Asset Management, Culture & Housing Cabinet Member – Minutes – 21 February 2013

38                    (38) EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION PROJECT – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval to proceed with a small project to provide external wall insulation to a number of properties in South Killingholme.

The Carbon Saving Obligation of the ‘Green Deal’ provided funding to treat homes that were hard to heat to address issues of poor energy efficiency and high carbon emissions.

A small number of homes in South Killingholme met the requirements of the funding.  A “not for profit” organisation working on behalf of the council had worked up a scheme for consideration.

The properties in this area had an average SAP rating of 51.  Installing insulation would increase it by about 10 points.  The average annual savings in carbon would be 1.5 tonnes per property.

North Lincolnshire Homes were also working in the same area installing external wall insulation to their properties.  They had offered home owners adjoining their properties the option of joining the scheme if the council co-ordinated the work.

The Home Assistance policy set out the help the council gave to householders to repair, improve or adapt their homes.  The policy allowed for grant assistance to install energy efficiency measures up to a maximum of £10,000 if the household qualified.

Ten of the properties in question qualified for inclusion within the scheme.  Four qualified for an energy efficient grant.  A further two were in receipt of a non-means tested benefit.

Resolved – (a) That the scheme for South Killingholme, to provide support through either grant or loan assistance, as outlined by the Home Assistance Policy, be approved, and (b) that a report on the progress of the scheme be submitted to the Cabinet Member at a later date.

39                    (39) GREEN DEAL UPDATE – The Director of Places submitted a report outlining the options available in response to the Green Deal, and seeking agreement of an approach to offering a complete Green Deal service in partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council.

The Green Deal started in January 2013, replacing all other government mechanisms for assisting householders to make their homes more energy efficient.  For those “able to pay”, the Green Deal offered a means of financing improvements through a loan paid back via the household energy bills.

For those unable to pay or in circumstances where the cost of the works were too much to be financed as a loan, the energy companies subsidised the work through additional funding.  This funding was called the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).  The amount of funding available varied depending on the measures installed, the carbon saved and the vulnerability of household.

So far this year, the housing service had received 872 service requests for energy efficiency advice and assistance.  The partnership arrangement between North and North East Lincolnshire Councils and Eon had now ended.  This meant that currently there was no formal arrangement for referring householders for loft and cavity insulation.

A large number of organisations were looking to offer Green Deal loans for households who were able to pay. A limited number were offering subsidised measures for vulnerable households under the ECO.

The Green Deal working group met recently to discuss a joint approach across North and North East Lincolnshire.  It was the ECO elements of Green Deal where the working group saw most of the assistance was needed. To maximise funding and support, the working group recognised the need to partner with other organisations.  Both councils also recognised the need to offer the commercial element of Green Deal through sign posting or partnership working.

Resolved – (a) That the development of a complete Green Deal service through the procurement of partners related to each element be approved; (b) that the Green Deal service be developed to include sign posting to trusted providers for the “able to pay” market, the design and development of community projects to address issues of hard to head properties and individual referrals for householders in fuel poverty, and (c) that an update report be submitted to the Cabinet Member in three months time.

The corresponding reports of the following items (Minutes 40-42 refers) contain exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

40                    (40) ALLOCATION OF PROPERTY TRADING ACCOUNT FUNDS – The Service Director Asset Management and Culture submitted a report seeking approval to provisionally allocate Property Trading Account (PTA) funds to development schemes and to approve moving forward with the schemes listed in Appendix 1.

The council’s Industrial/Commercial Property Management and Development Policy allowed use of the PTA funds for appropriate development schemes which were linked to the council’s wider Regeneration Agenda and Priority Framework.  The Policy required an annual strategy document reviewed at six monthly intervals, which approved and reported on those proposed projects.

Further information was set out in the report and its appendix.

Resolved – (a) That approval be given to provisionally allocate PTA funds against the proposed development schemes listed in Appendix 1 of the report; (b) that the Director of Places be authorised to progress negotiations to implement the approved schemes, and (c) that the fact that the responsibility for the management of the Crowle Market Place scheme has transferred to the PTA, funded from general council resources, be noted.

41                    (41) INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL PROPERTY – ROLLING PLAN – The Director of Places submitted a report setting out the estimated Capital and Revenue position of the Industrial/Commercial Property budget (including the Property Trading Account) for the next five years.

The Industrial/Commercial Property Management Strategy contained a requirement to provide a three to five year plan (reviewed annually) for approval by the Cabinet Member. This was in order to inform the council’s budget management process.  As such, it set out the current capital and revenue position and outlined proposals for capital investments and revenue budgets for future years.

The report gave details in relation to capital and revenue income and expenditure.

Resolved – That the Financial Plan relating to the council’s Industrial/Commercial Property, as attached at Appendices 1 and 2 to the report, be approved.

42                    (42) PROPERTY TRANSACTION SCHEDULES – The Director of Places submitted a report for consideration, and where necessary, approval of a schedule containing the terms of all recently negotiated property transactions.

The schedules covered both operational and commercial property.

Resolved – That the schedules appended to the report be approved.

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Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.