The 11 things that councils in Devon should have been discussing this week

While the coronavirus bill, which came into law this week, relaxes the requirement for councils to have to meet in person and councillors to physically be present in the room to vote, it has meant that to comply with social distancing guidelines and to protect the health of members, almost all meetings in Devon have been cancelled.

Use for Zoom – Owl?

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com 

The coronavirus outbreak has put life on hold for a lot of people with them confined to their homes unless they have a good reason to be out.

Members of the public are only allowed to leave their homes for shopping for “basic necessities”, as infrequently as possible, one form of exercise a day such as a run, walk or cycle, medical reasons, to provide care, or to help a vulnerable person or travelling to and from work, but only if it is “absolutely necessary” and cannot be done from home.

And while people have been able to work from home, the existing legislation for local councils has meant that they have had to put their routine decision making and committee functions on hold.

While the coronavirus bill, which came into law this week, relaxes the requirement for councils to have to meet in person and councillors to physically be present in the room to vote, it has meant that to comply with social distancing guidelines and to protect the health of members, almost all meetings in Devon have been cancelled.

Here, the Local Democracy Reporting Service takes a look at 11 discussions that were due to take place this week by councils across the region that saw the meetings where they were on the agenda cancelled.

Owl, however, is only copying below the section relating to EDDC. You can go to the web link above to see the rest

HOUSING RESPONSE TO CLIMATE EMERGENCY

East Devon District Council’s Housing Review Board on Thursday afternoon were due to discuss a report summarising the work undertaken by the Housing Service in response to the Council’s commitment to carbon reduction and increased energy efficiency.

They were to be recommended to endorse the cultural shift required to move to a carbon neutral Housing Service within 20 years.

The report said that EDDC has over 4,200 properties in their portfolio and they will be carrying out a stock condition survey of all the properties over the next 18 months to enable the council to have a more concrete picture of the energy efficiency of each property, as well as identifying any other issues that need to be addressed.

This survey will inform a 15-20 year plan of improvement works to reduce the carbon footprint and increase the energy efficiency of our housing stock, the report added.

The concept of ground source heat pump systems as a potential alternative approach to heating suitable properties is being explored, with work seeking to understand the costs involved as well as identifying council properties that are in an appropriate area for the installation of the system, given the extensive groundworks require.

AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS

East Devon District Council’s Housing Review Board on Thursday afternoon were due to approve a starter programme of air source heat pump installation and use £150,000 from the boiler replacement programme in the Housing Revenue Account for this purpose.

The report said it would be work towards the Councils ambition to reduce its carbon footprint and ultimately attain a carbon neutral position and would begin to end to boilers, radiators and cooking hobs in new homes, with super-efficient houses and flats using low-carbon heating such as heat pumps and induction hobs to help meet carbon emissions targets.

The council’s annual boiler replacement programme is typically £500,000, and the Housing Review Board were due to set aside £150,000 of this to initiate a programme of mainstreaming the installation of Air Source Heat Pumps in our stock, delivering 15 installations.