Agenda and minutes

Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 24th October, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Sonia Stewart - Tel: 0191433 3045 - Email: 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

The Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2022


RESOLVED        -      That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2022 be approved as a correct record.


Verbal Update on Locality Working


The Committee received a verbal update on the current position with regards to Locality Working.  A meeting has taken place with Corporate Management Team and it has been agreed that the locality work needs to be aligned with other activity across the Council, in particular the family hub work.  The CMT have established a Locality Programme Board and a meeting will take place with between Corporate Management Team and the Locality Implementation Group on 7 November to discuss how the concept is made operational along with the Family Hub approach which is an important funded piece of activity. 


It was noted that it was hoped that the police would be involved in the work as there are some serious drug related anti social behaviour issues ongoing.


RESOLVED    -           that the information provided in the update be noted.


Budget Review Annual Report pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Report of Strategic Director, Resources and Digital


The Committee received a report which offered a review of the 2021/2022 budget.  Up to and including 2022/23 the Council has achieved £178m of savings.  The 2021/22 budget was agreed by Council on 25 February 2021, this was set at £238.7 million including £8.1 million of budget savings.


On 25 February 2022 Cabinet and Council agreed a revenue budget of £254.3m which was balanced through planned use of £5.8m of reserves. This approach was in line with the agreed approach for planned use of reserves to allow time to identify cuts and efficiencies required over three-year planning.  The budgets are monitored regularly and Cabinet received a monthly monitoring report.  Corporate Management Team also receives regular updates on the position with regards to the budget position.


The Council received funding in relation to Covid-19 of £17.5m this was used to support a wide range of services, however, the impact is still being felt across Council services.  The Council has an excellent track record in terms of managing within its resources and has delivered a surplus budget.  Budget savings of £0.1m for 2020/21 in relation to a contract review have not yet been achieved in the financial year. 


£8.1m of savings were agreed for 2021/22 along with temporary budget mitigation. The majority of savings were achieved alongside the mitigation. However, in several areas some savings require further action to be achieved in full during 2022/23 without mitigation support.


The Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy is being updated and is expected to be reported to Cabinet in October. The current MTFS anticipated a £45m financial gap over the medium term. This was prior to the significant pressures manifesting over the last 6 to 12 months in pay, utilities and cost of living.


A three year approach to the budget was agreed by Cabinet in December 2021. This was to undertake to a fundamental review of all areas of the Council’s budget. This has previously been outlined as a Zero Based approach and will be phased. The first phase is underway with the initial focus being on adults and children’s social care. This approach to medium term financial sustainability is supported through the planned use of reserves.


RESOLVED -  (i)         that the progress made to date be noted.

                        (ii)        that the proposed future planned activity be noted





Update on District Heating Scheme pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Report of Strategic Director, Economy Innovation and Growth


The Committee received a report and presentation on the Gateshead District Energy Scheme and Gateshead Energy management.


The Committee previously received an update on the Gateshead District Energy Scheme in June 2021, specifically reviewing operational and financial performance, and progress against its 5 year business plan.  Gateshead Energy Company (GEC) was incorporated in October 2015, specifically to manager and operate the Gateshead District Energy Scheme.  In April 2016, GEC and the Council signed a 40-year concession contract, which sets out the terms of operation, in which the GEC leases assets from the Council and take sole responsibility of operating and managing all technical and commercial activities.


In addition to the operation of the energy scheme the Company has the following objectives which include policy priority outcomes for residents:


·        Attracting economic growth

·        Cost savings for commercial customers in the borough

·        Reductions in fuel poverty for residents

·        Carbon reduction in the borough

·        Income generation for the Council

·        Improving Air Quality and Sustainable Transport


A members advisory panel was established to advise the Board, and meets the week prior to all board meetings, to consider Board business and make recommendations.  The Panel comprise Deputy Leader and three members from Transport and Environment portfolio.  GEC Board meets quarterly with arrangements in place where decisions are needed between Board meetings.  These are followed up by decision records presented at the subsequent board meeting.


New connections are a key part of GEC’s business model and since June 2021, GEC has agreed several new connections with the Council as follows:


·        In March 2022, Northern Design Centre and Boules Café were connected to the private wire network

·        In July 2022 a power connection for the new Multi Storey Care Park being constructed for Gateshead Quays was made live, ahead of the required Aug 22 go live date

·        In August 22 Gateshead Stadium and Gateshead Academy of Sport were connected to the private wire network

·        In October 22 GEC is due to complete 4 more heat connections for Park Road, Shearlegs Road, Gateshead Stadium and Gateshead Academy of Sport

·        The Council will add St Joseph’s Primary School to their secondary network in October 22, required additional heat from GEC to supply that site as well


Other significant connections have been agreed with commercial customers:


·        Vistry Developments have agreed a heat connection for the 271 unit on the Freight Dept site, and GEC have commenced extension of its heat network along St James Road to the site entrance.

·        GB Lubricants on Albany Road, requested a heat and power connection, having observed the works to construct the minewater heat pump opposite and wanting to connect to a low carbon, low cost energy source to meet company objectives.

·        GEC is contractually obliged to provide all of the heat and power connections for Gateshead Quays Arena, Conference Centre and Hotel, once construction gets underway.


In line with its business plan GEC continues to work towards becoming a Zero Carbon energy network by 2030.  Progress on two major investments is as follows:


Minewater Heat  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR83


Community Wealth Building - Evidence Gathering pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Report of Service Director, Corporate Commissioning and Procurement


The Committee received a report as part of its Review of Community Wealth Building.  The Council has agreed to implement a Community Wealth Building (CWB) model as one of the tools to support the Thrive agenda, in order to achieve this the Council have been working with CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies).


Gateshead Council is establishing itself as a leading practitioner of CWB, as a fundamental drive of an inclusive economy, CWB aims to reorganise and control the local economy so that wealth is not extracted but broadly held and generative, with local roots so that income is recirculated, communities are put first and people provided with opportunity, dignity and well-being.


Traditionally the Council has focussed on redistribution after wealth is created, CWB is about pre-distribution during and before wealth is created.  It is about wealth, power, institutions and community with a focus on growing social and environmental benefits into all economic activity.


The medium-term recommendations to achieve this are set out below:


·         Re-engagement with Anchor Institutions including Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Gateshead College. – initial discussions were held with Anchor Institutions, however; further work needs to be carried out to support the development of a memorandum of understanding/charter committing to their collaboration and advancing CWB work. Key intentions are to:

·         Review of land and property assets held by anchor organisations in Gateshead to see if they could be re-purposed.

·         Develop a carbon reduction/energy transition approach with anchor institutions.

·         Anchor institution workforce analysis. Identification of gaps with parts/cohorts of citizens more distant from labour market.


·         E-learning modules to be rolled out via the intranet providing training on CWB for all staff. 

·         Appoint a Social Value Coordinator (subject to funding) to facilitate the allocation and coordination of £3.8m Social Value offers.

·         Continue to work with the VCSE sector, branching out to schools and internal colleagues to identify what Social Value requirements they have and embed them into future procurement opportunities.

·         Develop our internet pages and social media platforms to improve SME’s access to contract opportunities.

·         Greater emphasis on pre procurement engagement with local organisations, quotations being ring fenced to local companies, a number of Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS’s), similar to frameworks, have been established to enable participation of local companies, a recent example of this is on the Construction DPS, where we have specifically targeted local companies to get on the DPS, we have received 30+ applications.

·         Addressing gaps in the local supply chain and those opportunities offered to local suppliers.

·         Investigation into existing business support activities that support the development of the generative economy and improve the competitiveness and readiness of local supply chains, ensuring business opportunities are accessible to the local market.

·         Support the development of the social economy and alternative business models, including cooperatives and community interest companies that have the potential to provide goods and services that meet community need and address gaps in Council and anchor institutions’ supply chains. Explore the potential for a Gateshead Plural Economy Development Network.

·         Explore the viability of a  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR84


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Joint Report of the Chief Executive and Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance

Additional documents:


The 2022/23 work programme report was presented to Committee.  Some amendments to the programme were highlighted, all deferred reports have been slotted into later dates.


RESOLVED -  (i)         That the provisional work progamme be noted.

                        (ii)        that further reports will be brought to the Committee to identify any additional policy issues which the Committee may be asked to consider.