Decision Maker: Cabinet, Full Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
In finalising the design of the District Heat Network (DHN) and prior to appointing a contractor for the scheme it has become necessary to make budget changes for the DHN. The purpose of this report therefore provide background, to set out the variations scheme and to seek agreement on the way forward that avoids increasing the overall budget for the Town Hall Site Redevelopment project.
Exempt Paragraphs 3 & 5
The Leader of the Council presented report, DCE/05 of the Deputy Chief Executive. The purpose of the report was to set out the changes to the District Heat Network scheme that have created the additional cost and to seek agreement on the way forward that avoids increasing the overall budget for the Town Hall Site Redevelopment project.
Councillor Rana presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 9 March 2020, which included that the Commission had given its broad support in principle for the report. Also that the Commission unanimously supported option 3 within section 6 of the report DCE/05, with the addition of discreet progress and expenditure tracking against the DHN within that area.
Councillor Irvine spoke on the report.
That the Cabinet
a) notes the recent design changes to the design of the District Heat Network (DHN), the cost implications and the underlying reasons for this
b) notes the level of expenditure incurred to date on the DHN project
c) agrees the continuation of the DHN project, subject to Full Council agreement that the budget allocations for the Town Hall Site Redevelopment can henceforth be treated as a global budget
agrees for officers to pursue recompense
for erroneous advice received should investigations reveal that
course of action to be appropriate
That Full Council be recommended to:
a) Note that the budget for the New Town Hall contract contains a high level of contingency
that the budget allocations for the Town Hall Site Redevelopment
can henceforth be treated as a global budget under the delegations
to the Deputy Chief Executive as agreed by Full Council in the
Reasons for the Recommendations
In February 2017, the Council agreed the deliverables of the Town Hall Site Redevelopment, the budget lines to achieve this, and the delegated powers to develop and proceed with the development (set out in more detail in Section 4 of report DCE/05). In December 2018, the Council agreed to amend the budget for the District Heat Network, taking account of the benefits of the scheme (also set out in Section 4 of report DCE/05)). The recommendations above will allow both schemes to proceed without impacting on the combined budgets previously agreed.
Whilst it could be argued that given no further funding is being sought, there are sufficient delegations already in place to treat the individual budgets as a global figure, and to use the quarterly finance monitoring to vire funding; it is also arguable that this would not be sufficiently transparent for a project of this type and profile. Furthermore, it is appropriate to set out any changes to the rate of return anticipated from this investment given that these will have changed since the December 2018 report.
Report author: Ian Duke
Publication date: 11/06/2020
Date of decision: 11/03/2020
Decided at meeting: 11/03/2020 - Cabinet