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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR

Contact: Lucy Fleming 

Link: Watch Webcast

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 103 KB


The Chair welcomed the Members and attendees, including representatives from Ameresco. Housekeeping information was shared.


Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Graham Morris.


Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.


Any declaration of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.



No declarations were received.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 197 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.

Additional documents:


The minutes were agreed as an accurate record.

Resolved; that the minutes of the meeting dated 27th October 2022 be approved.


Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair.


No business was noted.


Public Forum pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.


Any member of the public or councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:


Questions - Written questions must be received at least 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that questions must be received in this office at the latest by 5.00 pm on Tuesday 29th November 2022


Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received at latest by 12 noon on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that petitions and statements must be received in this office at the latest by

12.00 noon on Friday 2nd December 2022


Please note: Questions, petitions and statements must relate to the remit of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.



Public Forum questions and statements can be viewed here.

David Redgewell submitted two Public Forum questions regarding the 2023-24 budget proposals. Written responses were provided. A Public Forum statement on this issue was also presented to OSMB.

Suzanne Audrey submitted two Public Forum questions regarding the City Leap Partnership. Written responses were provided. A supplementary question was raised highlighting that concerns remained over the risk and querying whether the Risk Register could be made available in redacted form. The Team Manager – Commercial and Governance responded that this had been considered but the relevant information was commercially sensitive and could not be released to the public. A Member supported the concerns raised and requested Officers consider publication where possible.

Councillor Martin Fodor submitted two Public Forum questions regarding the City Leap Partnership. Written responses were provided. A supplementary question was raised following question 5 asking how the ambition of the recommendations from the Citizens Assembly could be translated into the relevant business plan. The Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Energy, and Waste responded confirming that the project as it exists is extremely ambitious within the funding available.

Resolved; That OSMB note the Public Forum.


Cabinet report - City Leap Energy Partnership pdf icon PDF 386 KB


1. As per the Mayor’s Forward Plan, a report is due to be submitted to the Cabinet on 6 December seeking approval for the appointment of Ameresco Ltd as the strategic partner for the City Leap Energy Partnership and to authorise officers to take all steps required to enter into the Partnership and any related matters.

2. A copy of the Cabinet report will be sent to OSMB members and published as a supplement to this agenda as soon as it is available ahead of the Cabinet meeting.  OSMB members will consider the report at this 5 December meeting with a view to their comments being submitted to the 6 December Cabinet meeting.





Additional documents:


The Director for Property, Assets and Infrastructure delivered a presentation on the City Leap Energy Partnership which included the commitment to social value principles, the work undertaken to bring the project to the mobilisation stage, and the timeline for anticipated work.  Representatives from Ameresco and Vattenfall were present to discuss key points relating to the business plan and Heat Networks.


A Member asked how the £424million figure for investment was to be broken down between Heat Networks and other efficiency measures.  The Director for Ameresco Ltd clarified that this figure had been raised to closer to £600million, approximately split halfway between Heat Networks and low carbon infrastructure projects.


A Member queried the cost and expected CO2 output of the proposed strategic heat main running from Avonmouth to Old Market. The Strategy Director for Vattenfall Heat stated that future work on viability was planned as a major infrastructure project with plans to access other sources of clean heat.


A Member asked about the protections for customers in terms of price and consistency of service, considering that a ‘heat monopoly’ would be in place. The Strategy Director for Vattenfall stated that with the progression of the Energy Bill through Government it was expected that heat would become a regulated industry with Ofgem in the position of regulator; this would provide the framework for ensuring consistency for customers. It was noted that public trust was a key component of the venture, with commitments around how pricing would be set made through customer supply agreements. Protections for vulnerable customers would also be in place.


A concern was raised that appointing a Council Officer as one of the Directors of City Leap could lead to potential conflicts of interest. In previous circumstances backbench Councillors had been appointed to these roles, and a Member suggested that this route be considered.


It was confirmed that the ‘Golden’ or special share retained by Bristol City Council would fall away once Ofgem was to be appointed. A Member noted that the ‘special share’ included strong guarantees, and asked Officers to consider how these guarantees would be maintained once the special shares were ended. It was clarified that the special share had been put in place to address the current lack of regulation in the industry. Once Ofgem are in place as a national regulator they are likely to have more wide-ranging powers in terms of guarantees and enforcement.


A Member asked how procurement oversight would be maintained given that the entities in the joint venture were not governed by public procurement law around local jobs. Officers stated that Key Performance Indicators for social value delivery were included in the concession agreement with enforceable consequences.


A Member raised concern that more information was needed to fully assess the viability of City Leap noting there had been some delays in sharing details with Scrutiny. Areas where additional details were required included the cost of legal and accountancy fees, the allowance for inflation against the figure of £424million for investment, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Resources Scrutiny Committee - Budget consultation update

To receive a verbal update following on from the Extraordinary meeting of the Resources Scrutiny Commission held on 22 and 23 November. 

Note: the Extraordinary meeting was set up specifically to consider the detail of the 2023/24 budget proposals as per the published budget consultation survey; members of the Council’s other scrutiny commissions attended the meeting to discuss relevant aspects of the budget proposals.


A verbal update was received from the Chair of the Resources Scrutiny Commission following the extra-ordinary RSC meetings held on 22nd and 23rd November 2022 reviewing the budget consultation proposals.


It was estimated that around seven hours of discussion was held, with both the Chief Executive and all Cabinet Members present for their relevant sections. The challenging financial position of the Council was recognised in the sessions. Two further meetings were arranged for January and February 2023. It was felt that the inclusion of Scrutiny Members from other commissions had been successful so the invitation for the future meetings had been extended to them once again.


The budget proposals would continue to be discussed within the Finance Working Group.


The OSMB Chair noted that feedback from the public would also be fed into the consultation process. It was also noted that the draft Local Government Finance Settlement was anticipated in December 2022 so that by the time of the next meetings in 2023 the input from this should be known. The RSC Chair noted that with changes in Government the timeline may be too short for absolute clarity on this point, and anticipated it would take Officers some time to review the details.


OSMB noted the verbal update provided.


Climate Change Working Group scope / terms of reference pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Note: Further to the update given at the last meeting of OSMB on 27 October, a document setting out the scope / terms of reference of the Climate Change Working Group is enclosed for OSMB’s information.


The Terms of Reference from the Climate Change Working Group was provided following discussion from the previous meeting. A Member noted that the scope appeared ambitious. It was recommended that the Chair of OSMB review this with the Climate Change Working Group in order to help prioritise. This was agreed.

Resolved; That the Climate Change Working Group Terms of Reference be approved, and; That the Chair of OSMB work with the Climate Change Working Group to provide support in prioritising the scope and actions.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To note the work programme.


The Scrutiny Work Programme was noted.


Mayor's Forward Plan - Standing Item pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Note: the most recent update of the Mayor’s Forward Plan (as published on 7 November) is enclosed.



The Mayors Forward Plan as published on 7 November 2022 was noted.