Decisions

Use the search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Forthcoming decisions to be taken by the Cabinet and Cabinet Members for the next 28 days and beyond can be found in the Notice of Decisions.

Decisions published

06/02/2024 - Pupil Referral Unit Fordway ref: 5551    Recommendations Approved

This project is to provide a modern Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) facility at Fordway to accommodate 24 primary aged pupils in years 3-6. On analysis of current facilities, school requirements and BB104 recommendations, a two-storey new build facility is proposed. The existing single storey building is proposed to be demolished. The project brief is noted as SCC’s ambition to meet sustainability/ net zero carbon requirements in operation by delivering the project against LETI Climate Emergency Design Guide, specifically the energy metric 65 kWh/m2/yr.

The recommended route to market was to conduct an Expression of Interest (EOI), and then a mini competition using the Framework: Hampshire County Council’s Southern Construction 4 (F07177) Framework Lot 2 to identify a single supplier to design, manage and construct the works.

 

As part of the tender process, the EOI was sent out to 7 suppliers on the Framework . Four suppliers showed interest at the EOI stage. Their EOI question responses were evaluated and then shortlisted to three final suppliers to invite to mini competition.

 

From the three tender responses, Morgan Sindall Construction achieved the overall highest score in the Tender Evaluation and Moderation.

 

Estimated cost over Contract Duraction (construction works Stage 2): £4,418,495.10

 

Decision Maker: Executive Director Environment, Transport & Infrastructure

Decision published: 13/02/2024

Effective from: 21/02/2024

Decision:

It was AGREED that:

 

1.The successful bidder Morgan Sindall Construction is awarded the contract.

 

Lead officer: Anna Kwiatkowska


31/01/2024 - Award of Contract for the Provision of an Online Travel Booking System ref: 5550    Recommendations Approved

Currently the council uses paper-based travel warrants that are issued from a physical travel warrant book and require an automated online service which allows for the purchase of train tickets and hotels.

 

Paper based travel warrants have many disadvantages & inefficiencies including;

  • SCC often have to re-issue paper travel warrants because service users have lost or not received them?.
  • Royal Mail ?often strike or lose mailed warrants. Strikes have had an impact causing social workers to hand deliver them?.

 

 It is also open to potential Service User fraud including:?

 

  • Selling the travel warrant on for cash - ID not required when exchanging the travel warrant for a ticket at a rail station?
  • Changing the destination on the travel warrant?
  • Upgrading to first class?

 

Rail Station Ticket Offices are currently planned to be closed in stations so service users will not be able to redeem travel warrants for train tickets?. As a solution, the council plan to use an online travel booking system for rail, hotel and flight bookings.

 

CCS offer online travel solution framework agreements that meet our requirements?. Other local authorities are already using online travel solutions, so they are tried and tested?.

 

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 09/02/2024

Effective from: 31/01/2024

Decision:

It was AGREED that a contract is awarded to Clarity Travel limited under the Crown Commercial Services Travel and Venue Solutions RM6217.

 


25/01/2024 - Award of Contract for Surrey Diagnostic Scoping ref: 5549    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Executive Director Children, Families Lifelong Learning and Culture

Decision published: 05/02/2024

Effective from: 25/01/2024

Decision:

It was AGREED that:

 

1.           A contract is awarded to Newton Europe Limited under the CROWN COMMERCIAL SERVICES (CCS) RM6187 MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY FRAMWORK THREE (MCF3) Lot 3 – Complex & Transformation.

 


15/12/2023 - CHANGE PROGRAMME UPDATE - QUARTER 2 ref: 5534    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Nicole Russell, Head of Change Management (online)

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

 

1.    Head of Change Management introduced the report and highlighted the following:

·         Following the recent Board meeting a number of suggested improvements were made to the One Pensions Team Dashboard.  These are being worked on and will be presented in the new year.

·         A key area of focus this year has been development of people.  The results of the second Pensions Team bi-annual survey had just been received and the early indications were that the changes were bearing fruit.  A full report was to be provided at the next Committee meeting.

·         The programme of continuous improvement projects was ongoing.  All but two projects were on track and those that were behind schedule had corrective actions in place..

2.    The Committee acknowledged and commended the work being undertaken by the Change Team.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

None.

 

Resolved:

That the report be noted.

 


15/12/2023 - GLOSSARY, ACTION TRACKING AND WORKPLAN ref: 5505    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Neil Mason, LGPS Senior Officer

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

 

1.    Further to item 5/23 on the action tracker the LGPS Senior Officer explained that the Chairs of the Pension Board and the Committee had written to the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Finance & Commercial.  An update would be provided to the Chairs in the New Year with further updates reported to the Board.

2.    The LGPS Senior Officer reported that the Business Plan was due for approval at the next meeting, and this would affect what was on the forward plan.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

None.

 

Resolved:

That the Committee workplan and the action tracker be noted.

 


15/12/2023 - QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS ref: 5504    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

There were no petitions.

 

There was one Member question.  This and the response were published with the agenda. As a supplementary Steve Williams asked:

a)    in relation to the response to the first part of the question, I would like to ask professional officers whether they were aware of the advice provided to the Derbyshire and Cheshire funds criticised in the report by Professor Steve Keen. Both the LGPS Senior Officer and the Independent Adviser responded that they were unaware of the advice. In response to a requested for this to be a future agenda item the Chairman stated that he would look into the matter and consider whether appropriate to have this on a future agenda.

b)    in relation to the second part of my question, do officers still consider, particularly in the light of COP 28, reference to the beginning of the end for fossil fuels, that there is a trade-off between the fiduciary duty and divestment from fossil fuels? I am suggesting that the approach to date has been that on the one hand, there is the fiduciary duty of the committee and on the other hand, the committee’s desire to do something about carbon reduction and climate change, and that the two are diametrically opposed. My suggestion was that the two are now synchronised because fossil fuel assets will easily become stranded assets and so our fiduciary duty requires us requires us to divest from fossil fuels.

The LGPS Senior Officer agreed in that there was no contradiction between fiduciary duty and good stewardship of assets from the point of view of climate, and also other characterisations of ESG. Hence the committee had agreed on that approach to its responsible investment policy.

 

There were six public questions submitted.  These and the responses were published as a supplement to the agenda.

 

There were six supplementary questions:

1.    Kevin Clarke asked if the two banks referred to in the response could be identified and whether there had been any engagement with either of those two companies, and what had been the result so far? 

The Chairman responded that there were some specific examples of engagement in a later item on the agenda.

2.    Jenifer Condit asked on behalf of Lindsey Coeur-Belle: the 18th edition of the Global Risk Report, published in January 2023, states that climate and environmental risks are the core focus of global risk perceptions over the next decade and are the risks for which we are seeming to be least prepared.  Border to Coast acknowledged the fact that six out of ten short term global risks are climate and environmentally related issues. As a result of this growing urgency, will the committee commit to fossil fuel divestment by 2025? 

The Chairman responded that the responsible investment policy would be reviewed in June 2024. Things were changing and it was expected investment managers to take all these factors into account and for them to both engage and consider whether fossil fuels and particular companies are the right areas to invest in.

3.    Jackie Macey asked:  It is encouraging to note that within their engagement with Shell, Newton's referencing scope 3 emissions and investment in clean energy. However, this seems unlikely to be successful given Shell’s stated focus on expansion and exploration rather than transition to cleaner energy. If Shell’s new climate transition plan does not detail a change of policy that reflects these discussions and a move away from developing new oil and gas projects, what will the committee’s response be when engagement is not achieving its aim?

The Chairman responded in a similar vein to the previous question in that it would be expected that these risks be taken into account. Later in the papers there is an analysis of the various investment managers which shows which ones are invested in Shell. It shows that not all of the managers think that Shell is the right investment to make at this time.

4.    Jackie Macey asked on behalf of Janice Baker: Thank you for the responses you collected from BCPP and LGIM. It was quite likely that the 2024 directive on the protection of the environment will trigger prosecutions. Any that are successful would affect the share price and would undoubtedly lead to loss for investors. Bearing that in mind, would the committee regard it is sufficiently significant to include such risk in their risk analysis?

The Head of Investment & Stewardship responded that there was an ESG specific risk in the risk register and highlighted that investment managers were already including these risks in their analyses of stocks.  A Member questioned this response in that the question related specifically to the risk of climate-related prosecutions, and whether this risk is covered by a general purpose ESG risk or if it would need to be considered separately.  The Head of Investment & Stewardship responded that every investment carried regulatory risk.

5.    Lucianna Cole asked: Is pushing for scope 3 emissions to be more widely available part of the engagement strategy?

The LGPS Senior Officer responded that scope 3 emissions would feed into the responsible investment approach of Border to Coast and partner funds. It was anticipated that, as the data set became more reliable, Scope 3 could be a critical point of engagement.

6.    Jenifer Condit asked: My question is about how you see your fundamental role as members of a pension committee. I know that you believe that active engagement can be constructive for the planet and for your pension members as well. Given the increasing pace of regulation, moving away from fossil fuels is essential. Obviously there are changes in the air and my question is, notwithstanding what you see as your positive role owning fossil fuel companies and engaging with them, whether perhaps you might better prioritise your role as pension fund committee members as attending to the risk adjusted return of the assets in your portfolio and if that is the priority, maybe that changes the relative importance of engaging with companies that you don't actually need to own?

The Chairman responded that he would expect to continue to talk to the investment managers and to take risk adjusted returns into account. He also acknowledged the world was changing that that there was a need to consider that in the Investment Policy and in the Responsible Investment strategy.

 

A Member stated that the written answer on the papers would have been written before we had the outcome of COP 28. The answer does identify there are transitional risks being posed to investments depending on the outcome of COP 28. The member opined that he believed this was important in terms of giving an indication of the direction of travel of government policy. The member interpreted COP 28 as making it abundantly clear that the direction of travel of most governments, were quite clearly aligning around the phasing out of fossil fuels.  Therefore, in the member’s view, the question of transitional risk becomes not a question of if, but when.  At what point will fossil fuel investments become stranded assets? Given the COP 28 outcome, the Member requested an update be brought back to the committee that analysed these outputs and the implications for the investment approach. The Chairman responded that he would take on board what had been said and consider the best way to update the Committee.

 

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

For the Chairman to consider the best course of action on the requests for future agenda items.

 

Robert Hughes left the room for two minutes during the supplementary for Lindsey Coeur-Belle.

 


15/12/2023 - DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ref: 5503    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Kelvin Menon declared a non-pecuniary interest in that he is a non-voting member of the Scheme Advisory Board representing Treasurers Society for England.

 


15/12/2023 - MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING [8 SEPTEMBER 2023] ref: 5502    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

The Minutes were approved as an accurate record of the previous meeting.


15/12/2023 - APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS ref: 5501    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

There were none.

 


15/12/2023 - BORDER TO COAST UPDATE ref: 5545    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023


15/12/2023 - COMPETITION & MARKETS AUTHORITY (CMA) INVESTMENT CONSULTANT STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES ref: 5546    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023


15/12/2023 - RESPONSE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LEVELLING UP, HOUSING & COMMUNITIES TO ITS CONSULTATION ON NEXT STEPS FOR INVESTING FOR THE LGPS ref: 5542    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Neil Mason, LGPS Senior Officer

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

1.    The LGPS Senior Officer highlighted several areas of the report including:

  • The requirement of funds to comply or explain with the transition of all assets into pools by the end of March 2025.
  • The government target for pools to be at least £200 billion in asset size.
  • Government mandates on training and development for Committee members.  Currently Local Pensions Board members are required by regulation to have an element of knowledge and understanding; this will be extended to members of the Committee.
  • Pension funds will be required to provide plans in their investment strategy statements as to how they will meet a 5% commitment to Levelling Up investments which broadly speaking is investments in UK opportunities in private market assets.
  • The government will require pension funds to consider how they would meet a 10% allocation to private equity in their asset allocation.

2.    A Member asked about the governance arrangements for Border to Coast and what member representation there was.  The Chairman responded that there was a representative of the Local Pension Boards on the Border to Coast Joint Committee. He also pointed out that as the pools got bigger, then the impact of each Administering Authority would become diluted.  The LGPS Senior Officer stated that each Administering Authority was also represented on the Company’s Board.

3.    A Member asked if the 5% would be mandated or was guidance.  The LGPS Senior Officer explained that Government was proposing to clarify this in the Regulations, but the 5% was not mandated.  However, if not compliant then this would need to be explained.  He felt that the Joint Committee and Border to Coast were both well positioned in dealing with the Government request.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

None.

 

Resolved:

That the report and annex be noted.

 


15/12/2023 - ACTUARIAL UPDATE ref: 5537    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Steve Scott, Hymans

Neil Mason, LGPS Senior Officer

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

 

1.    Hymans presented their report and focussed on the cash flow position - how that had changed since last year, as well as how things may change going forward.  They focussed on the proposed new ‘pass-through’ approach for admitted bodies participating in the fund.

2.    There were Member questions about the inflation figures and the LGPS Senior Officer reminded the committee that under normal circumstances a cash flow analysis would be done every three years in line with the triennial evaluation. However, the committee took the view last year due to the inflationary volatility, that this would be done annually until further notice.

3.    Hymans explained the new pass-through policy and described in detail what this meant in terms of benefits and risks to the administering authority and other employers. In response to a Member question, it was confirmed there was no impact on members of the Scheme.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

None.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That the Fund’s cashflow position be noted.

2.    That the pass-through policy which includes the detail around the specific Surrey fund’s policy be approved.

 


15/12/2023 - INVESTMENT MANAGER PERFORMANCE AND ASSET/LIABILITIES UPDATE ref: 5544    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023


15/12/2023 - LGPS UPDATE (BACKGROUND PAPER) ref: 5541    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Neil Mason, LGPS Senior Officer

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

1.    The LGPS Senior Officer highlighted paragraph 21 of the report which referred to the Scheme Advisory Board which was providing advice on the use of surplus funding levels.  The advice was clear at the moment that contributions should not be changed on the basis of market movements, including changes in the interest rate environment.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

None.

 

Resolved:

That the report be noted.

 


15/12/2023 - RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT UPDATE ref: 5540    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Lloyd Whitworth, Head of Investment & Stewardship

Sandy Dickson & Jon Cross, Mercer

Jane Firth, Border to Coast

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

 

1.    The Head of Investment & Stewardship introduced the report by explaining the two parts contained therein. The first was in response to requests from the Committee to have a discussion on some engagement case studies, and the second was in response to the question about the Fund’s exposure to the 25 largest oil and gas companies globally.

2.    Jane Firth highlighted the following elements of the report:

  • The escalation process as part of Border to Coast RI policy.
  • Voting guidelines had been strengthened and now included banks as part of the policy.
  • Examples of what Border to Coast were doing on Surrey’s behalf by monitoring the managers of listed assets. With regards to alternatives, a similar approach was adopted. They were also involved in developing the ESG questionnaire as part of initial due diligence.
  • She explained that collaborating with other investors gave more influence and had a greater impact.
  • She noted that modern slavery was part of the social key priority theme. This was supported by joining with Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) and other investors. This included voting against companies where they were not complying to the Modern Slavery Act section 54.
  • Of the 12 companies engaged with, 11 were compliant.  The one company that wasn’t would be on the watch list ahead of the AGM season next year.

3.    A Member questioned whether there was a need to re-evaluate whether it was fiducially responsible to be invested in any of these fossil fuel companies especially for the big 25 and whether it was time to acknowledge the fact that engagement was clearly not going to work in changing their approach and if so, to look at divestment.

4.    A Member gave reasons for divestment from the fossil fuel companies as:

  • the impact of divestment from them would be very small as the weightings of those assets was very small
  • there was a level of futility in engaging with companies whose principal purpose was fossil fuel production
  • those companies could risk becoming stranded assets very rapidly.

5.    Steve Williams therefore proposed a motion to change the word ‘to note the underlying exposure’ in the second recommendation to read ‘to take steps to eliminate the underlying exposure to these assets classes’.  This was seconded by George Potter.

6.    A few Members spoke not supporting the motion and would prefer to make an informed and considered decision and therefore discuss in June 2024 in line with the review of the RI policy.

7.    There was much discussion on this before George Potter made a further motion to retain recommendations one and two but to add a third to read ‘it is recommended that the committee ask officers to include as part of the RI Annual Review in June, an assessment of the implications and impact of the exclusion of investment in the largest 25 fossil fuel companies.’  This was seconded by Steve Williams who withdrew his original motion. Following a vote, the motion was carried.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

None

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That the engagement case studies presented by BCPP be noted.

2.    That the underlying exposure to the largest 25 fossil fuel companies within the global equity mandates and the engagement approaches by BCPP, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) and Newton Investment Management be noted.

3.    That officers be requested to include as part of the RI Annual Review in June 2024 an assessment of the implications and impact of the exclusion of investment in the largest 25 fossil fuel companies.

 

1.26pm the Committee took a comfort break and reconvened at 1.38pm

 


15/12/2023 - ASSET CLASS FOCUS - PRIVATE MARKETS ref: 5539    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Lloyd Whitworth, Head of Investment & Stewardship

Anthony Fletcher, Independent Advisor, MJ Hudson

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

 

1.    The Head of Investment & Stewardship introduced the report explaining that the Fund had an extensive private markets programme with a target asset allocation of 20%.  There was a range of legacy managers but all recent commitments over the last few years had been through Border to Coast and that continued to be the case.  There was also a report on the BCPP Listed Alternatives Fund which sat well with the private markets report.

2.    The Independent Advisor explained the Listed Alternatives report and stated that performance figures for investments of less than five years standing should not be used to form firm conclusions due to a number of factors. The returns of the Listed Alternatives Fund have been strongly impacted by increased interest rates and increased inflation over the last couple of years, so these assets had actually done quite poorly.  

3.    The Independent Advisor went on to explain in detail elements of the private markets update report. This contained information on the Private Markets investments with Border to Coast. It also covered the legacy investments Surrey has with various private markets managers.

4.    A few Members requested a future report looking at alternative investments and specifically renewable green alternatives.

5.    The Chairman reiterated that these were long term investments and there was a need to always be mindful of the cash flow situation when looking at longer term investments.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

That the officers look at future reporting of renewables and green/alternative investments within the Private Markets asset class.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That the Fund’s private market holdings and commitments, respective funds’ investment performance and review from the Fund’s Independent Investment Adviser be noted.

2.    That the Independent Investment Adviser’s report on BCPP Listed Alternatives be noted.

 

Both Robert Hughes and Trefor Hogg were absent from the meeting for a few minutes each for this item.

 


15/12/2023 - COMPANY ENGAGEMENT & VOTING ref: 5538    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Lloyd Whitworth, Head of Investment & Stewardship

Neil Mason, LGPS Senior Officer

Jane Firth, Border to Coast

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

 

1.    The Head of Investment & Stewardship gave a brief summary of the report and highlighted the new chart that split out the engagement of the LAPFF by the SDG's, as well as SDG15 relating to life on land. He noted that LAPFF had made a first step in joining a nature action 100 group.

2.    In response to a Member query the Head of Investment & Stewardship confirmed that the Fund had no exposure to UK water companies.  That Member then went on to express caution in any future investment in water companies because of the environmental risks of dumping sewage.

3.    A Member asked whether religious factors were relevant in engagement. The Head of Investment & Stewardship explained that it was neither fund management partners nor the LAPFF that carried out such engagement. He added that whilst we have historically been asked about Sharia law in terms of our Fund, there was no separate mandate on that basis. The LGPS Senior Officer added that the Scheme Advisory Board, being the overall governing body for the LGPS, had consulted with an Islamic cleric and, while we await formal advice, it was his understanding that the LGPS is classified as Sharia compliant.

4.     A Member asked if Border to Coast would consider and evaluate their approach to managing and evaluating risk in light of climate and sustainability considerations which would be subject to quite considerable change over the next 5-10 years. He thought that any insurer that doesn't move with the times in this regard could easily to be caught out and landed with some quite significant liabilities.  Jane Firth responded that the engagement described in the report was through LAPFF, but Robeco had separate engagements with financial companies.  She was unable to say if there were any insurance companies included but there were some big banks and agreed that there was a regulatory risk, and she would pick this up with Robeco.  Jane Firth also stated that she would find out from LAPFF if this work in this area was included in their engagement and, if not, would raise this as part of the annual input into their work plan.

5.    There were queries and discussion around the engagement process and the Committee not being informed of results of engagement, particularly around investment managers, and therefore what was the point of including this in the RI Policy?  Jane Firth confirmed that if engagements failed that the policy ultimately allowed for companies to go into an exclusion list.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

Feedback from Border to Coast on engagement with insurance companies.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That the ESG Factors were reaffirmed as fundamental to the Fund’s approach, consistent with the RI Policy through:

a)    Continuing to enhance its own RI approach and SDG alignment.

b)    Acknowledging the outcomes achieved for quarter ended 30 September 2023 by LAPFF and Robeco through their engagement.

c)    Note the voting by the Fund in the quarter ended 30 September 2023.

 


15/12/2023 - PUBLICITY OF PART 2 ITEMS ref: 5547    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Resolved:

That items considered under Part 2 of the agenda should not be made available to the Press and public.

 


15/12/2023 - EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC ref: 5543    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Resolved: That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information under the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

 

PART TWO – IN PRIVATE


15/12/2023 - INVESTMENT MANAGER PERFORMANCE AND ASSET/LIABILITIES UPDATE ref: 5536    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Lloyd Whitworth, Head of Investment & Stewardship

Steve Scott, Hymans

Tom Lewis, Head of Service Delivery

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

 

1.    The Head of Investment & Stewardship presented highlights of the report which included: -

  • That the funding ratio was up to 140% but expressed caution with this figure and explained the effect of inflation on assets and liabilities.
  • There was an underperformance of the fund versus the benchmark, with the impact of higher interest rates and its pressure on the economy and on the performance of the portfolio.
  • The BCPP Listed Alternatives Fund continued to disappoint this quarter.
  • The BCCP Global Alpha Fund, one of our largest single mandates, performed better.
  • Emerging markets exposure, previously in a passive fund within LGIM, has been switched into an active fund managed by BCCP. £267M was switched into Border to Coast Fund in July.

2.    A Member asked what the Funding level ratio would be if the discount rate of the 2022 valuation was used?  The Head of Investment & Stewardship responded that using this discount rate the figure would be much closer to 100%.  Hymans gave a detailed explanation of changes that have occurred since the 2022 valuation and stated that if the same discount rate were used today, then the funding level would actually be lower than that reported at the 2022 valuation, due to lower asset values.

3.    A Member asked to see a breakdown in future reports regarding economic sector exposure. The Head of Investment & Stewardship stated that sector data was available for each manager but that there would be a problem combining for the whole fund because of the different mandates and different benchmarks but would look at what it was practicable.

4.    A Member asked about the negative cash flow to which Hymans responded with further information and an analysis of interest rates.

5.    A Member mentioned that there hadn't been any new joiners from Surrey County Council recorded since June because of issues with Surrey County Council payroll and wondered what the implications were for those employees. Were they missing out on pension entitlements and benefits? The Head of Service Delivery explained the issues being experienced and the work being undertaken with Surrey payroll to resolve the matter. He assured the committee that all pension entitlements would be properly captured in the records.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

Head of Investment & Stewardship to consider how best to provide economic sector exposure information.

 

Resolved:

That the main findings of the report in relation to the Fund’s valuation and funding level, performance returns and asset allocation be noted.

 


15/12/2023 - SUMMARY OF THE LOCAL PENSION BOARD REPORT ref: 5535    Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Decision Maker: Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Made at meeting: 15/12/2023 - Surrey Pension Fund Committee

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 15/12/2023

Decision:

Speakers:

Tim Evans, Chairman of Local Pension Board (online)

Neil Mason, LGPS Senior Officer

Paul Titcomb, Head of Accounting & Governance

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

 

1.    The Chairman of the Local Pension Board introduced the report and highlighted several areas that the Board had discussed including Unit 4, Business Continuity and Cyber Security.

2.    A Member noted that the commentary for paragraph 9 of the report was the same as the report previously provided at the last meeting.  It was confirmed that this had not been updated and was an administrative error. The Committee agreed that it could not therefore make recommendations to the Board.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

That the LGPS Senior Officer arrange to email Members the correct narrative for paragraph 9 of the report and present the correct information to the next Board and Committee meetings.

 

Resolved:

That the report be noted.


30/01/2024 - 2024/25 FINAL BUDGET AND MEDIUM-TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY TO 2028/29 ref: 5523    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 30/01/2024 - Cabinet

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 30/01/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet makes the following recommendations to Council on 6 February 2024.

 

Cabinet recommends that Council:

 

  1. Approves the net revenue budget requirement be set at £1,197.1 million (net cost of services after service specific government grants) for 2024/25 (Annex B), subject to confirmation of the Final Local Government Financial Settlement.
  2. Approves the total Council Tax Funding Requirement be set at £914.9 million for 2024/25. This is based on a council tax increase of 4.99%, made up of an increase in the level of core council tax of 2.99% and an increase of 2% in the precept proposed by Central Government to cover the growing cost of Adult Social Care (Annex E).
  3. Notes that for the purpose of section 52ZB of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, the Council formally determines that the increase in core council tax is not such as to trigger a referendum (i.e. not greater than 3%).
  4. Sets the Surrey County Council precept for Band D Council Tax at £1,758.60, which represents a 4.99% uplift. This is a rise of £1.61 a week from the 2023/24 precept of £1,675.08. This includes £251.44 for the Adult Social Care precept, which has increased by £33.50. A full list of bands is as follows:

  1. Approves the use of £5m of earmarked reserves, to enable additional targeted preventative and early intervention investment in the event that the Final Local Government Finance Settlement does not provide any additional funding to that contained in the provisional settlement (paragraph 6).
  2. Notes that underlying General Fund Balances are projected to remain at £49 million as of 1 April 2024.
  3. Approves the Total Schools Budget of £656.7 million to meet the Council’s statutory requirement on schools funding (as set out in Section 9 of the 2024/25 Final Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy to 2028/29).
  4. Approves the overall indicative Budget Envelopes for Directorates and individual services for the 2024/25 budget (Annex B).
  5. Approves the total £1,902.4 million proposed five-year Capital Programme (comprising £1,291.3 million of budget and £611.1 million pipeline) and approves the £404.9 million Capital Budget in 2024/25 (Annex C).
  6. Approves the Capital and Investment Strategy (Annex F - Sections 1 to 3), which provides an overview of how risks associated with capital expenditure, financing and treasury will be managed as well as how they contribute towards the delivery of services.
  7. Approves the policy for making a prudent level of revenue provision for the repayment of debt - the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy (Annex G).
  8. Notes that the investment in Transformation required to deliver improved outcomes and financial benefits is built into the proposed Medium-Term Financial Strategy (as set out in section 3 of 2024/25 Final Budget Report and Medium-Term Financial Strategy to 2028/29).

13.Cabinet notes that the Audit & Governance Committee has approved the following at its meeting on the 17th January 2024: Treasury Management Strategy and Prudential Indicators (Annex F – Section 4) which set a framework for the Council’s treasury function to manage risks, source borrowing and invest surplus cash.

Reasons for Decisions:

Council will meet on 6 February 2024 to agree a budget and to set the Council Tax Precept for 2024/25. Cabinet is required to recommend a budget to Council for consideration at this meeting. The budget directs available resources to support the achievement of the Council’s ambitions and priorities in the 2030 Vision and the Refreshed Organisation Strategy.

The budget will also support the delivery of the continuing transformational changes that are required to ensure that the Council can improve priority outcomes for residents, while managing growing demand for services and ensuring future financial sustainability.

 

 


30/01/2024 - 2023/24 MONTH 8 (NOVEMBER) FINANCIAL REPORT ref: 5526    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 30/01/2024 - Cabinet

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 08/02/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Cabinet notes the Council’s forecast revenue budget (after the application of the full contingency budget) and capital budget positions for the year.

 

2.    That Cabinet approves the Empty Homes proposal of £575,933 to Waverley Borough Council relating to 2022, outlined in paragraph 7 – 8.

 

3.    That Cabinet approves the increase to the Your Fund Surrey small project fund allocation for each individual councillor to £100,000.

 

Reasons for Decisions:

 

This report is to comply with the agreed policy of providing a monthly budget monitoring report to Cabinet for approval of any necessary actions.

(The decisions on this item can be called in by the Resources and Performance Select Committee)

 

 


30/01/2024 - STRATEGIC INVESTMENT BOARD ANNUAL REPORT - FINANCIAL YEAR 2022/23 ref: 5527    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 30/01/2024 - Cabinet

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 08/02/2024

Decision:

See Minute 13/24.


30/01/2024 - STRATEGIC INVESTMENT BOARD ANNUAL REPORT - FINANCIAL YEAR 2022/23 ref: 5525    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 30/01/2024 - Cabinet

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 08/02/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Cabinet endorses the Annual Report of the Strategic Investment Board.

Reasons for Decisions:

  • To inform the Council about the activities of the Strategic Investment Board
  • The Strategic Investment Board has been established in accordance with best practice governance to ensure effective oversight and alignment with the strategic objectives and values of the Council.

 

(The decisions on this item can be called in by the Resources and Performance Select Committee)

 

 


30/01/2024 - ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS FOR SURREY'S COMMUNITY AND VOLUNTARY CONTROLLED SCHOOLS FOR SEPTEMBER 2025 ref: 5524    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 30/01/2024 - Cabinet

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 30/01/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet makes the following recommendations to Council on 6 February 2024.

 

Cabinet recommends that Council approves:

 

1.    The admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools, including the Published Admission Numbers (PANs), for September 2025 as set out in Annex 1 and its appendices.

 

Reasons for Decisions:

 

·         The local authority has a duty to determine the admission arrangements for all community and voluntary controlled schools by 28 February 2024

·         The admission arrangements are working well

·         The arrangements enable the majority of pupils to attend a local school and in doing so reduce travel and support Surrey’s sustainability policies

·         The changes highlighted in bold red text in Sections 10, 11, 14 and 19 of Annex 1 have been made to add clarity to the arrangements and reflect existing practice

·         The arrangements remain as they were determined for 2024, which enables parents to have some historical benchmark by which to make informed decisions about their school preferences for 2025 admission

·         The arrangements are compliant with the School Admissions Code

 

 

 

 


30/01/2024 - Cabinet Member of the Month ref: 5522    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 30/01/2024 - Cabinet

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 30/01/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet Member of the Month update be noted.

 


30/01/2024 - Leader / Deputy Leader / Cabinet Member/ Strategic Investment Board Decisions Taken Since the Last Cabinet Meeting ref: 5521    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 30/01/2024 - Cabinet

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 30/01/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That the decisions taken since the last Cabinet meeting be noted.


30/01/2024 - Reports from Select Committees, Task Groups and other Committees of the Council ref: 5520    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 30/01/2024 - Cabinet

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 30/01/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Budget Task Group report be noted and recommendations considered.

 


30/01/2024 - Minutes of Previous Meeting: 11 December 2023 and 19 December 2023 ref: 5514    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 30/01/2024 - Cabinet

Decision published: 31/01/2024

Effective from: 30/01/2024

Decision:

These were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.