The Executive Director of Growth & Regeneration and the Head of City Leap introduced the report.
· There was a discussion around how City Leap, by way of inward investment and generation of a skills and labour base, aimed for acceleration of decarbonisation across the City. It was noted that City Leap’s focus was on the Council owned estate; but Board agreed that it was important to bring the benefits to everyone across Bristol, including access for people in privately owned homes.
· Members welcomed that grass-roots organisations would not be excluded from the opportunities from City Leap, and Members asked for further assurances and details on how the Partner intended to work with and engage local organisations.
· There was a discussion around the transfer of Council staff from energy services, and Members noted that this would necessitate a TUPE process, undertaken before the transfer was concluded. Members were advised that the council would not duplicate knowledge and expertise which would be within the City Leap Partner, which would be expected to lead on implementation of concepts and ideas; and the role of the Client would be to hold the Partner’s performance to account.
· The Board were advised that a fundamental part of City Leap was that it benefitted the people of Bristol, and Members welcomed the plans to supply jobs and apprenticeships for local people across Bristol, and to uphold equality and diversity policies, including aiming to ensure the workforce is representative of Bristol’s communities.
· There was a discussion around City Leap’s projected annual contribution to decarbonisation, and Members were advised the methodology for calculating carbon savings had been verified by an independent third party.
· The Board requested assurances that there has been consideration around how inflation and increasing interest rates would affect the figures as set out in the report; including whether inflation had been considered with regard to the Partner’s expected investment.
· There was a discussion around how the current heat network assets would be transferred and the Board was advised that one company that contained all the assets would be created, which would be the subject of the report scheduled to be brought to OSMB in June.
· There was a discussion about the carbon saving target and the Board was advised that an accurate figure at year 5 and beyond as an annual percentage could be provided.
· The Board were pleased to hear that the Council would retain ownership of its wind and solar assets.
· There was a discussion about the heat network and concerns were raised around consumer protection. Members were advised that the principle was to protect residents and consumers in advance of a developed regulatory regime; and these safeguards would be detailed in future report brought to OSMB.
· The Chair referred to the commitment to local training and jobs opportunities, and noted that it was important that areas with high social economic deprivation were prioritised. The Board heard that the Social Value Portal was utilised and deprived parts if the city had a high weighted commitment to jobs and training.
· It was confirmed that the Council would not make a contribution to the running cost of the Joint Venture. There was a discussion about payments the council would receive which was outlined in the report, which was guaranteed.
· Next steps and associated risks were discussed, and Members heard that there was a contingency budget if more time to agree the deal after December was required; there was an expectation that the next steps would meet target dates, and so OSMB would receive a report in June.
· The Board was positive about the proposals, and in principle supported the next steps. Whilst the Board acknowledged that the process to appoint the Partner was commercially sensitive and confidential, Members noted that more information would have been useful for informed overview and scrutiny.
· The Board receives clarification whether there was consideration of inflation with regard to the Partner’s commitment to invest to achieve City Leap’s projected annual contribution to decarbonisation.
· The Board receives clarification as to whether council homes which had been purchased under the Right-to-Buy scheme would be beneficiaries of City Leap projects.
· The annual percentage of overall carbon reduction of the city as a result of the contribution by City Leap at year 5 and beyond be provided to the Board.
· The Report be noted.