Councillor Nick Kelly, The Leader of the Council, introduced the Commitments report to Cabinet, and advised that 86 commitments were identified to build back better in Plymouth, and a further 5 commitments had been completed bringing the total to 48. Cabinet would continue to work hard towards delivering the remaining 38 commitments.
(a) An update was provided on commitment 34 “we will promote the National Marine Park which showcases our world class marine engineering and research facilities, creating more jobs in these areas”. Approximately £9.5m had been awarded to the National Marine Park from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 10% of this funding was made available for the next two years through the development phase of the project to test and trial initiatives and develop capital projects to the design stage, a delivery stage bid would be submitted in June 2023 to secure the remaining 90% of the funding.
(b) A year of listening and engaging with communities would start in the spring of this year to enable residents to co-design the project and the Marine Park that they want. More details on the programme and how people could get involved would be announced in the coming weeks. Some £665,873 pounds of grant award from the Community Renewal Fund for business support activities to deliver innovative approaches to the green blue tourism decarbonisation of the waterfront and connect communities to the waterfront had been achieved. Leads and core structures for the Horizon project had been agreed and being established at the moment. This work would be delivered by June 2022.
(c) Councillor Mrs Bridgeman provided an update on commitment 28 “we will actively promote positive lifestyle changes and improve our environment for all, including wildlife by improved soft and hard landscaping projects throughout the city”.
(d) In terms of the preventing plastics project, within that project, there were 14 signatories for a plastic charter for local businesses, schools and communities and tenders issued for two innovative art installations using recycled plastics and waste.
(e) Under the Mayflower improvements we've completed welcome sign, installations, hoe volunteering, a gardening group was established, general waterfront improvements had been continued. On the 2nd of November 2021, the plastic sculpture procurement was completed and as well as the waste shark procurement.
(f) Engagement on the Green Minds Green Social prescribing project was launched at Central Park and greenspace access improvements initiated. In terms of the Urban Tree Challenge, the consultation was completed for the BLOSSOM'S together project at Devil's Point. With over 200 respondents and work should be started imminently.
(g) Winter planting had now been completed, which was ahead of schedule.
(h) Funding of £1.2m was secured from Defra for Plymouth National Grid Partnership Project which ran from October 21 to March 2023.
(i) This was in line with the National Trust and real ideas to enhance 300 acres sold hectares of nature sites across the city and to run the Kickstart programme of 30 young people to build skills and employability in the green sector. Actually in place now and the 1st 11th Kickstart placements are in progress and its formal project secured.
(j) The Abercrombie Awards were at the end of last year and Delamere Road won best community project and the best Natural Infrastructure Project was commended.
(k) The Plymouth Tree Challenge and Best Natural Infrastructure Project were also commended, and Star Park was best community project that was commended also.
(l) Councillor Mrs Bridgeman provided an update on commitment 29 “climate emergency action plan and the corporate Carbon Reduction plan”. This was a massive piece of work and it was submitted to Full council on the 24th of January and it had 100% unanimous approval.
(m)Councillor Riley provided an update on Commitment 69 “we will build closer links with the taxi trade to ensure the current fee regime remains fair and taxis are readily available 24/7 for passengers. We will accelerate the installation of electric vehicle charging points to encourage operators to switch from petrol or diesel vehicles to electric”.
(n) We continue to work with the taxi trade to ensure the way in which the fees are set. It's communicated fully to provide assurances that open, fair and transport at a transparent process. Fees were reviewed by the Taxi Licensing Committee members every year and they were last reviewed last month on 13th of January and for the second year were not increased. We continue to operate with the private hire operators and this is with the application process to encourage new drivers to join a trade, and we're looking in various initiatives that we can to encourage that. The taxi fare tariff has been recently reviewed and following consultation with the new, the new fares came into effect on the 18th of January 2022. It has been agreed that the fare tariff will be reviewed by the committee again in the autumn, so that any proposed changes will come into effect by the end of the year.
(o) We have worked closely also with the transport team and the low carbon city officers to consider the transition to Ultra Dual Commission vehicles and the need for decarbonisation the city. We will explore any grants that may be available to encourage proprietors to upgrade their vehicles to those with low or no emissions.
(p) The electric vehicle charging points program has continued, and by the end of March there would be over 200 and electric vehicle charging points across the city. This was ahead of the anticipation of take up of electric vehicles within the taxi trade, so hopefully we're going to get the infrastructure in place before they get the vehicles on the road.
Cabinet agreed and endorsed the completion of five commitments in January and noted the progress made on the remaining 38 commitments.
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- Cabinet Commitments Cover, item 236. PDF 153 KB
- Cabinet Commitments, item 236. PDF 750 KB