Report of the Head of Highways and Public Protection
The Cabinet considered the report of the Head of Highways and Public Protection that sought approval to proceed with the Street Lighting Asset Project which would reduce energy usage, reduce carbon emissions and clear the backlog of age-expired street lighting assets.
The report referred to the Climate Emergency Declaration that was made by Sefton Council in July 2019. The Council approved Sefton’s Climate Change Emergency Strategy and associated Action Plan with the aspiration of reducing Sefton Council’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. The report detailed the importance of reducing energy costs as good financial management, currently the energy used by Street Lighting accounts for 26% of the Council’s total carbon footprint with those costs increasing year on year. The recommendations contained within the report, if approved would assist in the aspiration of reducing Sefton Council’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 whilst also reducing the Councils costs.
Decision Made: That:
(1) the Street Lighting Asset Project and delivery of the recommended option as set out in this report, be approved;
(2) the establishment of an in-house project team to manage the project, be approved;
(3) Council be recommended to approve a Supplementary Capital Estimate for the scheme of £12.750m, which is to be funded by prudential borrowing on an invest to save basis;
(4) it be noted that the proposal was a Key Decision but had not been included in the Council's Forward Plan of Key Decisions. Consequently, the Leader of the Council and the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills) had been consulted under Rule 27 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules of the Constitution, to the decision being made by Cabinet as a matter of urgency on the basis that it was impracticable to defer the decision until the commencement of the next Forward Plan because undertaking the project requires substantial new Capital Investment which should be included within the proposed Capital Programme which is being considered by Cabinet on 11th February 2021, prior to consideration by Council on 4th March 2021; and
(5) it be noted that the Leader of the Council and the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills) had given his consent under Rule 46 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules for this decision to be treated as urgent and not subject to "call in" on the basis that it cannot be reasonably deferred because it needs to be included within the 2021/22 Budget and Capital Programme to be considered by Council on 4th March 2021.
Reason for the Decisions:
To enable the Council to deliver the benefits set out in the Business Case.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:
The business case has considered several alternatives, including continuing the current approach. Continuing the current approach would result in significantly increased costs, as energy prices are predicted to continue to rise; significant ongoing carbon emissions; and continued liabilities associated with the backlog of age-expired assets. The business case has considered the Strategic, Economic, Commercial, Financial and Management Case for each option, in order to determine the most favourable option.