Venue: Observatory House
Contact: Nicholas Pontone Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Declarations of Interest
The Leader of the Council considered a report on the Council’s energy purchase contracts that recommended approval of a new risk management strategy to ‘purchase in advance’ all the corporate commercial energy volume for the remainder of 2022/23.
The reason for the recommendation, and use of the urgency procedures, was to seek to limit the significant risks to the Council arising from the extremely volatile energy market following the war in Ukraine.
The proposed decision was being considered under paragraph 2.11 (urgency procedure – Leader’s Action) of Part 4.4 of the Executive Procedure Rules as set in the Constitution.
Prior to taking the decision, the Leader confirmed that:
· The Lead Member for Financial Oversight & Council Assets had been consulted.
· The Leader had considered whether a special meeting of the Cabinet be convened to consider this matter, but had decided that the urgency procedure was the most timely and appropriate mechanism to take the decision in the circumstances, to seek to protect the Council from the volatility in energy markets.
· It was noted that the relevant urgent notice of a key decision had been published.
· The Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee had agreed that the normal call-in provision for key decisions should be waived to enable to decision to be implemented immediately.
The Leader considered the report that had been published and the Executive Director of Finance and the Associate Director of Place Operations were present to summarise the report and answer any questions from the Leader.
After due consideration, the Leader agreed to the ‘purchase in advance’ option that was recommended by the Council’s brokers to avoid the potential for the Council to be exposed to further increased energy prices over the winter.
(a) Approve a change to the purchasing strategy to manage the risk of price volatility;
(b) Note that a report will be presented to Cabinet in Autumn 2022 on an energy volume reduction strategy.