Agenda and minutes

Sustainability Partnership Forum - Monday 12 October 2009 7.00 pm

Venue: Room 125, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RW. View directions

Contact: Matthew Mannion, Tel: 020 7926 2225, Email: 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


Notes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 83 KB

    To agree the Notes of the meeting held on 24 September 2009 as a true and accurate record of the meeting.




    That the notes of the meeting held on 24 September 2009 be approved as a correct record of the proceedings.


Sustainability Action Plan

    Verbal Update.


    The Forum were informed that officers were busy working on the plan. Members requested that they be shown a version of the plan at the earliest appropriate point.


Sustainability Forum Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 57 KB

    Contact for Information: Fiona Booth, Head of Sustainability Unit, 020 7926 6257,

    Additional documents:


    The Terms of Reference were discussed by the Forum. Points noted included:

    • The Forum’s terms of reference needed to stress overarching themes for the borough.
    • Officers were asked to strengthen the commitment to communicate widely with partners.
    • To what extent this forum would work in conjunction with the Transport Partnership Forum given that transport would play a large role in carbon reduction strategies.
    • The need to ensure that reports from this forum were sent to Cabinet or equivalent to ensure that they were considered properly.
    • Members were invited to suggest further organisations to be listed as partners and officers undertook to look to expand the list if appropriate organisations could be found that were able to take a role in co-ordinating submissions and circulating information widely.
    • Suggestion that where possible or appropriate initiatives like Low Carbon Zones should come to this forum for consideration as a good way of gaining cross-party support.


Flooding in Lambeth pdf icon PDF 81 KB

    Contact for Information: Owen Davies, Street Works Co-ordinator,


    Owen Davies from Transport & Highways provided a presentation on issues around flooding in Lambeth looking at different types of flooding problems and potential solutions to some of these issues but also the awareness that at some point the borough would be hit by a serious flood of some description.


    Members thanked Owen for the presentation and then moved to discuss the issues highlighted. In answering questions, Owen and other officers explained:

    • Promoting sustainable urban drainage was important but made difficult by the fact that it wasn’t a compliance matter for building companies and so could not be enforced. During discussion it was though suggested that more could be done to encourage observance even if it could not be enforced.
    • There was a role for the Council in providing more information on how drainage systems should be designed.
    • Grass verges were a simple but effective option to help soak up rainwater.
    • Officers were unsure the extent to which existing projects such as that at Windrush Square involved sustainable designs for issues such as water run-off and officers would present any information they discovered.
    • It was suggested that community champions could have a role in encouraging best practice with their neighbours.
    • An area the size of Hyde Park had been lost in London from people paving over their front gardens.
    • There was confusion over who was responsible under new permitted development policies for enforcing rules on paving gardens.
    • The difficulty in creating porous pavements in urban areas due to the frequency of pavement works by utility companies and the need to work with them to come up with a solution.
    • Officers were looking to bid for money for a small pilot area to introduce grass verges, trees and other works to show how much of a difference that can make.


    Members also questioned a number of points including:

    • Whether calculations on the likelihood of floods (e.g. a 1 in 50 year event) needed to be adjusted to allow for changes in weather patterns. Officers undertook to provide more detail of how these calculations were derived.
    • To what extent the Council could take on works themselves and then charge utility companies to ensure satisfactory outcomes.


    Discussions moved on to the role of the Council’s main works contractor, Conways and it was reported that they had a relatively good record in sustainability terms, for example in the extent to which they are able to recycle materials from road maintenance. It was explained that relations with Conways were good and both sides continued to look at further improvements.


    Looking at communications issues, Members supported the role that the Council had in disseminating information and, looking at the specific case of dealing with problems of fat being poured down drains, asked that the communications be brought in to look at how this publicity could be circulated. Providing information in schools and in other ways was also supported and Members asked to be provided with information on how much water issues were featuring in the current schools  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Water Priority

    Verbal report.


    This item was discussed in conjunction with Item 5 Flooding in Lambeth above and the minutes are combined under that Item.


Dates of future meetings

    The dates of the next meetings have been set as:

    • 1 December 2009
    • 13 January 2010


    The dates for the future meetings were noted (1 December and 13 January) and it was reported that energy and specifically peak oil was to be the topic of the December Forum and that other topics would be covered at informal meetings and workshops. An invite was to be sent to all Councillors to attend the December Forum meeting.


    Officers undertook to provide Members with a summary position of the Sustainability Plan.