Issue - meetings

To select appropriate items from the Cabinet (Finance) Sub Committee (Cabinet Finance Sub Committee reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)

Meeting: 21/11/2022 - Cabinet Scrutiny Committee (Item 3)

Pre-decision Scrutiny

·        To select appropriate items from the Cabinet agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (cabinet reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)


Freeport Bid Submission


The Chair welcomed Andrew Harston and Alice Jones from ABP and David Gwynne from Eurus Consulting to the meeting.


Officers introduced the report and provided information in relation to seeking approval for Neath Port Talbot Council to support a bid to the Welsh and UK governments for a Freeport covering the port of Port Talbot and the port of Milford Haven and surrounding areas.


Members noted the error contained within the circulated report, in relation to Page 10 it stated “ This includes £21 million (or potentially more” it should have read £25 million.


Members sought clarity around the financial implications which highlights that £1m of Government funding would be made available for development. Offices confirmed that this would be a one off sum to support the bidder to support the bid from the outline stage to the final business case stage in line with the treasury green book rules. In relation to any ongoing costs a business model would need to be developed.


Members highlighted the recent climate emergency statement and asked what the implications would be during construction of this development. Officers discussed that with any construction there would be an increase in emissions due to HCV traffic, however, the development is to enhance biodiversity interest and transition to renewable energy which would reduce the carbon footprint.


Discussions took place around the potential costs and resources. It was highlighted the amount of pressure that officers have experienced during these past couple of years with the pandemic and other large projects that the council have signed up to. Members were concerned around these pressures. The Chief Executive agreed that officers have received pressure due to the pandemic and other projects and reassured members that resources would be continually considered going forward.