Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Forest Room, Stenson House, London Road, Coalville, LE67 3FN

Contact: Democratic Services  01530 454512


No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.




Declaration of Interests

Under the Code of Conduct members are reminded that in declaring interests you should make clear the nature of that interest and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest, registerable interest or other interest



Councillors A Barker, D Everitt, M French, R Johnson, J Geary, J Legrys J Page, E Parle, N J Rushton, N Smith and A Wilson declared a non-registerable interest in item 7 – Motions, in relation to a motion submitted regarding Leicestershire Local Government Pension Scheme as previous employees of Leicestershire County Council.



Chair's Announcements


The Chair announced the sad death of John Coterill, an ex-councillor and former Chairman of the Council who passed away on 3 October.  The Chair then invited all to stand and a minute silence was observed. 


Under his initiative to celebrate the success of staff, the Chair announced that he had recently presented the Chair’s award to Rebecca Elliott who worked in the Legal Services Team.


The Chair referred to a recent episode of the television series Countryfile which was set in Heather Wood in the District and followed the journey of a young boy who had been supported by the Chair’s chosen charity ‘Steps’.  The hard and successful work of the charity was acknowledged.  The Chair announced that there would be further charity events in the coming months to raise funds for the charity and the details would be to follow.



Leader's and Portfolio Holders' Announcements

Members are reminded that under paragraph 11.1 of part 3 of the Constitution, questions can be asked of the Leader and Cabinet Members without notice about any matter contained in any address.  Questions shall be limited to five minutes in total for each announcement.


Councillor K Merrie, Infrastructure Portfolio Holder, welcomed the recent government announcement in relation to HS2 which meant that local businesses and communities could plan for the future.  Councillor S Sheahan concurred with Councillor K Merrie in relation to the announcement.


Councillor M B Wyatt, Communities Portfolio Holder, highlighted the achievements of the Council to date in relation to the Carbon Net Zero targets and pledged to continue the journey as detailed within the Council Delivery Plan.


Councillor R Blunt, Leader of the Council, announced a change to Councillor M B Wyatt’s Portfolio title to ‘Community and Climate Change Portfolio Holder’.




Question and Answer Session

To receive questions from members of the public under procedure rule no.10.  The procedure rule provides that members of the public may ask members of the Cabinet any question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the District, provided that three clear days’ notice in writing has been given to the Head of Legal and Support Services.


There were no questions received.




Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To receive members’ questions under procedure rule no.11.  The procedure rule provides that any member may ask the Chairman of a board or group any question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the District, provided that three clear days’ notice in writing has been given to the Head of Legal and Support Services.

Additional documents:


There were five questions asked which are set out below with the responses.  Each Member who asked a question was invited by the Chair to ask one supplementary question which is also set out together with the response.


Question from Councillor T Eynon


I am interested in understanding whether the Leicestershire Local Government Pension Scheme has any milestones and timelines set to monitor the progress of their engagement with fossil fuel companies to ensure that they reduce their fossil fuel production by at least half by 2030.

What criteria (if any) has this authority set to assess achievement of these milestones?’


Response from Councillor N J Rushton


Leicestershire County Council Pension Fund (the Fund) agreed a Net Zero Climate Strategy in March 2023 following extensive consultation with over 1700 scheme members and employers. The Strategy outlines the Fund’s approach to climate risk and opportunities. It also details it’s four-step engagement plan to engage with and challenge underlying companies and the Fund’s investment managers to achieve net zero by 2050, with an ambition for sooner.


The Fund doesn’t have specific targets for fossil fuel companies. However, it has nine targets which will aim to support real-world emissions reduction and alignment of companies towards net zero. One of these targets is to have 90% of assets in material sectors (such as fossil fuels, mining, and cement) classified as achieving net zero, aligned or aligning by 2030.  Every year the Fund will report against progress towards the targets set in the Net Zero Climate Strategy. The next report is due in December and will highlight progress towards the targets as agreed by the Local Pension Committee.


The Fund is also a part-owner of LGPS Central, the asset pool of which the Fund is a participating member. Central have a clear Net Zero Strategy which is based on emission-reduction and engagement targets from 2025 to 2050. As part of the strategy Central are committed to engage with the highest emitters within the portfolio that have not set credible net zero target, this includes sectors such as agriculture, electricity, and gas sectors.


LGPS Central has set out a number of milestones within its Net Zero Strategy including engagement targets. At individual engagement level they will also set up key performance indicators for each direct engagement on how companies holistically transition to net zero, this will likely involve changing production patterns.


The Fund considers engagement activity of partners such as LGPS Central, the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum and investment managers every quarter, like with Central these partners often lead and participate in engagement with fossil fuel companies, to support a just transition to net zero by 2050.


The Leicestershire Local Pension Committee has the responsibility for the management of the Leicestershire Pension Fund.  This fund covers staff of District Councils, Leicester City Council, Loughborough and De Montfort Universities as well as the County Council.  Membership consists of 5 County Councillors, 2 City Councillors, 2 District Councillor, 1 university representative, and 3 employee representatives.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Motions pdf icon PDF 511 KB

To consider the following two motions received from Councillor M B Wyatt:


A - Leicestershire Pension Fund fossil fuel investment 


The Council declared a climate emergency on 25 June 2019 and adopted its Zero Carbon Roadmap on 31 March 2020.  The targets are for the Council to be net zero carbon by 2030  and for the district by 2050. The Zero Carbon Action Plan focuses on what the Council can directly action, what it can influence and what it can help facilitate and lead.


    North West Leicestershire District Council has millions of pounds invested in fossil fuel producing companies via the Leicestershire Local Government Pension Scheme (LLGPS).


In 2023, LLGPS undertook a consultation exercise on the pension’s fund Net Zero Climate Strategy which the Council responded to.  


The LLGPS fund’s strategy says that climate change is a material risk both to wider society and the £5.5 billion Pension Fund which must pay the pensions of over 100,000 scheme members on behalf of over 200 employers.

The Strategy commits the Fund to becoming net zero by 2050, with an ambition for sooner in line with the Paris Agreement goals to limit global temperature well below 2°C, with the aim of achieving a 1.5°C limit. This is supported by the interim target to halve the carbon intensity of the Fund’s measurable investments by 2030. This will be supported through a number of targets and measures including:

  • Decreasing the Fund’s exposure to fossil fuel reserves and increasing exposure to climate solutions, such as renewable energy, and technology related to the transition to net zero.
  • Supporting real-world emissions reduction through an active engagement programme targeting companies contributing the most to the Fund’s climate metrics.

Former bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has warned that fossil fuel investments risk becoming “enormous, stranded assets”1 i.e. worthless, unsellable shareholdings.


Pension funds have a fiduciary duty to consider the material risks of continued investment in fossil fuels. 


The long-term sustainability of the LLGPS should not be put at risk by investing in companies which are in terminal decline resulting in “stranded assets”.  Nor should the Pension Fund fail to take responsibility for the credibility and financial support it currently provides to fossil fuel companies by continuing to invest in them even as they open up new fossil fuel reserves which the world can no longer afford to burn.


The UN International Energy Agency (IEA) has called on financial bodies to stop investing in fossil fuel production2 and predicts that global oil demand will significantly fall by 2030. 


The LLGPS current strategy for decarbonisation of the Scheme’s investment portfolio by 2050 as agreed in March 2023 provides credibility and financial support for the continued production of new fossil fuels and needs to be reviewed.


This Council therefore commits to:


1)     Call on the LLGPS to urgently put in place and act on:


a)     A public commitment to divest from the top 200 companies involved in fossil fuel production by 2027

b)     A transparent process by which  ...  view the full agenda text for item 49.


The Chair referred Members to the motions as detailed within the agenda papers and invited each Councillor who made a submission to speak to their motion in turn in the order that they had been received.


Motion A - Leicestershire Pension Fund and fossil fuel investment


Councillor M B Wyatt spoke to and then formally moved the motion as detailed within the agenda.  It was seconded by Councillor R Blunt.  The motion was then put to the vote.


The motion was CARRIED.




The Council commits to –


1)     Call on the Leicestershire Local Government Pension Scheme to urgently put in place and act on:

a)  A public commitment to divest from the top 200 companies involved in fossil fuel production by 2027.

b)  A transparent process y which they will carry out this divestment.

c)  Urgently review its Net Zero Climate Strategy to:

i)    Use robust measure which do not enable the companies it invests in to greenwash themselves,

ii)   Include a clear and effective escalation process, culminating in divestment from companies they invest in who fail to act to reduce their carbon emissions.


2)      Work with other local authorities and councillors in Leicesterhsire and Rutland, as well as other relevant employers in the pension scheme, to call on our shared Pension Fund to urgently and publicly end their investment in fossil fuel producing companies.


Motion B – Ivanhoe Line


The Chair announced that following the submission of the motion, an alteration to the motion and an amendment to the motion had been received.  Both the alteration and amendment were clearly set out in the additional papers.  The Chair then went on to explain the process to deal with the motion for clarity. 


Councillor M B Wyatt spoke to and then formally moved the altered motion.  It was seconded by Councillor A Woodman who at that point accepted his opportunity to address the Chamber and spoke in favour of the motion.


Councillor T Eynon spoke to and formally moved the amendment to the motion.  It was seconded by Councillor A Morley.


A discussion ensued in which Members spoke both in support and against the amendment to the motion, including the accuracy of the facts available and opportunities to have a fully functioning line.


Using her right of reply, Councillor T Eynon spoke passionately about the Ivanhoe Line and urged Members not to lose this opportunity for a line in the District.


The amendment to the motion was put to the vote.  A recorded vote having been requested; the voting was as detailed below.


The motion was LOST.


The Chair referred Members to the original altered motion as moved and seconded.  No further comments were received.


The original altered motion was put to the vote.


The motion was CARRIED.




The Council welcomes the progress being made to finally see the Ivanhoe Line reaching the next stage, but strongly encourages the Department for Transport and Network Rail to continue exploring the opportunities to complete the second phase of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Amendment to Motion B - Ivanhoe Line as detailed in the additional papers Amendment Rejected
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 50.


    To receive petitions in accordance with the Council’s Petition Scheme. 


    No petitions were received.




    Minutes pdf icon PDF 616 KB

    To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 5 September 2023.


    Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2023.


    It was moved by Councillor R Morris, seconded by Councillor K Horn and




    The minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2023 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.




    Council Delivery Plan pdf icon PDF 146 KB

    The report of the Chief Executive

    Additional documents:


    Councillor K Merrie presented the report to Members and moved the recommendations.  It was seconded by Councillor R Blunt.


    A full discussion ensued on the level of detail within the plan, and some comments were also made on the lack of supporting documents which made it hard to see the full picture.  The cross-party discussions on the proposed plan were acknowledged but concerns were raised that further work was required to make it the kind of Delivery Plan that the Council deserved.  The Portfolio Holder confirmed that there was more work to be undertaken and further details would be shared in due course.  The Leader of the Council stressed the importance of having a Delivery Plan in place and urged cross party support.




    The Council Delivery Plan 2023-28 be adopted.



    Review of Licensing Act 2003 Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 394 KB

    The report of the Strategic Director

    Additional documents:


    Cllr M B Wyatt presented the report to Members and moved the recommendation.  It was seconded by Councillor N Smith.


    Members welcomed the report and thanked officers for their hard work out in the District.




    The Licensing Act 2003 Statement of Licensing Policy be approved.



    Appointment of Parish Representatives to the Audit and Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 214 KB

    The report of the Monitoring Officer


    Cllr N J Rushton presented the report to Members moved the recommendations.  It was seconded by Cllr T Gillard.




    1)      The appointments of Parish Representatives as detailed at paragraph 2.1 of the report be approved.


    2)      The next steps required to appoint to the remaining vacant Parish Representative seats be noted.



    Urgent Decisions Taken By Cabinet pdf icon PDF 212 KB

    The report of the Chief Executive


    Cllr R Blunt presented the report to Members and moved the recommendations.  It was seconded by Councillor M B Wyatt.




    The report be noted.