Background
Background

Issue details

Receipt of grant for the purposes of capturing nuclear knowledge in connection with local government reorganisation

Background:
Sellafield Limited as grantor has offered a grant in the sum of £30,000 to be spent during the financial year 2021/22 to help the Council and Sellafield Ltd/NDA Group to plan for Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) in West Cumbria. The funding will be used for an initial piece of evidence gathering/knowledge capture work relating to the importance of the local government/nuclear industry relationships in Copeland. This is essential underpinning to an effective transition plan for LGR, to ensure that existing relationships are protected and delivery of the social impact programme will continue to meet the needs of local people and communities.

The proposal is to undertake a qualitative research exercise, independently facilitated, to capture tacit knowledge about the nuclear industry in West Cumbria. The output of this project will form a key part of the evidence base to inform the development of the Nuclear Policy, Strategy & Major Projects work stream (“LGR Nuclear Work stream”) of the transition plan for Local Government Reorganisation in Cumbria.

The grant is specifically required to deliver a project output of a report summarising findings from the research to be used to inform the development of LGR Nuclear Work stream.

The purpose of this decision is to accept the money into the Council’s budget and to spend it on the project described above.

Financial regulation 7.11 requires certain matters to be considered prior to accepting a grant. These are:

(a) To ensure that the funds are only acquired to meet the priorities set out in the approved policy framework. The corporate strategy was approved by Council on the 15th December 2020. In respect of LGR such strategy contains ambitions for the Council to take a leading and influencing role to create community wealth and well-being and sees LGR as an opportunity to promote ambition 1 – ‘Let’s ensure our communities can thrive’. The Copeland Vision 2040, also adopted by Council on the 15th December 2020, sets an ambition to build on existing strengths to create a thriving place for the future, setting out ‘Pictures of the Future’, and proposes taking a holistic approach to community wellbeing, underpinned by public health, environmental sustainability and a more generative economy. It interacts and cross refers significantly with the nuclear sector and set out a large number of objectives to the achieved. This grant seeks to ensure that local government/nuclear industry relationships are protected and delivery of the social impact programme will continue.

(b) To ensure that any match-funding requirement is given due consideration prior to entering into long-term agreements and that future revenue budgets reflect these requirements. No match funding issues arise in this case.

(c) To ensure that a management fee is charged for the costs of administering such accountable bodies. Again, not applicable. This is a grant being provided to support LGR planning.

(d) To ensure that any claw back conditions are considered prior to accepting the grant. The Council’s Solicitor advises that the grant agreement is acceptable and that it follows the nuclear industry’s standard form of grant offer. There are some claw back provisions but these are as expected – using the funding for other purposes, bribery, misleading information or non-compliance with terms and conditions – and are acceptable.

(e) To ensure that all funding notified by external bodies is received and properly recorded in the authority’s accounts. This will be complied with.

(f) To ensure that the level of external funding and the arrangements for the payment of the funding, together with any claw back conditions, does not present a risk to the Council’s own cash flow or financial or budget position. No such risk exists in this case.

Financial regulation E7.11 allows the Chief Executive in consultation with the Section 151 Officer to accept funding between £20,000 and £75,000.

Other Consulted:

Section 151 Officer: Agrees with proposal.

Delegated Power Being Exercised/Subject of Decision:

To receive a grant, from Sellafield Limited, in the sum of £30,000, for the use by the Council, during the financial year 2021/22, for the purposes of evidence gathering/ knowledge capture work relating to the importance of the local government/nuclear industry relationships in Copeland. This is essential underpinning to an effective transition plan for LGR, to ensure that existing relationships are protected and that the delivery of the social impact programme will continue to meet the needs of local people and communities, such grant being made through the NDA entities in accordance with Sections 7(1)(e) and 10(2)(c) of the Energy Act 2004 and received under section 1 of the Localism Act 2011.

Reason for Decision:

The grant supports the Council’s Corporate Strategy and Copeland Vision 2040. It is essential that relationships with the nuclear industry are properly considered and dealt with as part of the LGR process and this grant will support that consideration.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 23/11/2021

Decision due: 16 Nov 2021 by Chief Executive

Contact: Pat Graham, Chief Executive Email: pat.graham@copeland.gov.uk.

Decisions

 

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