Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 27th April, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE. This meeting will be livestreamed here: https://bit.ly/HarrogateYouTube (Copy and paste the link in your browser).. View directions

Contact: Elizabeth Jackson, Democratic Services Manager  Tel: 01423 500600 Email:  democraticservices@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

115.

Apologies for Absence:

Minutes:

115/21 – APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTES: There were no apologies for absence.

 

(5.30 pm)

 

116.

Declarations of Interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

116/21 – DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: There were no declarations of interest.

 

(5.30 pm)

 

117.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 273 KB

of the meeting of 30 March 2022

Minutes:

117/21 – MINUTES: The Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 30 March 2022 were approved unanimously as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(5.31 pm)

 

118.

Exempt Information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt information items.

Minutes:

118/21 – EXEMPT INFORMATION: There was no exempt information.

 

(5.31 pm)

 

119.

Establishment of Local Authority Delivery 3 (LAD3) and Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) Energy Efficiency Schemes: pdf icon PDF 162 KB

The Housing Renewal Manager to submit a written report.

Minutes:

119/21 – ESTABLISHMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITY DELIVERY 3 (LAD3)  

               AND HOME UPGRADE GRANT (HUG) ENERGY EFFICIENCY

               SCHEMES – FORWARD PLAN REF: 58CA21 FORWARD PLAN

               REF: 59HSC21: The Housing Renewal Manager submitted a written report in which approval was sought for the delivery of the Local Authority Delivery 3 (LAD3) scheme and the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) scheme with the Council’s consortium partners, York, Selby and Craven councils.  Over the past few years the consortium had worked together on energy efficiency improvements across the authorities using the Better Homes Yorkshire framework and various successful bids for grant funding had been obtained, co-ordinated by the Housing Energy Efficiency Programme Manager based at City of York Council.  The consortium had made successful bids for funding available through the Government’s Sustainable Warmth Competition for LAD3 and the HUG and over £2.8 million of funding was now available for home energy efficiency improvements as detailed at section 6 of the report.  Low income and low energy efficient households would be eligible to apply for grants for planned schemes to help reduce fuel poverty, reduce energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.

 

In presenting the report the Sustainability Officer reported that the recommendation in the report had been amended to reflect that the contract would be awarded by the City of York Council.  The Sustainability Officer then responded to Members’ questions and advised that grants would be awarded on a first come first served basis, and that care would be taken to ensure that grants would be awarded with an even spread across the four consortium Members.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the delivery of the LAD3 and HUG schemes to deliver energy efficiency and renewable energy measures across the Harrogate district through the award of contract by the City of York Council be approved.

 

Reason for decision:

 

The LAD3 and HUG schemes would provide over £2.8 million of grant funding for energy efficiency measures in private properties across Harrogate, York, Selby and Craven.

 

Alternative options considered and recommended for rejection:

 

To not deliver the LAD3 and HUG schemes and to not provide energy efficiency measures to properties across the Harrogate district. This option was recommended for rejection. To not deliver this scheme would restrict Harrogate district residents from accessing grant funding to carry out energy efficiency measures to their properties.

 

(5.32 pm to 5.36 pm)

 

 (D)

120.

Support for Energy Bills - Discretionary Scheme for Council Tax Rebate 2022-23: pdf icon PDF 178 KB

The Revenues, Welfare and Customer Services Manager to submit a written report. (Appendix 1 to follow)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

120/21 – SUPPORT FOR ENERGY BILLS - DISCRETIONARY SCHEME

               FOR COUNCIL TAX REBATE 2022-23 – FORWARD PLAN REF:

               58CA21: The Revenues, Welfare and Customer Services Manager submitted a written report setting out the Discretionary Council Tax Rebate Scheme 2022-23, attached as an Appendix, for approval.  The Government had announced the Support for Energy Bills – Council Tax Rebate 2022-23 Scheme to provide a £150 non repayable rebate for eligible households in council tax bands A-D.  This included discretionary funding for billing authorities to support households who were in need but were not eligible for the council tax rebate and the scheme and eligibility criteria were set out at paragraph 5.8 of the report for approval.

 

Harrogate Borough Council would receive funding of £253,350 and modelling work had taken place on the proposed Scheme, which was attached at Appendix 2, and showed a contingency of £25k should all eligible households claim.  This included a top up payment of £30 for financially vulnerable households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction.  Following consideration by Management Board it was now proposed that the top-up payment be increased to £35.  This would reduce the contingency, but would ensure that financially vulnerable households received more support, and potentially reduce the amount of money which would have to be returned to the Government if unallocated by 30 November. 

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That   (1) the scheme for Support for energy bills: Council Tax Rebate 2022/23 Discretionary Fund as detailed in Appendix 1 be approved;

 

(2) authority be delegated to the Section 151 Officer, or their deputy, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Resources, Enterprise and Economic Development to make amendments to the scheme eligibility criteria and the amount of the discretionary award; and

 

(3) authority be delegated to the Revenues, Welfare and Customer Services Manager to make scheme amendments which are required to give effect to any revised government guidance.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

The Government was providing all billing authorities with discretionary funding to support other energy bill payers who were not eligible under the core scheme for the £150 council tax rebate, and to provide carefully targeted “top-up” payments to the most vulnerable households in bands A-D.

 

It was for each Local Authority to determine agreed guidelines setting out the eligibility criteria for their discretionary funding and have regard to government guidance. It was important to have a written scheme for Harrogate Borough Council outlining these and the administration of grant applications to provide clarity to individuals.

 

The delegated authorities would ensure any required technical scheme amendments could be updated promptly where there was revised government guidance providing assurance to the scheme and also clarity to households. Any changes in eligibility criteria or the amount of discretionary awards could be changed quickly to ensure spending of the funding allocation was managed to maximise support to households in need and that the fund was not overspent.

 

Alternative options considered and recommended for rejection:

 

To not approve the Council Tax energy rebate discretionary scheme would miss the opportunity to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 120.