Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel – 1 March 2010

PRESENT:  Councillor Smith in the chair.

Councillors Glover (vice-chair), Ali, Bainbridge, Barkworth, Berry and Bunyan.

Councillor Redfern attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 1.37b.

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.


Member Minute Subject & Nature of Interest
Councillor Ali General Licence Holder

No whip was declared.

130  PUBLIC SPEAKING – There were no requests received.

131  (17)  ‘GREENING THE WORKPLACE’ REVISIT – (i)  Progress on the recommendations within the 2006 ‘Greening the Workplace’ scrutiny review – discussions with Councillor Regan, Cabinet Member for Highways and Planning – The Chair welcomed Councillor Regan to the meeting and invited him to address the panel and provide an update on the recommendations made within the 2006’Greening the Workplace’ report.

Councillor Regan explained that ‘Greening the Workplace’ was only a small part of the overall requirement for climate change control, and that at present the world was producing five times more carbon than it can cope with.

Greening the workplace addressed the requirement of the Council to reduce its carbon footprint, therefore reducing energy consumption throughout all services of the Council.  The reasons to address this were the impact that carbon emissions were having on the environment, government legislation that enforced the need to reduce carbon emissions and also the benefit of reduced costs and the potential savings that could be made.

Discussions focused around the number of recommendations that had been implemented from the original report, what budget had been made available to help the council reduce its carbon emissions, the ongoing work of the energy efficiency manager, the need to engage all services and how to encourage a culture change within the workforce and also throughout North Lincolnshire.

Councillor Regan confirmed that one of the recommendations had been for all services to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation.  To retain ISO 14001 accreditation, environmental policies were regularly reviewed and checked by an external certification body.  At present only a handful of services held the ISO 14001 accreditation.  It was stressed that this should be considered by all services including Education.

Members were advised that 45% of North Lincolnshire’s carbon emissions came from schools, 31% from residents of North Lincolnshire and the remainder from transport and businesses.  Members were reminded that large industries such as Corus steelworks were not included within North Lincolnshire’s calculations.

Councillor Regan explained the need to engage with all sectors and the importance of reducing carbon emissions.  He advised the panel of the carbon trading legislation that would be introduced as from 2011 and the impact of the fines that would be imposed on any authority that overspent on carbon credits.  This would have a huge knock on effect to future budgets.

Members engaged in further discussions with Councillor Regan.

The discussions were summarised by the acknowledgement that a culture change was needed and it would take a collective effort to help reduce emissions.

Resolved – (a)  That Councillor Regan be thanked for his attendance at the meeting and for his informative discussion, and (b) that the position be noted.

(ii)  Next Stages – The Service Director Legal and Democratic confirmed that further information relating to the previous scrutiny panel’s recommendations would be obtained and brought to the panel at a future meeting.  The Members were also advised that the energy efficiency manager would be attending the next scheduled meeting of the panel, and that the Environment Team Manager, the Chief Executive, North Lincolnshire Council and Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment would be invited to attend a future scheduled meeting.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

132  (18)  TO DISCUSS AND APPROVE THE DRAFT REPORT ON POLICY REVIEW – RE-VISIT THE REVIEW OF SICKNESS ABSENCE IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL DECEMBER 2003 FOR SUBMISSION TO  COUNCIL IN MARCH 2010 –  The Service Director Legal and Democratic engaged in discussion over the content, conclusions and recommendations made within the report.  It was agreed that the report be presented to the next Council meeting on 17 March 2010.

Resolved – That the report on the review of sickness absence in North Lincolnshire Council March 2010 be approved and submitted to council for its consideration.

133  (19)  LEADER OF THE COUNCILS FORWARD PLAN – MARCH TO JUNE 2010 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for March to June 2010.

The plan contained details of all matters and issues likely to be the subject of key decisions for a period of the next four months, updated on a monthly basis.

Resolved – That the Leader of the Council’s Forward Plan for March to June 2010 be noted.

134  ADDED ITEM – There was no added item for discussion at this meeting.