Agenda and draft minutes

Low Carbon Hub Board (to 29 July 2019) - Monday, 29th July, 2019 12.30 pm

Venue: Board Room, GMCA, Churchgate House, 56 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 6EU

Contact: Jenny Hollamby  Tel: 0161 777 7009 Email:

No. Item



Apologies for absence were received from:


·         Eamonn Boylan (GMCA)

·         Hisham Elkadi (Salford University)

·         Phil Korbel (Cooler Projects)

·         Chris Matthews (United Utilities)

·         Roger Milburn (Arup)

·         Mark Pilling (Siemens)

·         Kiristina Poole (PHE)

·         Councillor Angeliki Stogia (MCC)

·         James Thompson and Nalin Thakker (Manchester University)

·         Simon Warburton (TfGM).



The Chair opened the meeting and introductions took place around the table.


Apologies for absence were received from Eamonn Boylan (GMCA), Hisham Elkadi (Salford University), Phil Korbel (Cooler Projects), Chris Matthews (United Utilities), Roger Milburn (Arup), Mark Pilling (Siemens), Kiristina Poole (PHE), Councillor Angeliki Stogia (MCC), James Thompson and Nalin Thakker (Manchester University) and Simon Warburton (TfGM).


Councillor Alan Quinn, the appointed representative from Waste & Recycling Committee for the 2019/20 Municipal Year from Bury Council was welcomed to his first meeting of the Low Carbon Hub Board (the Board).


James Thompson (Manchester University) who had left his post and was unable to attend the meeting, was thanked for his support and valuable contributions over the last two years. The Chair looked forward to welcoming his replacement Nalin Thakker to the next meeting.


The Chair explained that he had been appointed as the GMCA Portfolio Lead for the Green City Region and Chair of the Low Carbon Hub Board for the 2019/20 Municipal Year. His priorities for this year were rapid decarbonisation over the next five years, stimulating energy innovation, developing a more circular economy and creating a greener City Region, which was more resilient to climate change.


The Board was provided with a copy of the revised Climate Emergency Declaration recommendation that was agreed at the GMCA meeting on 26 July 2019.




To receive declarations of interest in any item for discussion at the meeting. A blank form for declaring interests has been circulated with the agenda; please ensure that this is returned to the Governance & Scrutiny Officer at the start of the meeting.



There were no declarations received in relation to any item on the agenda.



To consider the approval of the minute of the meetings held on 15 March 2019





That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2019 be approved as a correct record.


Mission Based Approach - Presentation pdf icon PDF 622 KB


It was explained that following approval of the 5 Year Environment Plan in March 2019, an indicative budget of £1m (over three years) had been identified to initiate actions which, would support its delivery. 


The report provided an overview of how the indicative budget, from retained business rates, might be utilised to deliver a Mission Based Approach to achieve the challenge of carbon neutral living within the Greater Manchester (GM) economy by 2038. 


It was reported that the GMCA and Local Authorities (LAs) could not deliver the 5 Year Environmental Plan in isolation. Work was needed with partner organisations to achieve the goals of the Plan. The GMCA’s role would be a convenor and also to demonstrate leadership of the public estate. In addition to allocating funding for communications, establishing a GM Environment Fund and establishing a mechanism for the collective procurement of photovoltaic (PV)/battery technologies, the primary task would be to build capacity to accelerate actions.


The GMCA’s Assistant Director of Environment provided the Board with a presentation about delivery of the 5 Year Environmental Plan, which covered:


-        Environmental threats and challenges – opportunities for GM.

-        Early decarbonisation and increased innovation.

-        Reduction measures.

-        5 Year Environmental Plan performance.

-        Environment Team performance overview.

-        Taking action together.

-        Green City Region integrated governance.

-        Natural Capital Group Terms of Reference.

-        Indicative GMCA budget.

-        External funding.

-        Green City Region websites.


The Board discussed the report and presentation, the main points referred:


·         To provide more detail, the Board asked that there be a rolling programme of deep dives on the key themes.


·         A Member asked about buildings and reducing carbon, the GM’s Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment (formerly known as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF)) building standards and sustainable drainage and onshore wind. It was explained that onshore wind had not been banned but there were challenges obtaining planning permission. The 5 Year Environmental Plan had accounted for buildings and reducing carbon. Should the GMSF be approved, it was envisaged there would be an uplift on building regulations. There would also be a step shift in the next couple of years towards carbon neutrality.


·         An Officer asked if funding for the development of a GM Local Energy Market (GM LEM) was from the Prospering from the Energy Revolution funding call. It was reported that funding for Phase 1 (Scoping Study) had been secured but a bid would be submitted for Phase 2 (Development of a GM LEM).  


·         The relevant sections of the GMCA website would be rebranded to the Green City Region Board.


·         The National Energy and Climate Change Plan could be delayed due to the change in Government leadership.


·         The Challenge Groups would be supported by the existing governance arrangements, which would become the Task and Finish Groups, such as the Natural Capital Group.


·         It was agreed that Professor Andy Gibson, Manchester University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor would be invited to join the Green City Region Partnership (the Partnership).




1.      The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Performance Report Quarter 1 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Additional documents:


The GMCA’s Assistant Director of Environment’s report provided the Board with the usual update on progress of the Low Carbon Hub for the first Quarter of 2019/20.




1.      The Board noted on the progress outlined in the report and the latest position set out in the dashboards attached to the report at Annex 01 (Environment Team Performance Overview) and Annex 02 (5 Year Environment Plan Performance).


2.      The Board was content with the dashboards as a means of updating the Board on progress, risks and issues and agreed that regular deep dives on the key themes be provided.



Governance Changes and Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 685 KB


It was reported that delivery of the Mission Based Approach would require a number of changes to the existing governance structures and consequent changes to Terms of Reference.  The proposed changes to governance structures and Terms of reference required to begin delivery of the 5 Year Environment Plan was outlined in the report.




1.      The Board noted the proposed transition from Low Carbon Hub Board to the Green City Region Partnership and approved the revised Partnership’s revised Terms of Reference for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.


2.      The proposed Governance Structure for the Mission based Approach (Item 4a Mission Based Approach, Annex 02 Green City Region – Integrated Governance refers) was endorsed.


3.      The Board agreed to the Partnership’s Board Members to Chair and Deputy Chair the proposed Challenge Groups. The following nominations were agreed at the meeting:


a)         Communication Challenge Group

(Engaging and communicating with all stakeholders)

Louise Blythe (BBC) Chair and Phil Korbel (Cooler Projects) Deputy Chair


b)        Low Carbon Buildings Challenge Group

(Reducing emissions through post-meter actions)

Robin Lawler (Northwards Housing) Chair and *Deputy Chair required


c)         Natural Capital Challenge Group

(Ecosystem services and natural adaptation)

Anne Selby (Wildlife Trust) Chair and Chris Matthews (United Utilities) Deputy Chair


d)        Sustainable and Consumption and Production (SCP) Challenge Group

(More with less)

Robin Lawler (Northwards Housing) Chair and Richard Jenkins (Suez) Deputy Chair


e)         Energy Innovation Challenge Group

(Reducing emissions through pre-meter action)

Peter Emery (ENWL) Chair and *Deputy Chair required


*It was suggested that the University Representatives might want to fulfil the Deputy Chair roles.


4.      The Board approved the revised Terms of Reference for the Natural Capital Group for the 2019/20 Municipal Year and confirmed Anne Selby as Chair and Chris Matthews as Vice- Chair.


5.      The Board agreed that similar Terms of Reference should be developed for the other proposed Challenge Groups: Sustainable, Consumption and Production (SCP), Low Carbon Buildings, Energy Innovation and Communications for agreement at the next Board/Partnership meeting.




Additional documents:


The Board considered a report that presented an opportunity for a Solar PV Collective Purchasing pilot across the GM’s ten Districts. The proposal aimed to support GM’s achievement of the Green Summit aspiration for the City Region to be carbon neutral by 2038, through the increased uptake of local renewable generation.  The proposal would complete one of the 5 Year Environment Plan actions to: examine the potential to establish a GM collective solar PV/battery purchase to drive up residential uptake.


The Board was asked to discuss how their organisations could help support the procurement and disseminate the broader message about local renewable generation.


The Board discussed the report, the main points referred to:


·         Members and Officers welcomed and fully supported the proposal.


·         It was clarified that the scheme would best suit domestic households and small businesses. The scheme would also appeal to churches and schools but this was dependent on type of building and size.


·         A business case for residents to help them understand recovery would be beneficial. There could be other renewables.


·         An Officer enquired about supply chain issues. It was suggested that there would only be a problem if the scheme moved outside GM.


·         It was clarified that there would be one manufacturer and local installers would be used for fitting. The manufacturer would guarantee the equipment and liability would be the responsibility of the local installer.


·         Officers asked about a GM framework for electrical vehicle leasing. It was explained that this work could potentially take place next year.


·         A Member suggested that domestic heating and air source heat pumps needed to be emphasised in spatial planning.


·         The GMCA’s Assistant Director of Environment would provide the Board will an update on the low cost loan option next week.


·         An Officer highlighted issues with rateable values. ENWL was happy to get involved and would ensure that infrastructure was available should three or four streets join the scheme.


·         Further thoughts and comments should be forwarded to the GMCA’s Assistant Director of Environment outside of the meeting.




1.    That the Board noted the contents of the report.


2.    That the contractual requirements were being finalised and that the GMCA had been asked to delegate approval to GMCA Treasurer, in consultation with the Portfolio Lead, to proceed with the appointment of a Solar PV Collective Purchasing partner, commencing with the pilot in September 2019 be noted.


3.    That Officers will forward their further comments and suggestions to the GMCA’s Assistant Director of Environment outside of the meeting.





It was explained that the report had been drafted in association with key partners and interested parties. Subject to agreement, it was envisaged that the report would be considered by the GMCA in September 2019. The Board was asked for their thoughts and comments on the overall approach.


The GMCA’s Head of Environment Policy, Low Carbon & Environment, provided the Board with a presentation, which covered:


-        Priority areas in the 5 Year Environmental Plan.

-        The importance of buildings in meeting our environmental ambitions.

-        The scale of the challenge.

-        The wider opportunity and the need to take action.

-        Reducing energy demand in homes, commercial buildings and public buildings.

-        Taking this forward across sectors.


The Board made a number of comments, which were noted as:


·         An Officer made the following suggestions; a move to a level of consistent funding to meet aspirations; a ten year programme of building investment; more work around renewable heating sources; a review of the total cost and a shared investment model would be beneficial.


·         An Officer was concerned that the following areas; types of heating; the point of action; the tightening of planning conditions around extensions and driving retrofit should be strengthened in the report.


·         The actions for the public and private sectors were almost the same. A consistent measurement model was required.


·         The price could be used for cross fertilisation.


·         There was an opportunity for skilled jobs for young people. Officers asked what mechanism was in place for communication with the relevant groups. It was explained that the governance structure was linked to the Local Industrial Strategy and the GMCA’s Director of Policy and Strategy’s job was to make sure communication was happening.


·         Consideration should be given to issues around Continued Professional Development (CPD) and accredited training.


·         An Officer asked about procurement incentives. It was explained that the supplier offered a rate for installing but there was a vast range.


·         It was highlighted that the export guarantee had not been launched, so any additional incentive was a bonus. Government had confirmed its intention to end solar panel incentive payments on 31 March 2019, meaning people who had solar panels installed after this would not receive payments for generating electricity or exporting it to the grid. It was explained that work with suppliers had made the price point very attractive plus there was a renewable heat incentive. It was reported that Government work was on-going to separate groundwork and infrastructure from heat source.


·         A Member suggested that the apex of a roof could be used to for battery storage.


·         An Officer recommended that it would be ideal if estate agent staff were able to talk about energy at the point of sale, which might drive demand for more energy efficient homes.




That the presentation be noted.





The Board noted the verbal update provided by Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Head of Logistics Environment, which provided an overview of the GM Clean Air Plan – July 2019.


The Board discussed people potentially using the scheme to renew their cars and work taking place in other city regions.

The update along with the presentations provided at the meeting would be circulated to the Board following the meeting.




That the information be received and noted.





The report of the GMCA’s Assistant Director of Environment outlined the progress made in establishing a GM Environment Fund (the Fund). It was explained that GM Leaders had agreed to the establishment of the Fund. The Environment Agency, Peel Group and United Utilities were thanked for their input and contributions. The next step would be to market test the proposal.


In response to a question, it was confirmed that the Fund would be charitable and there would be an option for Fund Aid.


It was suggested that the Fund could be complex due to the funding streams and it was recommended that Officers ensure the Fund was compliant with all rules and regulations.




1.    The Board noted the progress in identifying the role and opportunities of setting up a GM Environment Fund, based initially on voluntary contributions.


2.    The GMCA’s in principle approval to initiate the Fund and delegate authority to the GMCA’s Chief Executive, Solicitor and Treasurer, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder, to agree the form and make-up of the Fund was noted.


3.    That in the interim, Lancashire Wildlife Trust had been asked to hold existing donations to the Fund be noted.






It was explained that the first consultation ran from 14 January to 18 March 2019 and Officers were in the process of reviewing the responses and updating the Plan in light of what people had said.  The GMCA would be provided with an update at the next meeting in September 2019.




That the update be received and noted.



Tree and Woodland Strategy pdf icon PDF 222 KB


Consideration was given to the City of Tree’s Technical Officer’s Green Infrastructure report that provided an update on the draft GM Tree and Woodland Strategy (the Strategy), which had been developed on behalf of the GM Forests Partnership.


In light of diseases and pests, it was suggested that Officers should be planning years ahead. Councils should be planting trees 2m tall at a ratio 5:1 and people needed to be made aware of their value. It was highlighted that a net gain policy would address these issues.




1.        That the Board noted the progress on the Strategy, since the last meeting.


2.        That the Strategy be submitted to the GMCA for approval in October/November 2019.



The 5 Year Environmental Plan


The 5 Year Environmental Plan was made available at the meeting for attendees.



Smart Energy Plan


The Smart Energy Plan was made available at the meeting for attendees.





The Board considered a report that outlined the progress made in bidding for funding under the Prospering from the Energy Revolution funding call for the detailed design of a Local Energy Market. 


The total project bid was £6-10m (50% intervention) over 24 months.  If successful, the project would commence on 1 January 2020.  Further detail on the proposed GM Bid was provided at Annex 01 of the report.




That the Board noted the progress report.




Future meetings would be held on the following dates at 10.00 am at the GMCA:


·         Friday 18 October 2019.

·         Monday 20 January 2020.

·         Friday 20 March 2020.

·         Friday 24 July 2020.




It was agreed that future meetings would be held on the following dates at 10.00 am at the GMCA:


·         Friday 18 October 2019

·         Monday 20 January 2020

·         Friday 20 March 2020

·         Friday 24 July 2020