Agenda item - Strategic Risk MAP Focus: SR 4 Economic Resilience and Sustainable Economic Growth, and SR8 Becoming a more sustainable city

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Agenda item

Strategic Risk MAP Focus: SR 4 Economic Resilience and Sustainable Economic Growth, and SR8 Becoming a more sustainable city

Report of the Executive Director of Finance & Resources (copy attached).


52.1         The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director of Finance & Resources in relation to the Strategic Risk MAP Focus: SR4 Economic Resilience and Sustainable Economic Growth; and SR8 Becoming a more sustainable city. The Committee had a role to monitor the effectiveness of risk management and internal control by oversight of the Strategic Register and a Risk Management Action Plan for each risk which is owned by a member of the Executive Leadership Team. The Committee had agreed to focus on two strategic risks at each meeting so that over the course of a year all the MAPs receives attention. The Risk Owners responsible for both would be the Executive Director of Environment, Development & Housing, Geoff Raw.


52.2         The Executive Director of Environment, Development & Housing introduced SR4 Economic Resilience and Sustainable Economic Growth, and highlighted that the Economic Strategy had been refreshed earlier in the year, and been approved at Committee level. The document had been jointly produced with Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership. Work was ongoing with Lewes District Council, Worthing Borough Council, Adur District Council, Mid Sussex District Council, East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council, and the local enterprise partnership in relation to the City Deal to create the Greater Brighton economic area, and a positive response had been received at a meeting with Central Government. It was envisaged that this kind of collaborative working would continue regardless of the outcome of the bid; as well as ongoing work with big city employers such as the two universities on key sites such as Circus Street and Preston Barracks. Areas such as the tourist economy and key growth sectors were continuing to receive attention, and there were efforts to form links between the smaller local based digital media businesses and the large ‘tech’ London based companies – recently Google had dedicated a member of staff to do this. The other growth industry related to the environment sector. The economic picture for the city remained positive as unemployment rates were falling, and the work force in the city remained highly qualified.  It was important to ensure graduates were equipped with job skills and that work continued to improve graduate job opportunities reducing displacement of job opportunities for people with fewer qualifications.


52.3         In response to Councillor Summers it was clarified that a report on Preston Barracks was due to the next Policy & Resources in December 2013, and the City Deal bid had been submitted for the response from Central Government which was expected in the near future. It was also noted that all the partner authorities and bodies were fully committed to the City Deal, and this had been through all of their formal decision making avenues.


52.4         In response to queries in relation to flood defence it was noted that this formed part of the City Deal in Newhaven and Shoreham.


52.5         The Executive Director of Environment, Development & Housing introduced SR8 Becoming a More sustainable City, and highlighted that this was a significant challenge for the city.  There were, however, environmental mitigations in place. The One Planet Living approach had been approved at Full Council, and there was commitment from the One Planet Board to ensure commitments were followed through and delivered. Work was being undertaken with the Environment Agency, and the living wage was being introduced in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce; there was also interest from the environmental industries in working with the local authority, and these had been promoted through two Eco-Technology shows. Work was continuing with the bus providers who had recently introduced 60 new hybrid fuel buses. It was also noted that Southern Water were rolling out metering across the city and projects, such as replacing street columns with more energy efficient lighting, was ongoing. The city’s housing stock remained one of the significant issues in relation to carbon emissions. A report was due to go to the Policy & Resources Committee about energy companies making more investment available to improve the energy performance of homes.  This was being undertaken with West Sussex County Council.  Close to 100% of the council house stock now complied with Decent Homes standards, and photovoltaic panels were being installed on a number of buildings in the city.


52.6         In a discussion about the Green Deal it was explained that uptake nationally had been modest.  Officers had been working with the Coast to Capital LEP to make Green Deal more viable through more affordable loan financing.  It was also noted that the Green Deal contract with Carillion was designed to create supply chain opportunity for local businesses.


52.7         In relation to food waste it was noted that many local authorities were reviewing their recycling schemes.  Officers are keeping food waste options under review and it was recognised that this is a significant opportunity for commercial food waste recycling in the city.  Any solution would need to be financially viable and work was being undertaken with neighbouring authorities, notably East Sussex County Council.  However, recycling schemes are affected by the market fluctuations in prices of recycled materials.


52.8         RESOLVED - That the Committee, having considered the Strategic Risk MAPs and the Risk Owners’ response, the Committee make any recommendations it considers appropriate to the relevant Council body.

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