The Committee considered the following report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues
1.1 The Council’s Capital programme is a rolling programme of investment which either improves the existing Council facilities or provides new Council facilities. This report seeks approval to move the reservoir Safety Programme to the next stage of the capital programme; seeks a decision from members on an electric vehicle to replace the current Lord Mayor vehicle; and asks Members to agree a request for permission to carry out aerial footage over Belfast Zoo.
2.1 The Committee is requested to –
· Project Movement - Agree that the Reservoir Safety Programme is moved to a Stage 3 committed project, with a maximum £1.6m budget allocated;
· Fleet Programme - Lord Mayor’s Car - agree the Audi E-Tron as the Lord Mayor’s new electric vehicle
· agree the request for permission for aerial footage over Council lands at Belfast Zoo.
3.0 Main report
Reservoir Safety Programme
3.1 Members have previously agreed that all capital projects must go through a 3 Stage approval process where decisions on which projects progress are taken by SP&R. This provides assurance as to the level of financial control and will allow Members to properly consider the opportunity costs of approving one capital project over another capital project.
3.2 Members are reminded that the reservoir safety programme is an agreed Stage 2-uncommitted project on the council’s Capital Programme. This programme has emerged from a number of safety reports conducted in relation to addressing safety issues associated with reservoirs - the Waterworks upper, Waterworks Lower and Alexandra Park reservoirs are within the scope of the programme. An outline business case has now been completed and a preferred option identified the necessary approach to dealing with statutory safety requirements, and associated costs.
3.3 Members are asked to agree that the Reservoir Safety Programme moves to Stage 3 Committed and it is recommended that a maximum budget of £1.6m is allocated. The Director of Finance & Resources has confirmed the affordability of this project due to the importance of statutory safety requirements around reservoir management.
Fleet Replacement Programme - Replacement of the Lord Mayor’s Car
3.4 At the SP&R Committee meeting on 21st February the Committee ‘agreed to replace the Lord Mayor’s car with a fully electric model, with the final decision on the type of model to be agreed by the appropriate Council Manager’. At the Council meeting on 2nd March this decision was amended to provide that the final decision on the type of model to be selected be taken by the SP&R Committee.
3.5 Members are reminded that the key issue remains around acquiring a replacement vehicle that achieves value for money, offers reliability given the commitments of the Lord Mayor’s Office and fulfils the function of a civic vehicle fit for high profile office (security of both Lord Mayor and Chain; wide ranging travel needs from short to long distance journeys). Members are also reminded that usage, based on typical requirements on duties of the Lord Mayor Office, shows an average mileage of 6,000 miles per year, with a typical average daily mileage of 30 miles. Whilst the usage profile is mainly around the city, there is reasonably regular requirement for longer trips, so in terms of electric vehicle, the long range performance on an electric charge, and well as comfort, is an important factor.
3.6 Appendix One provides a detailed overview of five vehicles available via council procurement mechanism and includes key performance information such as charge performance, safety rating (NCAP rating) and drive type (e.g. all wheel). Each vehicle has also been reviewed by Lord Mayor’s Office and Fleet Management Unit to assess suitability in fulfilling the function of civic duty requirements. Feedback has been provided and included in Appendix One. Having assessed the options that are available against the key issues as outlined above in 3.5 officers would recommend the Audi E-Tron model giving the mileage capacity, the rear seating space and the boot space capacity.
3.7 Members are asked to consider the options and agree the recommended replacement vehicle – Audi E-Tron. The lead-in time for a new vehicle is 4-6months. The current lease is up in February 2021 and therefore Members are asked to note that a decision on the preferred new model must be taken this month to ensure sufficient time for the new vehicle to arrive. Members are asked to note that officers will are looking at the lease period in terms of value for money etc. and any lease will be for at least at 2 year period initially.
Once the new electric vehicle has been agreed, and manufacturing charging requirement is confirmed, the Property Maintenance Unit will take the necessary steps to install appropriate charging point (circa £2k cost) at City Hall.
Request for permission for aerial footage of council lands - Belfast Zoo
3.8 Members will be aware that work is ongoing on looking at Belfast Zoo. To inform this work special permission for aerial footage to be taken of the Zoo site (both the existing and old Zoo sites) is being requested in the absence of an agreed council Drone policy. Members are asked to note that all necessary licence will be sought.
3.9 Financial and Resource Implications
· Reservoir Safety Programme - a maximum £1.6m budget – the Director of Finance & Resources has confirmed that this is within the affordability limits of the Council
· Fleet Replacement Programme – Lease of the Lord Mayor’s Car – these costs are covered under the Fleet Replacement Programme (costs are dependent on option to be agreed and subsequent formal procurement process); and costs for charging point will be found within existing budget.
· Aerial footage of Belfast Zoo site - costs will be drawn from existing budgets.
3.10 Equality or Good Relations Implications/ Rural Needs Assessment
All capital projects are screened as part of the stage approval process.”
Reservoir Safety Programme
The Committee agreed that the Reservoir Safety Programme be moved to a Stage 3 committed project, with a maximum £1.6m budget allocated.
The Committee approved the request for permission for aerial footage over Council lands at Belfast Zoo.
Fleet Programme - Lord Mayor’s Car
During consideration of the replacement for the Lord Mayor’s car, it was
Moved by Councillor Beattie,
Seconded by Councillor McLaughlin,
That the Committee agrees that the Hyundai Ioniq be selected as the replacement vehicle for the Lord Mayor.
The Committee agreed to vote on the matter, with nine Members voting for the proposal and nine against.
As there was an equality of votes, the Chairperson (Councillor Black) exercised her second and casting vote in favour of the proposal and it was declared carried.
In response to a request from a Member, the Committee agreed that a report on the current status of the Boodles Dam project be submitted to the next meeting.