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Agenda item

Local Electricity Bill

Councillor Cody will propose and Councillor Carter will second:

Power for People is a campaign for more local, clean energy generation that would benefit local communities.

They are a not-for-profit organisation campaigning for the Local Electricity Bill – that they authored – to become law. The Bill is currently supported by a cross-party group of over 200 MPs including Tewkesbury’s own MP Laurence Robertson.

The Bill aims to solve the current problem whereby local renewable energy generators, such as community energy groups, are unable to sell energy that they generate to local people. This is because of the huge setup and running costs involved in doing so.

The Bill would overcome this problem by establishing a Right to Local Supply that would make the costs of selling locally generated clean energy proportionate to the scale of the operation. This would benefit the existing community energy groups across the country and, even more excitingly, create the opportunity for huge growth in such groups and other local clean energy providers.

If the Bill became law it would be excellent news for public authorities that wished to set up their own energy companies to sell locally generated renewable energy to local people, as the set up and running costs involved would be proportionate and thus a fraction of what they are now. The revenues received by such authorities could be ploughed back into local emissions reduction schemes and other local services and facilities.

A full copy of the Bill and the names of the 200+ MPs supporting it can be viewed via the following link

https://powerforpeople.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Local-Electricity-Bill.pdf

A copy has also been emailed to all Members of the Council

In light of the above, the Council is asked to:

1.    sign up to the campaign www.powerforpeople.org.uk/sign-up and

2.    adopt the resolution set out below:

Tewkesbury Borough Council:

(i)    acknowledges that it has made efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy;

(ii)  recognises that Councils can play a central role in creating sustainable communities, particularly through the provision of locally generated renewable electricity;

(iii)  further recognises that:

a)    very large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers result in it being impossible for local renewable electricity generators to do so,

b)    making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for Councils and Community Groups to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations, and

c)    revenues received by Councils that became local renewable electricity providers could be used to help fund local greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures and to help improve local services and facilities;

(iv)    in view of the above, the Council supports the Local Electricity Bill, currently supported by a cross-party group of more than 200  MPs, and which, if made law, would make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a Right to Local Supply and will: inform the local media of this decision,

·         write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill, and

·         write to the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, Power for People, (at 8 Delancey Passage, Camden, London NW1 7NN or info@powerforpeole.org.uk) expressing its support.  

Minutes:

30.1          The Worshipful the Mayor referred to the Notice of Motion set out on the Agenda and indicated that, in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, it was necessary for the Council firstly to decide whether it wished to debate and determine the Motion at this evening’s meeting, or whether it wished to refer the Motion, without debate, to a Committee for consideration with authority either to make a decision on the matter or to bring a recommendation back to Council.

30.2          A Member expressed the view that, whilst he supported green energy initiatives in principle, he felt the Motion lacked detail in its current format and that it should be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider and make a recommendation to the Executive Committee for decision.

30.3          A recorded vote was requested and, upon receiving the appropriate level of support, voting was recorded as follows: 

For

Against

Abstain

Absent

R A Bird

C L J Carter

 

J H Evetts

G F Blackwell

C M Cody

 

A Hollaway

G J Bocking

L A Gerrard

 

K J Cromwell

D J Harwood

 

 

M Dean

M L Jordan

 

R D East

H S Munro

 

P A Godwin

P W Ockelton

 

 

M A Gore

P E Smith

 

 

D W Gray

R J G Smith

 

 

E J MacTiernan

C Softley

 

 

J R Mason

R J Stanley

 

 

H C McLain

S A T Stevens

 

 

P D McLain

M G Sztymiak

 

 

J W Murphy

S Thomson

 

 

A S Reece

P N Workman

 

 

C Reid

 

 

 

J K Smith

 

 

 

V D Smith

 

 

 

P D Surman

 

 

 

R J E Vines

 

 

 

M J Williams

 

 

 

30.4          With 21 votes in favour and 15 against, it was agreed that the Motion would be deferred for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and recommendation to the Executive Committee for decision.

30.5          In accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, the proposer was invited to briefly introduce her Motion. She indicated that one of the Council’s key priorities was ‘sustainable environment’ and she was of the view that this could be supported by the Local Electricity Bill. This was a cross-party Bill and 57 county and local authorities had already supported it, including 11 which were in overall Conservative control. She had not expected the Motion to be controversial and had hoped Members would be able to support it. Her view was that the Bill looked to the future and the Council’s support of it would help enable a better future for its residents. She welcomed the input of Overview and Scrutiny, and was pleased the Motion would be further discussed, but she felt it should not really be necessary. 

30.6          In line with the recorded vote, it was

RESOLVED           That the Motion be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny                                         Committee for consideration and recommendation to the                                         Executive Committee for decision.