Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel – 15 March 2010

PRESENT:  Councillor Smith in the chair.

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

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

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

135  DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – The following member declared a personal interest in the following matter: –

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

No whip was declared.

136  MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of this panel held on    15 February and 1 March 2010, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chair.

137  PUBLIC SPEAKING – There were no requests received.

138  (20)  ‘GREENING THE WORKPLACE’ REVISIT – (i)  To discuss the North Lincolnshire Council Carbon Management Programme – Carbon Management Plan (CMP) – The Service Director Legal and Democratic explained that since the greening the workplace report had been produced in 2006, changes within local requirements and national legislation had brought about the need for the Climate Change Action Plan, which had incorporated the recommendations made within the scrutiny report.

Since then, the emphasis had been on Carbon Reduction, and the CMP had superseded both the previous reports and action plans.  The report author Tim Allen, Environment Manager would be attending the next scheduled meeting of the panel and it was agreed that this would be the ideal opportunity to raise any questions.

It was noted that some of the actions contained within the CMP were under the ownership of Craig Stapleton, who was in attendance at this meeting for the next item on the agenda.  It was agreed that further discussions be incorporated into the next agenda item.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

(ii)  Progress on the recommendations within the 2006 ‘Greening the Workplace’ scrutiny review – discussions with Nolan Bennett, Maintenance Services Manager and Craig Stapleton, Energy Manager – The Chair welcomed Nolan and Craig to the meeting and invited them to address the panel and advise them of the progress so far.

Members received a visual presentation which provided the background to the work undertaken and how in March 2007 Cabinet had resolved to adopt the climate change action plan as the way in which the council would take forward the ‘Greening the Workplace’ recommendations, and what progress had subsequently been made in addressing the 59 specific actions and targets outlined within that plan.

Nolan provided an overview of the progress that had been made by the Asset Management and Culture team.  He covered aspects such as the reinstatement of the energy manager’s post in property services, the carbon trust audit of council properties in late 2007, the usage of renewable and sustainable energy sources in relevant buildings, energy conservation measures and the potential of power saving devices, and monitoring the effectiveness of these measures.

Craig was then invited to provide further information on the council’s carbon footprint, how the breakdown of carbon emissions had been calculated and categorised, and what impact this had on performance indicator NI 185.

Members engaged in discussions and asked for specific information on what savings had been made since Craig came into post as the council’s Energy Manager, what budget had been assigned, and what savings Craig envisaged would be possible over the next financial year.

Craig confirmed that savings were on track to reach the pre-determined amount per annum, and that with the access to the Salix fund from April 2010, this would provide further opportunity to deliver a more extensive programme of work to meet the challenging 33% CO2 reduction targets set.

Further discussions covered aspects of the need for cultural changes, increased staff awareness, knowledge of the financial implications and what impact that would have on the council as a whole.

The discussions were summarised with Craig advising members that Display Energy Certificates (DEC’s) had been awarded to 85 council buildings, which highlighted specific areas for improvement.  It was confirmed that by 2010/11 there would be 105 DEC’s with 69 being for schools.

Resolved – (a) That Nolan and Craig be thanked for attending the meeting and for their informative presentation, and (b) that the position be noted.

(iii)  Discussions with Simon Driver, Chief Executive North Lincolnshire Council –  The Chair welcomed Simon Driver to the meeting and asked for him to explain his perspective of ‘greening the workplace’ and how he thought this should be addressed by the Council.

Simon explained that the Carbon Management Plan was now under the ownership of the Community Management Board, which in itself was overseen by the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP).

With North Lincolnshire having been identified as one of the worst areas within the country for CO2 emissions, it had been necessary to address this to reduce levels and also to achieve both energy and monetary savings.  Simon confirmed that as Chair of the LSP he would ensure that all Service Directors would work to meet the commitments outlined within the Carbon Management Plan and assist the council in meeting its targets.

The panel was advised of the work being undertaken by the Environment Board and also the Economic Development Board, which in turn fed information back to the LSP.

Members engaged in further discussions with the Chief Executive, addressing issues such as the use of low carbon emitting vehicles within the Council’s fleet, the benefits of using sustainable procurement, district heating schemes and whether they were feasible in North Lincolnshire and should be considered within the local planning policy, and also the budget and investment that is needed to meet the performance targets.

Resolved – (a) That Simon Driver be thanked for his attendance at the meeting and for his valuable input to the discussions, and (b) that the position be noted.

(iv)  Next Stages – The Service Director Legal and Democratic confirmed that the Environment Manager would be attending the next scheduled meeting of the panel, which would give members the opportunity to raise any questions in connection with the Carbon Management Plan and related issues.  In addition, the Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment, an officer from Fleet Management, and also the Head of Travel Choice and Team Manager, Transport Planning would be attending future scheduled meetings to address and respond to issues raised.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

139  (21)  LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S 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.

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