Issue - decisions
Councillor Bernadette Mooney introduced a report of the Director of Universal and Infrastructure Services, advising Members of the corporate and departmental progress made against the Carbon Budget 2014/15 as detailed in Appendix A to the report; and the revisions that were required to meet Corporate Goals for 2015/16.
Council requested that a carbon budget be established (Council 14th December 2009, Minute 77 refers). The resolution included instructions to prepare carbon budgets for each department to be presented at Budget Cabinet and Council alongside the Council’s financial budget.
The Corporate Plan 2013 – 2016 stated that the Council should spend less on ourselves and obtain best value for every penny its spent. In the portion relating to Asset Management, the Transformational Projects report (Cabinet 23 May 2013, Minute 249 refers) identifies: the lowering of building running costs; carbon output; and associated penalties as measures that will deliver budget savings through reduced running costs. The Carbon Budget process promoted these aims.
The Carbon Budget was not a statutory requirement but was Wirral’s only method of managing CO2 emissions in order to reduce the carbon footprint and the costs associated with it.
Carbon Budget performance figures were used to provide evidence for the 2014 Grant Thornton Value for Money report. Together with progress on the ‘Cool Wirral’ initiatives they contributed to a green rating for Management of Natural Resources and a positive overall assessment.
The Carbon Budget was not financial but meeting the annual targets will have an impact on costs. Reductions in carbon emissions were achieved by reducing energy use and there are financial savings that would be made from the avoided costs of energy and Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) allowances.
(1) progress towards the 2014/15 target included in Appendix A to the report be noted;
(2) the Carbon Budget for 2015/16 be agreed and referred to Budget Council for approval;
(3) the current Carbon Budget method be applied until the impacts of the corporate restructuring are assessed and reflected in the new Asset Management System and that Officers be instructed to report further to Members to recommend alterations as a result of these processes;
(4) Managers are directed to ensure that Carbon Reduction Implications of projects and initiatives are assessed and reported as required by the standard report template. Impacts must be reported to the Building Services and Sustainability Section to support the carbon management process.