Agenda and minutes

Strategy and Resources Executive Advisory Board - Monday, 14th June, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be held via MSTeams

Contact: Andrea Carr, Committee Officer Tel no: 01483 444058  Email: andrea.carr@guildford.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

PMI9

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitute Members

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Graham Eyre.

 

PMI10

Local Code of Conduct and Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.

 

If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.

 

Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests.

 

PMI11

Minutes pdf icon PDF 294 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Executive Advisory Board meeting held on 26 April 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Executive Advisory Board held on 26 April 2021 were confirmed as a correct record, and would be signed by the Chairman at the earliest opportunity.

 

PMI12

Net Zero Carbon Emissions Trajectory Report pdf icon PDF 417 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Councillor for Climate Change introduced a report by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Energy which was before the Board for consideration.  APSE Energy was APSE’s local authority energy collaboration arm and the report provided the findings of the carbon footprint calculations and trajectory towards the Council achieving net zero carbon by 2030, in accordance with the commitment in its Climate Emergency Declaration of 23 July 2019.

 

The report explained that the Council had been recording its carbon emissions since 2008/09, which was the baseline year utilised as a reference point to track performance.  The trajectory baseline carbon footprint year was nominated as the financial year of 2019/20, which was the reference point on which to base current emissions and to forecast the pathway to net zero carbon.  The carbon footprint was categorised into scopes, which covered:

 

o      Scope 1 (direct) emissions from activities owned or controlled by the Council, such as those from combustion in council owned or controlled boilers, furnaces and vehicles.

o      Scope 2 (indirect) emissions associated with purchased electricity, heat, steam and cooling as a consequence of the Council’s energy use that occurred at sources that the Council did not own or control.

o      Scope 3 (other indirect) emissions resulting from the Council’s actions that occurred at sources the Council did not own or control and were not classed as Scope 2 emissions.  These included business travel by means outside the Council’s ownership or control, and disposing of the Council’s own waste and purchased goods in the supply chain.

 

The carbon footprint from Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions within the Council’s operations equated to 8,613 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).  It was estimated that a budget of £6.6million was required to reach net zero carbon by increasing energy efficiency in buildings, generating power and developing a tree planting scheme.  £26.6million capital was required to upgrade the vehicle fleet to electric, largely due to the 43 refuse lorries.  It was estimated that these initiatives would financially benefit the Council by £1.6million annually by 2030.  It was predicted that there would be 3,407 tonnes of CO2e from hard to reduce sources that would require offsetting through a solar farm and a tree planting scheme.

 

The Climate Change Officer gave a presentation in support of the report which outlined the following areas:

 

·             Context

·             Purpose and contents of the Trajectory Report

·             Carbon footprint

·             Net greenhouse gas emissions 2019-20 and emissions trend

·             Emissions relative to previous years and change in scope emissions over time

·             Energy consumption

·             Recommendations for data gathering

·             Pathway methodology

·             Interventions for reducing gas and electricity usage

·             Heat pumps

·             Achieving net zero carbon

·             Tree planting

·             Linear decarbonisation trajectory

·             Cumulative cost savings and forecast capital costs

·             Next steps

 

The following points arose from related questions, comments and discussion:

 

1.           In terms of procurement, carbon emissions were included in a miscellany category in related documentation.  Procurement could be influenced to reduce carbon emissions by procurement managers stating in specifications the associated carbon  ...  view the full minutes text for item PMI12

PMI13

Contributing to Reviews of the Local Council Tax Support Scheme pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Councillor for Resources introduced a report which provided members of the EAB with information regarding the Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) Scheme to enable them to feedback views in respect of the Scheme.  Officers would utilise this feedback to inform the annual review to create the 2022 Scheme in addition to the proposed separate fundamental review of future options.

 

Following a consultation press release in September 2020, councillors had indicated that the EAB should consider the 2022 Scheme and officers proposed in their annual report to the Executive on 24 November 2020 that this would occur in May or early June 2021 before any modelling or forecasting took place to allow the EAB to have input at an early stage.

 

The report and accompanying presentation provided the EAB with further information regarding the complexities and challenges of the current LCTS Scheme and its component parts, and recommended that councillors expressed their views in respect of key areas they would like officers to either leave untouched or look at in more detail.

 

In his introduction, the Lead Councillor commended the Revenues and Benefits Lead and her team for undertaking the challenging administration of the numerous Government grants designed to support businesses during the pandemic in addition to the team’s core functions.  However, the proposed fundamental review had been paused owing to Covid-19 and the resulting diversion of resources into related initiatives.  Attention was drawn to the issues before the EAB for debate which included whether all residents should pay a contribution towards their Council Tax demand regardless of their personal circumstances.

 

The Revenues and Benefits Lead presented the report and expanded upon the review of the LCTS Scheme and the fundamental review.  There was a statutory requirement to undertake an annual review of the LCTS Scheme, which had taken place each year since 2013 when the Scheme had been introduced, and the outcome of the current review would be considered by full Council in December 2021 for implementation on 1 April 2022.  The fundamental review of the Scheme would be an in-depth area of work focusing on establishing whether there was an improved option to deliver the Scheme moving forward.  This would include comparing Guildford’s Scheme with those of other local authorities to identify best practice and it was anticipated that the outcome would be reported to a future meeting of the EAB, possibly in 2022, for consideration.

 

The current LCTS Scheme was based on the Council Tax Benefits Scheme which existed prior to 1 April 2013.  Although 80% of local authorities had asked residents to pay a contribution to their Council Tax bill by 2018 irrespective of their circumstances, this Council continued to provide a 100% discount and 71% of the current working age claimants in the Borough were in receipt of the full discount.

 

Comparisons had been made to 2020 against the schemes of the other Surrey borough / district councils and some local authorities outside Surrey, which had revealed similarities with differing details.  In recent years  ...  view the full minutes text for item PMI13

PMI14

Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 542 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Forward Plan was noted.

 

PMI15

EAB Work Programme pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To consider and approve the EAB’s draft work programme with reference to the Executive Forward Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In response to concerns expressed by some EAB members regarding progress with developing several Supplementary Planning Documents and reviewing the Local Plan, the Strategic Services Director advised that review work in respect of the Local Plan had commenced and officers were preparing a related business case and timetable which would be shared with councillors at the earliest opportunity.

 

In terms of future work programming, there were several project mandates coming forward which would be scheduled for consideration at future EAB meetings when further details were known.  The Chairman undertook to give future work programming some further attention.

 

PMI16

Exclusion of Public and Press

The Board is asked to consider passing the following resolution:

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act; namely, information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

Such an exclusion will involve the Board members moving to a second (Part 2)

meeting for the duration of their discussion of this item.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The EAB

 

RESOLVED

 

That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act; namely, information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

Following the exclusion of the public and press, the Board moved to a second (Part 2) meeting to consider the following item which contained exempt information.

 

PMI17

Savings Strategy Update Presentation

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting received and considered a briefing note presented by the Resources Director in respect of the General Fund Savings Strategy as at May 2021 which provided the background to the Savings Strategy, identified the associated workstreams and provided a progress update in respect of the workstreams.