Agenda and draft minutes

Climate Change and Ecology Policy and Accountability Committee - Tuesday, 6th February, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: 145 King Street (Ground Floor), Hammersmith, W6 9XY. View directions

Contact: Amrita White  Email:

Link: Watch the meeting on YouTube

No. Item


Apologies for Absence




Declarations of Interest

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.


Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.


Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Standards Committee.


The Chair declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 5 Flood Risk and Adapting to Climate Change, as her basement kitchen was flooded in July 2021.  




Minutes pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting and note any outstanding actions.



That the minutes of the meeting held on 21st November 2023 were agreed as an accurate record.



2024 Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS pdf icon PDF 241 KB

This report provides an update on the overall preparation and proposals for the 2024/25 revenue budget, risks, financial resilience, and the impact of those proposals. It also sets out the budget proposals for the services covered by this Policy and Accountability Committee (PAC). An update is also provided on any proposed changes in fees and charges in the budget.

Additional documents:


Corporate Budget 

Councillor Rowan Ree (Cabinet Member for Finance and Reform) introduced the item that detailed the proposals for the 2024/25 revenue budget – including the risks, financial resilience, and impact of those proposals. 


Councillor Rowan Ree noted that it had been a difficult time for local government, with central government grant reductions and high inflation, but despite the constraints, the Council had delivered a balanced budget that protected core services and continued funding for the areas that were unique to borough such as free home care, universal free school breakfasts, and the Law Enforcement Team. He said this had been achieved through ruthless financial efficiency and reforming how services were delivered. He thanked James Newman, and the finance team, officers across departments, and his Cabinet colleagues for making that possible. 


James Newman (Assistant Director of Finance) gave a presentation on the corporate budget, highlighting the following: 


·       The challenges of the operating environment including inflation, pressures on household budgets, new legislative burdens, and uncertainty around local government funding. 

·       The key objectives of the financial plan were to protect statutory services, deliver services valued by residents, ensuring people’s safety, and to be a modern and innovative Council with strong financial governance and resilience. 

·       That council tax would increase by 4.99%, but an estimated 93,000 households in the borough would not pay the full amount due to discounts and exemptions. 


Departmental Budget 

Bram Kainth (Strategic Director of Environment) gave a presentation on the department’s revenue budget 2024/25. This covered the recent achievements and budget implications relevant to this Committee. He also updated members on the future strategic budget issues. This included significant funding requirements for addressing the climate and ecological emergency.


Councillor Ross Melton thanked Councillor Rowan Ree and officers for a comprehensive report and update. He asked for further information to be provided on  the timeline for the Council’s green investment scheme, including any planned projects to be funded as part of the scheme. Councillor Rowan Ree noted that he was proud of the Council’s green investment scheme which stood out as the largest of its kind. The Council was looking to raise up to £5 million to fund climate change projects across the borough. The first tranche of the investment had been distributed and the deadline for this was 13th February 2024. This scheme offered a low-risk  investment at 4.85% to residents and helped put measures in place to combat and mitigate climate change. This would include a range of issues such as renewable energy and measures to promote active transport.


The Chair enquired about the Council’s success rate in securing grants for climate change related initiatives. In response Bram Kainth noted that officers were committed to pursuing all available grants and regularly sought new opportunities. He noted that additional feasibility work at risk could be carried out to enhance effectiveness.


Referring to the parking services review on page 17 of the agenda pack, Councillor Jose Afonso asked about the portion of the budget revenue derived from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Flood risk and adapting to climate change pdf icon PDF 221 KB

This report outlines the current flood risk in Hammersmith and Fulham and the actions being taken by the council to help manage flood risk within the borough.  This includes information on the climate change adaptation strategy and how this work supports the management of flood risk.The report also outlines actions being taken by Thames Water following the flooding event in July 2021 which caused flooding in homes and businesses in the borough.


Additional documents:


Jim Cunningham (Climate Change Strategy and Policy Lead) introduced the item and noted that flooding, along with other extreme weather including heatwaves and droughts, was becoming more frequent and severe as the climate heats up. It was noted that a climate risk assessment was currently being undertaken to identify residents, services, buildings, and infrastructure that were most at risk. This would be followed by an adaptation strategy which would examine the business case for implementing adaptation measures and identify the priority areas to focus these.

Cara Marie O’Keeffe and Francis Heil (AtkinsRealis) provided a presentation which covered the climate risk assessment and adaptation strategy. They showed slides that outlined the following key points:

  • Project overview of the two stages of implementation.
  • Preliminary findings of January 2024
  • Historical climate events in the London Borough of Hammersmith (LBHF)
  • Current surface flood and heat risk mapping, including Council estate areas.
  • Climate change projections for LBHF
  • Preliminary findings for selected sectors
  • The next steps:

o   Draft climate risk assessment for review in February 2024

o   Draft adaptation strategy for review in April/May 2024


Concerning the impact of heat, the Chair highlighted that the Council’s social housing sector appeared to be most at risk, implying a disproportionate effect on lower-income residents. She asked for clarification to be provided on why the Council’s estates within the borough were particularly affected by heat and flood risks. In response Francis Heil outlined the contributing factors that made the estates more susceptible to heat impact. These included high rise buildings and properties that only had windows to one side of the buildings. It was noted that there was often a high proportion of older and disabled residents, residing in social housing, making them vulnerable due to health conditions that could be exacerbated during heatwaves.


The Chair asked if there were any plans to explore mitigating factors from places such as Europe, which have encountered similar challenges with heatwaves. Francies Heil explained that there was a lot to learn from other cities who had been dealing with issues relating to heat for a long period of time. It was noted that the UK Government Environmental Audit Committee recently published its review on heat resilience and some of the evidence from this would be integrated as part of the adaptation strategy.


Councillor Laura Janes enquired about the possibility of collaborating with public health to address some of the challenges related to sleep hygiene. Jim Cunningham noted that officers were closely working with public health colleagues on the climate risk assessment to identify residents who are more at risk across the borough. This included identifying opportunities for greater alignment with public health strategies and plans.


Councillor Stala Antoniades asked if there was a common theme among the flats in terms of susceptibility to flood risk. Francis Heil outlined the commonalities contributing to surface water flooding. These included areas lacking green space, which reduced the ability to absorb and facilitate the permeation of surface water. In addition, one of the main risk hot  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Dates of Future Meetings

To note the dates of future meetings:

·       31 January 2023

·       28 March 2023



The next meeting will take place on 23rd April 2024. The Chair noted that at the next meeting an update would be provided on the Council’s sustainable drainage systems.