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Agenda item

Allocation of Community Infrastructure Levy Strategic Fund

      Report of the Chief Executive

 

Minutes:

Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management, Strategic Planning presented the report (i) seeking approval for an update to the Infrastructure List and further allocations of the Community Infrastructure (CIL) Levy strategic fund to three projects and (ii) provided an update on work to be undertaken to profile the future spending of CIL strategic funds and propose reporting arrangements for the allocation of funding.

 

Cllr Botterill provided an update on the financial information provided at paragraphs 37 and 38 of the report, which should now read:

 

Para 37 -  Commitments to date have been made for circa £22.84m of the Council’s CIL Strategic Fund, leaving a figure of £7.76m as of 31 March 2021, which has grown further during 2021/22.


Para 38 - The proposals for new funding allocations as set out in this report total circa £1.56. This would leave at least £6.2m in the strategic fund.

 

Cllr Botterill explained that CIL was unable to meet all the demands placed on it. The report proposed allocations being made from the Strategic CIL Fund in relation to air quality monitoring infrastructure, the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy, and walking and cycling infrastructure improvements. Associated costs were detailed in the report with £6.2m remaining in the strategic fund. He also mentioned that future updates on CIL allocations would be reported as part of the quarterly budget reporting to Cabinet.

 

The Leader commented on the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy explaining that it was an important area for conservation and to unlock development.

 

Cllr Jerry Kunkler, Chair of the Environment Select Committee confirmed he along with Cllr Bob Jones, Vice-Chair of the Environment Select Committee and Cllr Graham Wright, Chairman of the Climate Emergency Task Group had received a briefing about the allocation of CIL Fund on the 22 April 2022. The members welcomed the report and in particular the proposed allocation of CIL funding to walking and cycling projects. They considered what happens to funding allocated but not spent by Local Highways and Footpaths Improvement Groups (LHFIGs) and how the air quality infrastructure funding might be used. They endorsed the approach adopted.

 

Cllr Gavin Grant commented on the additional funding of £400,000 from the Highways Integrated Transport Grant, the £400,000 diverted from Area Board capital towards LHFIGs and sought clarification on the officer component of the allocation. Officers confirmed that Council approved an increase of £400,000 in February 2022 towards LHFIGs (previously CATG), a reallocation from the existing £800,000 funding for Area Board capital grants. This increase would generate additional workload for officers amounting up to a potential £250,000 a year. This would be funded from the amount allocated by Council in February 2022.  The allocation of up to £400,000 from CIL funding as detailed in the report (proposal at (ii) (a)) does not include any element for officer time. The Leader observed that there could be potential for a wider allocation of Area Board capital funding to LHFIGs for a suitable scheme.

 

Cllr Dr Brian Mathew welcomed the increase in funding allocation to mitigate the impact of recreational pressures on bat habitats and raised the issue of the inclusion of swift bricks and bee bricks as a part of new developments. The Leader highlighted that discussions of this nature had been held in relation to new developments, along with the placement of the bricks within the development as a whole and in some new developments they have been integrated as appropriate.

 

Resolved:

 

  1. Approves the updating of the Infrastructure List to include:

 

“Infrastructure projects identified through the Local Highways and Footpaths Improvement Groups (LHFIG) that provide for pedestrian and cycle improvements”.

 

  1. Approves the allocation of:

 

a)    Subject to the approval of (i), up to £400,000 to the LHFIG programme for projects that relate to pedestrian and cycle improvements.

 

b)    Up to £160,500 for air quality infrastructure; and

 

c)    An increase to the pot of funding allocated to mitigate the impact of recreational pressures on bat habitats associated with the Bath and Bradford on Avon Special Area of Conservation in line with the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy from £1.35m to up to £2.35m

 

  1. Agree that the quarterly financial reports to Cabinet be expanded where appropriate to include monitoring use of allocated CIL Strategic Fund spend and the allocation of this fund to new projects.

 

 

Reason for Decision:

 

To ensure the timely delivery of priority infrastructure to support the development of Wiltshire, avoid the need for borrowing and transparency in decision making regarding the use and spending of the Council’s CIL Strategic Fund.

Supporting documents:

 

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