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27/07/2022 - Re-procurement of the Council's Gas Supplies ref: 5345    Recommendations Approved

The approval of the Executive Councillor to continue to purchase gas via the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) energy framework.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation

Decision published: 09/08/2022

Effective from: 27/07/2022

Decision:

Cambridge City Council

Record of Executive Decision

Re-procurement of the Council’s Gas Supplies

Decision of: Councillor Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation

Reference: 22/URGENCY/S&R/10

Date of decision: 27.7.22 Date Published on website: 27.7.22

Decision Type: Key

Matter for Decision: The approval of the Executive Councillor to continue to purchase gas via the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) energy framework.

Why the Decision had to be made (and any alternative options):

i.  There is a requirement to re-procure the Council’s gas supply contract from the 1st of April 2023.

ii.  As the revenue spend on gas has increased and is forecast to be at least £600,000 per year (estimated £2.4 m over the life of the proposed new contract) this is a key decision and requires approval from the Executive Councillor.

iii.  It was recommended that the procurement decision was made as an out of cycle decision rather than wait until Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 10th October 2022.  Energy prices are volatile, and ESPO report that gas prices are expected to continue to increase this year. If the council didn’t join procurement exercise being run by ESPO, the council’s supply would be procured later this year, and was likely to lead to higher prices.

iv.  Energy markets are complex so public sector organisations can take advantage of energy supply framework contracts. These are designed to procure large volume single supply contracts at more favourable rates than would be possible if the City Council procured independently with its smaller consumption.

The Executive Councillor’s decision:

i.  Approved continuing to purchase gas via the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) energy framework. As outlined in Option 3 of the officer’s report.

ii.  Approved that the contract period for the provision of gas should run for four years from the 1st April 2023 to the 31st March 2027.

iii.  Authorised the Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities or Head of Housing Maintenance and Assets to sign framework documents and approve the actual gas price tariff when the procurement is completed by ESPO.

Reason for the decision: Procurement organisations in the public sector can deliver significant economies of scale across a range of services by combining requirements of member organisations to secure more favourable pricing than would be possible for each organisation acting independently. Such organisations guarantee fully compliant tendering and due to the scale of procurement they provide specialist procurement and market expertise which is especially important when dealing with energy markets. The Council already makes use of this solution and procures gas and electricity at a competitive tariff via an ESPO framework agreement.

It was recommended that the use of a Public Sector Framework Agreement represented the best option for gas procurement at the current time and would enable the Council to secure pricing for March 2023-24 soon and help budget setting for next year.

Scrutiny Consideration: The Chair and Spokesperson of Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee were consulted prior to the action being authorised.

Report: A report detailing the background and financial considerations is available via Urgent Decision Briefing Note.

Conflict of interest: None.

Comments: Councillor Bennett and Councillor Bick supported the recommendations but raised concerns about the decision being made through the out of cycle / urgent decision process rather than being brought to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee. The Executive Councillor noted these comments and would follow up with officers.

Councillor Robertson raised the following questions:

  1. Does this supply include heating our swimming pools?

No, not currently. The gas for Abbey Pools and Parkside Pools is currently purchased by GLL, the company that runs the pools. However it is proposed that we change this once we award the new gas contract so the Council buys the gas direct as we think this will provide better value for money.

  1. If so how much has our energy use dropped (or is projected to drop) following the change to sustainable methodology for heating the pools

The Recreation Services Manager manages these projects and has suggested that gas consumption could drop by up to 40% as result of switching to heat pumps.

  1. Is a similar process proposed for electricity or is it covered by contract for at least the end of next year?

The current electricity contract does not expire until  30/9/24

Lead officer: Will Barfield


29/07/2022 - ***ROD Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Transport and Connectivity Plan: Draft Plan Consultation Response ref: 5344    For Determination

To agree the consultation response to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP): Draft Plan

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Infrastructure

Decision published: 29/07/2022

Effective from: 29/07/2022

Decision:

Matter for Decision:

To agree the consultation response to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP): Draft Plan

 

Why the decision had to be made (and any alternative options):

In June 2022, at a meeting of the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee, the Committee recommended and the Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure approved a response to the draft LTCP, and also approved to agree any material changes proposed by South Cambridgeshire District Council through an out of cycle decision, in consultation with Chair and Spokes.

The Executive Councillor’s decision(s):

Agreed the consultation response to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP): Draft Plan

 

Reasons for the decision:

 

Background

The original Cambridgeshire And Peterborough Local Transport and Connectivity Plan: Draft Plan consultation response was discussed at Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee on 28th June 2022.

 

The papers for this meeting are available here: Agenda for Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, 28th June, 2022, 5.30 pm - Cambridge Council

 

The proposed response included in the meeting papers was agreed without change following that meeting by the Executive Councillor. At the same time, the Executive Councillor also agreed to consider and agree any material changes to the response to the

draft Local Transport & Connectivity Plan consultation proposed by

South Cambridgeshire District Council, in consultation with the Chair and Spokes for the Planning & Transport Scrutiny Committee, and in liaison with the South Cambridgeshire Lead Cabinet Member for Planning (N.B. this should have been the Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development – see the minutes of the meeting).

 

Proposed amendment arising from new information shared ahead of Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee meeting on 28th July 2022.

 

 

 

The report linked above noted that at the time of writing, a number of documents supporting the LTCP had yet to be published. An update note circulated to members ahead of the meeting itself noted the following:

 

“The Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitats Regulation Assessment screening reports have now been published as part of the Integrated Impact Assessment. Both of these focus on the impacts of changes between the adopted LTP 2020 and the draft LTCP being consulted upon. A summary of their conclusions is set out at page I of the link above. The conclusions do not give rise to a recommendation to amend the proposed response to the LTCP. Notwithstanding, officers recommend an insubstantive amendment is made to the response to note that the Habitat Regulation Assessment wrongly identifies Cambourne to Cambridge public transport scheme as a project that is new to the LTCP.”

 

Proposed amendments arising from South Cambridgeshire District Council

At its Cabinet meeting held on 11th July, members raised the following issues:

  concern that the published LTCP response wording might support provision of development connected to a new station at Six Mile Bottom.

  Cabinet noted the critical role of electricity grid distribution and connection in supporting new development and the shift to electric vehicles, and the identified severe constraints to its enhancement, and recommended strengthening the Council’s comments on this topic.

 

As per the recommendation in the report informing discussion, Cabinet agreed that the above issues would be addressed in a revised response, to be agreed by the South Cambridgeshire Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development via an out of cycle decision, in consultation with the Cambridge Executive Councillor and in consultation with the Chair and Spokes for the Planning & Transport Scrutiny Committee.

 

The revised proposed response attached at Appendix 1  seeks to respond to all of the points raised above. This can be viewed at the link below:

Library folder - Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee  Meeting 29.09.22 - ROD: Proposed Greater Cambridge response to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Transport and Connectivity Plan:_ draft plan consultation - Cambridge Council

 

Scrutiny consideration:

The Chair and Spokespersons of Planning & Transport Scrutiny Committee were consulted prior to the action being authorised.

Report:

Details of the background are set out in this Record of Decision. There are no relevant financial considerations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conflicts of interest:

None

Comments:

No comments were received from the Chair or Opposition Spokes of the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee.

 

Lead officer: Caroline Hunt


28/07/2022 - ***ROD Section 106 Administration Fee ref: 5343    Recommendations Approved

Approval of Section 106 Administration Fee

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Infrastructure

Decision published: 28/07/2022

Effective from: 28/07/2022

Decision:

Matter for Decision: Approval of Section 106 Administration Fee

 

Why the Decision had to be made (and any alternative options): The proposal creates new policy around the use of planning obligations to fund the cost of existing Section 106 Monitoring Officers within the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service.

 

To ensure the timely payment of contributions and provision of onsite infrastructure, many local planning authorities seek contributions towards the cost of the monitoring of section 106 agreements.

 

The Cambridge City Planning Obligations Strategy SPD[1] adopted March 2010 established a monitoring charge based on the following:

Financial contribution clause - £150

Infrastructure provision clause or condition - £300

 

Areas of Major Change developments - Strategy to be considered on a development-specific basis but likely to include a requirement for funding of development-specific or Area of Major Change -specific, dedicated monitoring officer(s) throughout the period of implementation of development.

 

The Cambridge City Draft Planning Obligations Strategy Supplementary Planning Document dated June 2014 proposed a new approach to the Monitoring charge and which approach was used by the City Council during 2014.

 

Monitoring charges on financial and non-financial planning obligations - The management and administration charge will be 5% of the total contribution(s) (subject to a maximum charge of £50,000).

 

Large Scale Development - To be considered on a case by case basis. May be agreed by negotiation, subject to an additional management and administration charge. The default position for administration charge will be 5% of total contribution(s)

 

A High Court Judgement dated 3rd February 2015 determined that on straight forward matters (i.e. one off financial payments), securing a s106 monitoring fee would not meet the tests set out in R122 of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (amended) and the City Council has not, since then, secured contributions on non-strategic sites for Section 106 monitoring.

 

Planning guidance now specifically permits local planning authorities securing monitoring fees to cover the associated cost so long as they are proportionate and reasonable and reflect the actual cost of monitoring.

 

Officers have undertaken a detailed analysis of the time required to administer section 106 agreements and recommend a new set of fees be introduced across Greater Cambridge as follows:

·  A fee of £700 for agreements with no payment of contributions, long term monitoring requirement or solicitor enquiries.

·  A fee of £2,200 per standard residential development comprising affordable housing, open space and contributions.

·  A fee of £500 where the Council is required to confirm compliance of each obligation

·  A fee of £250 per each deed of variation or supplemental agreement

·  Monitoring fees associated with strategic developments which should continue to be negotiated on a case by case basis.

 

Around £111,000 can be expected to be received each year to cover the officer costs associated with the administration and monitoring of section 106 agreements (with a further £8,000 for the cost of software) thereby creating a cost neutral position.

 

Reason for the decision: To ensure the roles of Section 106 Monitoring Officers are cost neutral.

 

Scrutiny Consideration: The Chair and Spokespersons of the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee were consulted prior to the action being authorised.

 

Report: A section 106 Administration Fee Proposal report can be viewed at the link

Library_ S106 Monitoring Fee Summary Recommendation Report

 

Conflict of interest: None

 

Comments: No adverse comments were received from the Chair or Opposition Spokes.

 

Lead officer: Heather Jones