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Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008 (including whipping declarations)
Councillor John Spanswick - Cabinet Member Communities
Janine Nightingale - Corporate Director - Communities
Zak Shell - Head of Operations - Community Services
The Senior Democratic Services Officer - Scrutiny presented the report the purpose of which was to enable the Committee to scrutinise the decision of Cabinet of 13 December 2022 in relation to the report on Bridgend 2030 Net Zero Carbon Strategy.
She advised that, in accordance with Section 7.23 of the Council’s Constitution, three Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees, and one Scrutiny Chair, had requested that an Executive decision made by Cabinet on the 13 December 2022 be Called-In.
She advised that the Committee was recommended to consider the Cabinet decision of 13 December 2022 relating to Bridgend 2030 Net Zero Carbon Strategy and to determine whether it wished to:
i) refer the decision back to Cabinet for reconsideration, setting out in writing the nature of its concerns; or
ii) decide not to refer the matter back to the Cabinet.
The Chairperson invited the Members who had supported the Call In to speak on the reasons for the Call In.
Members stated the main reasons for the Call In included:
- Shortcomings in the Strategy and in the questioning by the Cabinet when making the Decision.
- There was no real information or understanding of the financial impact of the policy decision.
- A lack of clarity as to how performance would be monitored.
- Whether the Strategy was being given the correct oversight and governance and whether it should sit at a higher level.
- There was a lack of clarity about how the delivery of the Strategy would be resourced.
- Concern regarding the 34,000-tonne shortfall in achieving the target of net zero carbon, the cost of it and what was being done to mitigate against it.
The Leader of the Council (the Leader):
- Highlighted the importance of the topic of climate change and the need for all to play a part in the response to it.
- Advised that the monitoring of the target and delivery of the Strategy would be through the Corporate Plan which is scrutinised on at least a quarterly basis through the Corporate Performance framework
- Advised that the performance measures around the net zero plan would be identified and measured at a corporate level and that directorate business plans would also include relevant targets and performance indicators.
- Informed that the Strategy would be owned by full Council at the highest level of planning framework for the Authority.
- Advised that they were committed to fully reviewing the strategy in 2024 and 2027 due to the decarbonisation industry and technology changing and welcomed Scrutiny input into the review.
- Highlighted the volatility of costs and the need to adapt to changes.
- Advised that it was a shared agenda with Welsh Government and the UK Government and recognised that some changes would be expensive, and that significant financial support was required from central government.
The Cabinet Member for Communities:
- Advised that the Strategy was a corporate document and whilst managed by the Communities Directorate, there were regular meetings ... view the full minutes text for item 25.