Asset Management, Culture & Housing Cabinet Member – Minutes – 31 December 2012

29 (29) GREEN DEAL IMPLEMENTATION – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval to establish a partnership working group to oversee the implementation of the Green Deal within North and North East Lincolnshire.

The Green Deal would start in January 2013.  At its heart was a financing mechanism that allowed consumers to pay for the cost of insulation measures through the savings made in their energy bills. This was known as the Golden Rule.

In those situations where the Golden Rule did not work, support was available through the Energy Company Obligation, or ECO.  ECO was in place now.  ECO focused on the most vulnerable as well as those on low incomes and the hard to heat properties where the cost of measures were not going to meet the “Golden Rule”.

The soft market testing for Green Deal gave an opportunity to interview a range of organisations about their expectations and views of Green Deal and ECO and how the council could operate in the market.

The interviews established that organisations had no clear idea on how Green Deal or ECO would work and that there was no one option or role for local authorities. Partnering with different types of organisation would bring advantages as well as disadvantages. However, there was a strong advantage for most companies in working with a council.  This was because the council represented a trusted brand, making take up, particularly around Green Deal, more likely.

The council could choose to promote, market or be a Green Deal provider. Results from consultation indicated that residents of North Lincolnshire preferred the idea that the council acted as the Green Deal provider.

The council, together with North East Lincolnshire Council, currently had a trusted brand in SHEEP (South Humber Energy Efficiency Partnership) offering subsidised or free loft and cavity insulation. This scheme finished in December when funding ended.

Resolved – That the establishment of a Green Deal working group, together with the procurement of partner(s) to offer Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation across both council areas, be approved.

30 (30) MUSEUMS AT NIGHT 2013 – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking to build on the success of the national Museums at Night event held in 2012.

Museums at Night was a national festival of exciting after hours cultural events in museums, galleries and heritage sites.  The aim was to encourage families to take part in cultural activities and to regenerate the evening economy of town centres.

Culture24, a non-profit making organisation, ran the event. They usually worked direct with the attractions offering advice and help with promotion.

Venues like North Lincolnshire Museum had taken part in the past and found it to be beneficial. Many attractions had been run by volunteers, who struggled to find the money to take part. The council believed that, with some funding and support, many more would take part in the event.

The council worked with Culture24 to run a pilot project to create ‘event clusters’. This was a new idea with only two clusters in the country, one in North Lincolnshire and one in Norfolk.

In Norfolk the cluster worked with an external coordinator who ran all the day-to-day operation of the project. She worked with all the venues taking part and put together the marketing materials.  Culture24 would like to build on the event clusters. For 2013 they wanted to streamline the process and reduce their workload by working with an external coordinator.

The council had been given the opportunity to work with the coordinator who delivered the Norfolk event.  She would apply for funding, work with the attractions to develop their events and arrange the marketing. The council would still make the decisions about who took part, what events were held and how they were marketed.

Resolved – That Option 1 at paragraph 3.1, for North Lincolnshire to take part in Museums at Night 2013 and work with the Culture24 coordinator, be approved.

31 (31) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE MUSEUMS SERVICE CHARGES FOR SCHOOL VISITS – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval for charges for school visits to the North Lincolnshire Museum, Normanby Hall Country Park and Waters’ Edge for 2013/2014.

The council had been informed by the Schools Forum that the Dedicated Schools Grant for museum education was to be removed in April 2013.  The Museums Service had received the grant every year since 1997 to help to fund museum education.  The grant was used to subsidise the cost of school visits.  At present £1.53 for every pupil in primary school in North Lincolnshire was received.

If the Museums Service were to meet their income target for school visits in future, charges would need to be reassessed.  At present schools outside North Lincolnshire were charged a higher price for workshops.  The recent changes to the way schools were funded means that they will all be treated the same way in future.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to move to charging per pupil, rather than per workshop, be approved.  The charges would be set at a level that would enable the service to meet its income target and continue to provide value for money in schools.  There would be flexibility in negotiating charges with individual schools, and (b) that the proposal to no longer operate two scales of charges for schools inside and outside North Lincolnshire be approved.

32 (32) NEW HOMES BONUS INVESTMENT – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval to support a small rural housing scheme.

The Cabinet Member approved a report in February 2012 on the New Homes Bonus (NHB). The report presented for consideration set out three investment priorities.  Delivering housing led economic growth was one of the three approved investment priorities.

A scheme was proposed to deliver housing led economic growth. The details of the scheme were detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.

A local family building firm was seeking support for a small development in Ulceby. This would provide work for local contractors, helping to stimulate the local economy, and sustain employment.

Resolved – (a) That the use of NHB funding to support the project as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be approved, and (b) that further reports be submitted as further proposals for investment of New Homes Bonus be developed.

The corresponding report of the following item (Minute 33 refers) contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

33 (33) 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.