of Kirklees Resource and Waste Strategy 2021-2030, Panel members visited the Energy from Waste Facility and Materials Recycling Facility in Huddersfield on 27th September 2023. During the tour, Panel members noted the risks from disposable vapes and felt that messaging to raise awareness of this was important.


The Governance Officer advised the Panel of changes to the work programme. The Panel noted the updates and suggested that the Parks and Green Space item be moved to November and that the Fleet Replacement item be scheduled.


RESOLVED:  The Panel noted the work programme, and it was agreed for the suggested changes to be discussed with the relevant lead officers.