Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 24 September 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: This will be a virtual, online meeting.

Contact: Steve Culliford  Democratic Services Officer

Note: This is a virtual meeting, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTj2pCic8vzucpzIaSWE3UQ 

Items
No. Item

19.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 6 August 2020. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2020 as a correct record and agree that the Chair sign them as such.

 

20.

Declaration of disclosable pecuniary interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting. 

Minutes:

None.

21.

Urgent business and chair's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chair determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chair. 

Minutes:

None.

22.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

None.

23.

Recommendations from other committees

To consider any recommendations to Cabinet from other committees. 

 

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee – 14 September 2020

Power purchase agreements

 

The Climate Emergency Advisory Committee discussed a report on power purchase agreements.  The report suggested that officers should join discussions with other Oxfordshire councils and commercial partners to identify the feasibility of entering into a power purchase agreement.  The committee made the following recommendation.

 

Recommended: to Cabinet that officers join discussions with other Oxfordshire councils and commercial partners to identify the feasibility of entering into a power purchase agreement. 

 

However, the committee wish to understand what flexibility would be allowed in such a contract.  There was concern that the council would have to commit to a fixed amount of electricity purchase, when the council’s aim is to reduce use.  The committee also wished to understand the contractual arrangements pending any local government reorganisation in Oxfordshire. 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered recommendations from other committees

 

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee on 14 September 2020

 

Power Purchase Agreement

 

Cabinet noted the recommendation from the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee (CEAC) that officers join discussions with other Oxfordshire councils and commercial partners to identify the feasibility of entering into a power purchase agreement.

 

Cabinet had been advised by CEAC that the committee wished to understand what flexibility would be allowed in such a contract.  There was concern that the council would have to commit to a fixed amount of electricity purchase, when the council’s aim was to reduce use.  The committee also wished to understand the contractual arrangements pending any local government reorganisation in Oxfordshire.

 

Cabinet also noted the committee’s intention to review the opportunity to enter into negotiations with the Low Carbon Hub and other Oxfordshire Councils on a potential Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The Chair of CEAC, Councillor Sue Roberts, advised Cabinet on progress, informing the meeting that no recommendations had been made at this time as discussions on the possible agreement were still proceeding.

 

The Chair of CEAC also reported that the Vice Chair of CEAC, Councillor Sam Casey-Rerhaye, who had also been working closely with officers of the council, had been liaising with the five other Oxfordshire councils. Progress had been slowed by the Covid 19 situation, which had introduced an element of uncertainty into the councils. However, the negotiations themselves were extremely complex, involving multiple intermediaries. At the present time, working with a given provider, rather than entering into a full PPA, seemed attractive, particularly as most PPAs were of 15 years’ duration and difficult to withdraw from during the term. Councillor Roberts hoped that the forthcoming appointment of a council environment officer could assist in clarifying issues and progressing matters.

 

The view was expressed that moving the council offices to a new site would also have implications for energy purchase and consumption. Therefore, it might be sensible not to conclude a new approach to energy consumption until the full implications of new accommodation and any agreement became clearer.

 

This delay and uncertainty offered the council the opportunity to undertake innovative energy saving work at the council’s leisure facilities, which consumed the largest proportion of all council energy needs. This could involve ground-breaking approaches to direct energy generation, such as overnight usage and the installation of state-of-the-art technology and equipment.

 

Councillor Roberts advised Cabinet that, typically, the negotiation process for PPAs lasted a year, so any delay might be to the council’s advantage in this uncertain era.

 

Cabinet concurred that in view of the negotiation timeframe, and issues of new council office accommodation, the urgency of this issue had been reduced and that therefore CEAC should continue to consider the matter with a moderated sense of urgency.

 

RESOLVED: to refer the proposal that officers join discussions with other Oxfordshire councils and commercial partners, to identify the feasibility of entering into a power purchase agreement, back to the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee for further consideration.

 

Councillor Roberts reported on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Treasury outturn 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To consider the interim head of finance’s report. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the interim head of finance on the treasury outturn 2019/20. This reporting fulfilled the legislative requirements to ensure the adequate monitoring and reporting of the treasury management activities and that the council’s prudential indicators were reported to the council at the end of the year.  The report provided details of the treasury activities for the financial year 2019/20. This action also complied with the requirements of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA’s) Code of Practice on Treasury Management.

 

Cabinet was advised that the Joint Audit and Governance Committee had considered the report and were satisfied with the council’s financial performance. 

 

Cabinet noted with approval the performance demonstrated in the Yield table (page 9 of report) which depicted an actual investment income of £3.243m against a budgeted investment income of £2.807m. Including the property investment income, the overall total for 2019/20 was £3.634m, with a rate of return of 1.99%.

 

RECOMMEND to Council to:

 

(a)       approve the treasury management outturn report for 2019/20; and

(b)       approve the actual 2019/20 prudential indicators within the report. 

25.

Exclusion of the Public

To consider whether to exclude members of the press and public from the meeting for the following item of business under Part 1 of Schedule 12A Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 on the grounds that:

(i)         it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 to 7 Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and

(ii)       the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to exclude members of the press and public from the meeting for the following item of business under Part 1 of Schedule 12A Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 on the grounds that:

i.      it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1,2 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and

ii.     the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

26.

Commercial negotiations with Capita and the review of Exchequer Services and Finance IT systems

To consider the report of the acting deputy chief executive – transformation and operations and the interim head of finance. 

Minutes:

Cabinet noted negotiations with Capita and agreed to consider an option to provide Exchequer Services and Finance IT systems.

27.

Office accommodation

Minutes:

Cabinet noted a review of potential office accommodation sites and agreed to proceed with a particular site.