Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 19th October, 2016 5.30 pm

Venue: Ernest Saville Room - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Items
No. Item

43.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

In the interest of clarity, all Members and Officers who were Members of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund declared an interest in the item relating to the item on the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Disinvestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry (Minute 47).

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

 

 

44.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2016 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Yusuf Patel – 01274 434579)

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2016 be signed as a correct record.

 

45.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(XXXXX - 01274 XXXXXX)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict documents. 

 

46.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

There were no referrals made to this Committee at the time of publication.

 

Minutes:

There were no referrals made to the Committee.

 

47.

WEST YORKSHIRE PENSION FUND DISINVESTMENT FROM THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY pdf icon PDF 430 KB

At its meeting on Tuesday 20 October 2015, Council agreed that the Governance and Audit Committee and the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee complete a joint review of investment in the fossil fuel sector and the implications for the West Yorkshire Pension Fund, the District and its current and retired public sector workers of any programme of disinvestment and report back to Council.

The Director of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund will submit a report (Document “T”) which sets out a review of investment in the fossil fuel sector and the implications for the West Yorkshire Pension Fund, the District and its current and retired public sector workers of any programme of disinvestment.

 

Recommended –

 

That the Committee:-

 

(1)  Notes that WYPF investment decisions are made by the Investment Advisory Panel which includes representatives of all West Yorkshire Districts as well as other interested parties, and not Bradford alone.

 

(2)  Notes that the Investment Advisory Panel considers the annual report of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum which includes engagement activities with fossil fuel companies.

 

(3)  Agrees with the policy of positive engagement set by the Investment Advisory Panel.

 

(4)  Welcomes the progress achieved towards ensuring that the fossil fuel companies revise their business plans to take account of the COP21 agreement.

 

(5)  Welcomes continuing investment in green energy technology and production as the industry develops.

 

                                                                        (Rodney Barton – 01274 432317)

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That this Committee:

 

(1)  Notes that West Yorkshire Pension Fund investment decisions are made by the Investment Advisory Panel which includes representatives of all West Yorkshire Districts as well as other interested parties, and not Bradford alone.

 

(2)  Notes that the Investment Advisory Panel considers the annual report of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum which includes engagement activities with fossil fuel companies.

 

(3)  Agrees with the policy of positive engagement set by the Investment Advisory Panel.

 

(4)  Welcomes the progress achieved towards ensuring that the fossil fuel companies revise their business plans to take account of the COP21 agreement.

 

(5)  Welcomes continuing investment in green energy technology and production as the industry develops.

 

(6)  That the above decisions be referred to the Governance and Audit Committee and Full Council for information.

 

ACTION:City Solicitor (Resolution 6)

 

Minutes:

At its meeting on Tuesday 20 October 2015, Council agreed that the Governance and Audit Committee and the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee completes a joint review of investment in the fossil fuel sector and the implications for the West Yorkshire Pension Fund, the district and its current and retired public sector workers of any programme of disinvestment and report back to Council.

A Member stated that the original Council motion had requested that a joint review should be undertaken between this Committee and the Governance and Audit Committee, and he ascertained why this process had not been adhered to.  In response the Locum Assistant City Solicitor stated that in the context of workloads it may have been decided between the respective Chairs that only the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee looks at the issue.  A former Member of the Governance and Audit Committee stated that he had been privy to some of the discussions, and it had been suggested that any governance related issues arising from this review would be considered by the Governance and Audit Committee.

The Director of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund submitted a report (Document“T”) which set out a review of investment in the fossil fuel sector and the implications for the West Yorkshire Pension Fund.  The Director gave a detailed overview of the Pension Fund and the potential implications from disinvestment from the fossil fuel industry, which were set out in the report.

A Member of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Joint Advisory Group explained that the Investment Panel continuously looked at the investment portfolio and made decisions on investment opportunities accordingly, in order to safeguard the pension scheme and get the best returns.

The Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund was also present and stressed that in his discussions with companies such as BP and Shell, that they were already being lobbied and encouraged to invest more in renewables and that they acknowledged that the 2 degrees centigrade global temperature rise goal should be adhered to.  He also highlighted that if gas was stored correctly that it was extremely carbon efficient. He urged that the lobbying should continue as companies had changed their policies in a number of environmental areas.

A Green Party Councillor was present at the meeting and stated that the report failed to highlight any tangible changes in the area of disinvestment and that essentially fossil fuel extraction would continue, resulting in more greenhouses gases being released into the atmosphere.  That although she appreciated that it would take over a decade to fully disinvest, a review should be undertaken to start the process and assess the viability of disinvestment.

A representative from the West Yorkshire Disinvestment Campaign group was present and stated the following points:

·        That they welcomed the Council’s consideration of the financial risks to the pension fund from continued investment in fossil fuel corporation and its on going efforts to engage companies to change their business practices to be more in line with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.