Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 26th October 2021 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

Contact: Liz Bateson, Democratic Services - email  ebateson@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

33.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Tuesday, 14 September 2021 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 14 September 2021 were approved as a correct record.

 

34.

Items of Urgent Business Authorised by the Leader

To consider any such items authorised by the Leader and to consider where in the agenda the item(s) are to be considered. 

Minutes:

35.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Councillors of interests in respect of items on this Agenda. 

Councillors are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting). 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Councillors should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting. 

In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Councillors are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

 

Minutes:

No declarations were made at this point.

                     

36.

Public Speaking

To consider any such requests received in accordance with the approved procedure. 

 

Minutes:

37.

Boiler replacement - City Museum, incorporating Lancaster Library pdf icon PDF 658 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Report of Director for Communities & the Environment

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration to request that funding be released from the capital budget in order to deliver a joint project between Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council that would see the replacement of essential boiler plant and equipment, housed in the City Museum but serving both this site and Lancaster Library. 

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

 

 

Option 1: Do nothing/wait for air source heat pump technology to advance

Option 2: Replace the gas boilers on a like for like basis but ensure mechanisms are in place to install air source heat pumps at a later date

Option 3: Carry out a like for like replacement of the gas boilers

Advantages

The council does not spend the allocation of capital funds requested.

 

It could lead to complete decarbonisation and potentially avoid any modifications or removal of newly installed gas heating systems further down the line.

The City Museum asset is protected, as is the County’s asset.

 

Reduced gas consumption and cost savings (gas and maintenance).

 

Better working environment for staff.

 

Better control over the environment for the benefit of the collections.

 

The work is planned so costs associated with it can be known in advance.

 

Costs can be split out accurately going forward.

 

As air source heat pump technology evolves, we will be in a position to install retrospectively and realise the benefits associated with this.

The City Museum asset is protected, as is the County’s asset.

 

Reduced gas consumption and cost savings (gas and maintenance).

 

 Better working environment for staff.

 

Better control over the environment for the benefit of the collections.

 

The work is planned so costs associated with it can be known in advance.

 

Costs can be split out accurately going forward.

 

No changes are required to the existing scheme.

Disadvantages

The boiler plant will fail (become unrepairable), at which point emergency, temporary heating will need to be installed for both sites until a permanent replacement is organised. This will be a more costly option than the planned replacement.

 

The current lack of accurate heating control is creating an uncomfortable working environment for staff.

 

 Loss of heating and/or the installation of temporary heating could cause damage to the Museums collections.

 

Asbestos work would still be required imminently, whether the boiler replacement goes ahead or not.

The Council will need to expend the requested capital funds this financial year.

 

The changes required to ensure air source heat pumps can be added on to the system at a later date will mean a scheme revision and small additional costs

The Council will need to expend the requested capital funds this financial year

Risks

Loss of heating and potential damage to collections could result in a reduction of visitor numbers or force a temporary closure of the Museum.

 

 If our lack of action impacts the Library as well as our  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Heat Networks Feasibility pdf icon PDF 411 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Frea)

 

Report of Director for Communities & the Environment

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Frea)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Communities & the Environment to outline that heat networks can play a role in the route to heat decarbonisation and set out the potential for thermal energy networks in the District. The report also sought support for a funding bid to BEIS for the delivery of a detailed feasibility study and informed Cabinet that should a Heat Network prove to be feasible, further decisions may need to be made on how such a system is implemented i.e. direct delivery by the Council or through amendments to the Local Plan.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

 

Option 1: To support the approach to undertake feasibility work


Advantages:

· It will allow the Council to explore the feasibility for heating networks with potential opportunities for the delivery of heat networks more widely in the District

· If feasible, there is potential for wider benefits as set out in this report in relation to addressing the Climate Emergency and fuel poverty.

· There is currently funding available from Government to support the feasibility work. · Can provide the groundwork for heat network development which would allow the Council to capitalise on an opportunity to address the Climate Emergency and lead to a potential saving of 100,000 tonnes of domestic CO2e emissions.

 

Disadvantages: None.

 

Risks:

· Financial. £40k ‘at risk’ if feasibility determines that no realistic or viability opportunities exist.


 Option 2: To delay a decision whether to take forward an application to future funding routes in 2022 or beyond.

 

Advantages: None apparent

 

Disadvantages:

· Deferring any decision of investigating heating networks delays our understanding over how and where networks could be established.

· Such delays may result in losing opportunities to implement projects in the future particularly in new developments.

 

Risks:

· The level of funding support available to the Council at present is significant. There are no assurances that in delaying such a decision that the same levels of funding support will be available in future years.

· As a result, a decision to defer may incur greater costs in the future should the Council wish to explore the feasibility of heat networks.


Option 3: To not carry forward any investigation into heating networks

 

Advantages: None apparent

 

Disadvantages:

· Fails to explore the opportunity for district heating networks closes the opportunity to secure more sustainable forms of heating for the district and would be a lost opportunity in seeking to tackle the Climate Emergency.

· The Council would fail to investigate opportunities to deliver greener, more sustainable forms of energy in the district and fail to capitalise on opportunity to address the Climate Emergency and a potential saving of 100,000 tonnes of domestic CO2e emissions.

 

Risks: · Longer-term funding opportunities are unknown.

 

The officer preferred option is Option 1: Carry out detailed techno-economic feasibility Initial feasibility provides an interesting insight as to what heat network clusters may be viable. Should  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Plan 2030: Priorities and Outcomes pdf icon PDF 434 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Jackson)

 

Report of Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised the meeting that this item had been deferred to December’s Cabinet in order that a further proposal could be considered.

40.

Treasury Management Mid Year Review pdf icon PDF 563 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Chief Financial Officer   (report published on 21 October 2021)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Finance Officer which sought Cabinet’s consideration of various matters in connection with the Treasury Management Mid-Year Review 2021/22.

 

As the report is for consideration and progressing to Budget and Performance Panel and Full Council, no alternative options were put forward.

 

Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Brookes:-

 

“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)      That the various matters in connection with the Treasury Management Mid-Year Review 2021/22 be noted.

 

(2)    That the Mid-Year Review 2021/22 be forwarded on to Budget & Performance Panel and Full Council for consideration in accordance with CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management (the Code) and the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (the Prudential Code.)

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Finance Officer

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

Effective Treasury Management and use of the Councils’ resources is fundamental to the delivery of its priorities and outcomes.  Consideration of Treasury Management Mid-Year Review and presentation to Full Council will ensure the Council complies with CIPFA’s Code of Practice on Treasury Management (the Code) and the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (the Prudential Code).

 

41.

Provision of Internal Audit

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Cllr Whitehead)

 

Verbal update from the Chief Financial Officer

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer provided a verbal update in relation to the provision of Internal Audit.  It was reported that resources and staffing capacity had now been procured which will be sufficient to deliver the work in the Audit Plan.  A draft Plan was now being considered which the Chief Finance Officer would be discussing with the Chair of Audit Committee prior to a report to the Audit Committee at which the Plan would be formally approved. 

42.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

This is to give further notice in accordance with Part 2, paragraph 5 (4) and 5 (5) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 of the intention to take the following items in private. 

 

Cabinet is recommended to pass the following recommendation in relation to the following items:- 

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) of business, on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of that Act.” 

 

Members are reminded that, whilst the following items have been marked as exempt, it is for Cabinet itself to decide whether or not to consider each of them in private or in public.  In making the decision, Members should consider the relevant paragraph of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and also whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  In considering their discretion Members should also be mindful of the advice of Council Officers. 

Minutes:

 

It was moved by Councillor Brookes and seconded by Councillor Dowding:-

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of that Act.”

 

Members then voted as follows:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)        That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of that Act. 

 

43.

Solar Array Installation

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Frea)

 

Report of Director for Communities & the Environment

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Frea)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Communities & the Environment with regard to Solar Array installation.  The report was exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the exempt report.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Frea proposed, seconded by Councillor Hamilton-Cox and :-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             The resolution is set out in a minute exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Communities & the Environment

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The decision is consistent with Council priorities. Exactly how the decision fits with Council priorities is set out in the exempt minute.

44.

Proposed Property Acquisition

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Cllr Matthews)

 

Report of Director for Communities & the Environment

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Matthews)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Communities and the Environment with regard to a proposed property acquisition which was exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3, of Schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the exempt report.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Caroline Jackson, seconded by Councillor Heath and :-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             The resolution is set out in a minute exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Communities & the Environment

Chief Finance Officer

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The decision is consistent with Council priorities. Exactly how the decision fits with Council priorities is set out in the exempt minute.