Highways & Neighbourhoods and Policy & Resources Cabinet Members – Minutes – 18 July 2012

1          (1)  CARBON REDUCTION STRATEGY – SALIX BID – The Director of Policy and Resources and the Director of Places submitted a joint report which outlined the progress with regards to the SALIX bid to fund investment in carbon reduction schemes.

Following the Highways and Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member’s consideration of a SALIX bid (minute 65 refers), further discussions were held with the Director of Policy and Resources. This concluded that whilst submitting the bid would enable the council to access the funds this would prove counter to the council’s agreed financial strategy of not borrowing.

The council’s financial strategy aimed to limit borrowing and deliver value for money services.  It was explained that the programme of works proposed within the report would deliver some significant efficiencies, and help the council meet its target of reducing its carbon emissions by 33% over four years (i.e. by 2014).

The Director of Policy and Resources explained that the council could claim efficiencies in the first year if it were able to find funding from internal sources.  Alternatively, should the council progress with the SALIX bid the financial benefits would only be realised in year four, after repayment of the initial interest free capital loan.

The council’s strategy was to use its cash balances to fund capital schemes, where internal resources were needed, as the opportunity cost was lower than the cost of taking on external loans. The proposal set out in the report was that the same approach be adopted for the carbon reduction programme, and to fund the projects internally.

Resolved – (a)  That the addition of 21 projects at a cost of £308k to the capital programme, funded via internal resources be approved, and (b) that a virement of £308k, to increase the Carbon Management capital budget be approved.