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					                     BRIDGEND COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL

                                REPORT TO CABINET

                                 7TH SEPTEMBER 2010



1.    Purpose of Report.

1.1   To seek approval to introduce measures aimed at supporting the development of
      travel plans for the Council’s main offices, and encouraging staff to travel to work
      using modes other than the private car.

2.    Connection to Corporate Improvement Plan / Other Corporate Priority.

2.1   Travel Plans are among the mechanisms by which the Council can demonstrate its
      commitment to addressing the challenges of climate change by adopting and
      implementing sustainable means of travel. One of the actions of the ‘Acting
      Differently’ Strategy and Action Plan to improve the sustainable development
      performance of the Council is to ‘develop and expand the travel planning process’.

2.2   The Travel Plans developed by the Council for its main offices, including the
      measures recommended within them, will be prepared within the context of
      priorities identified in the Council’s adopted Community Strategy (2005-2016), and
      its replacement. They will also help to deliver several of the Council’s corporate
      objectives as identified in the Corporate Improvement Plan 2008-2011, including:

         Healthy Living
         New Opportunities
         Green Spaces

3.    Background.

3.1   A Travel Plan is a package of measures aimed at promoting sustainable travel
      within an organisation, with an emphasis on reducing reliance on car travel for the
      journey to work.

3.2   One of the objectives in the Communities Directorate Business Plan (2009 -12), is
      to implement a series of Travel Plans for the Council’s main offices, the first being
      for Civic Offices, with a roll out to all major offices by 2012.

4.    Current situation / proposal.

4.1   The Council currently operates a number of initiatives, such as car-sharing and
      flexi-working, which promote sustainable travel and the work-life balance. The Staff
      Travel Plan Working Group has identified two further initiatives, a Cycle to Work
      salary sacrifice scheme and a discounted public transport ticket loan scheme,
      which, if approved, will further support the Authority’s environmental and
      sustainability aspirations. When implemented together with physical measures such

      as cycle parking and changing/showering facilities, these initiatives will also help to
      encourage staff to use more sustainable modes of transport for work-related
      journeys. It is also an opportune time to incorporate the travel plans into the
      emerging Corporate Accommodation Strategy.

4.2   The Council is committed to gain the Corporate Health Standard Bronze Award by
      September 2010, and the Silver Award by early 2011. A requirement of the Gold
      Award is to have a Travel Plan in place, so its development will be crucial if the
      Council is to reach the Gold Level.

4.3   The implementation of any aspect of the proposed plan may require legal advice on
      the relevant documentation and also procurement issues.

      Cycle to Work Scheme

4.4   A number of local authorities in the Sewta region, including Cardiff, Blaenau Gwent
      and Caerphilly, currently operate or are in the process of establishing Cycle to Work

4.5   Cycle to Work schemes enable employers to offer their employees the opportunity
      to purchase a bicycle and cycle safety equipment free of tax and National
      Insurance Contributions (NICs), instead of receiving the salary on which tax and
      Class 1 NICs would also have been fully payable. In return, the employer saves
      Secondary Class 1 NICs on that part of the employee’s gross salary sacrificed, and
      reaps the benefits of a healthier workforce. A worked example of how the benefits
      are calculated for employees is included as Appendix 1. A number of staff have
      already enquired about the introduction of such a scheme and based on
      discussions with another organization which has introduced it, the take up has been
      around 4%. Other Local Authorities have extended the scheme to elected members
      and it is proposed that Elected Members will be able to participate in the scheme if
      they wish.

4.6   The scheme would be funded by a third party finance company, with the additional
      charges and interest added to the overall cost of the bicycle and equipment, and
      the total amount deducted from the gross pay of the employee over the course of
      the lease period, thereby removing the cost impact on the Authority.

4.7   Whilst the scheme would generate NIC savings for the Authority, there would be a
      small administrative cost in operating the scheme, as a result of necessary
      processes including checking and confirming employee eligibility for the scheme,
      and approving and forwarding eligible orders to the scheme operator. It is
      proposed to absorb these costs within existing resources.

4.8   A cycle to work scheme would complement other potential Travel Plan initiatives,
      these will inevitably include a range of physical measures that may vary for each
      site, with the most common being cycle parking and changing/showering facilities.
      There are currently no changing facilities available at any of the current main office
      buildings, however there are facilities available at Ravenscourt, which is close to all
      the other main offices, which could be used. Limited cycle parking is also available
      at Ravenscourt, Civic and Sunnyside offices. When fully occupied, Ravenscourt
      could become the main cycle to work hub, which links to the development of the

       corporate accommodation strategy. Suitable arrangements will need to be agreed
       to allow access to facilities for cycle users not based at Ravenscourt.

4.9    A cycle to work scheme will provide evidence to support the Council’s commitment
       to improving employee health and wellbeing at all levels and its application for the
       Corporate Health Standard.

       Public Transport Tickets

4.10   Council officers will hold discussions with train operators with regard to the potential
       introduction of reduced price ticketing arrangements which could be offered to staff
       as part of a Travel Plan. Arrangements already exist with some train operators for
       the purchase of season tickets via direct debit.

5.     Effect upon Policy Framework & Procedure Rules.

5.1    There will be no direct effect on the Council’s policy framework or procedure rules.

       The proposed Travel Plan initiatives would have implications for procurement
       procedures and staff incentive schemes.

6.     Equality Impact Assessment

6.1    There are direct equality impacts arising from the recommendations and an
       Environmental Impact Assessment has been undertaken. The proposal will remove
       barriers and improve opportunities for those Council staff who wish to travel more
       sustainably with commensurate benefits to health and the environment.

7.     Financial Implications.

7.1    The introduction of a ‘cycle to work’ scheme which would allow staff members to
       spread the cost of cycle purchase over a period of time would result in small
       savings to the Authority in National Insurance Contributions. The additional
       administrative burden would be minimal and could be absorbed within existing

8.     Recommendation.

8.1    It is recommended that Cabinet approve:

       (a)    the development of travel plans for the Council’s main offices including the
              use of Ravenscourt as the main cycle to work hub;

       (b)    linking the travel plan process into the development of the Corporate
              Accommodation Strategy; and

       (c)    the introduction of a Cycle to Work scheme for Council staff, to take effect
              when Ravenscourt is fully occupied and operational, so that arrangements
              can be made to invite applications from interested participants and agree
              suitable access arrangements to Ravenscourt for cycle users.

31st August 2010

Contact Officer:      John Duddridge,
                      Group Manager - Transportation & Engineering
Telephone:            (01656) 642535

Background documents
▫ Cycle to Work Schemes, Department for Transport
▫ Walking and Cycling Strategy, Bridgend County Borough Council
▫ Equality Impact Assessment

Appendix 1 – Cycle to Work Scheme Example

Employee Benefits

Under the Cycle to Work scheme approved by HM Revenue and Customs, employees are
allowed to purchase bicycles and cyclists safety equipment, up to the value of £1000, for
journeys to work and other work related purposes free of tax and National Insurance
Contributions (NICs), as part of a salary sacrifice scheme.

The level of savings benefit depends upon the employee’s tax band, however an
employee paying the basic rate of tax and wishing to purchase a bicycle worth £500 over
18 months is likely to experience savings of approximately £179.77, whereas a higher rate
tax payer would save £281.01. The table below includes a worked example:

TAX PAYER                                         Basic Rate 22%         Higher40%

Retail Price                                            £500                 £500
VAT reclaimed                                          £74.47               £74.47
RRP – VAT                                             £425.53              £425.53
Monthly Salary Sacrifice From Gross Salary             £26.55               £26.55
Monthly take home reduction from Net Salary            £17.79               £15.66
Total paid over 18 months                             £320.23              £281.99
Tax & NI Savings over 18 months                       £179.77              £281.01

Employer Benefits

In addition to the tax and NICs benefits for employees, the employer will save Secondary
Class 1 NICs (at up to 12.8%). For example, if an employer was to purchase a cycle worth
£500 over eighteen months, the employee would sacrifice in total £500 of gross salary
generating Employer’s NIC savings of £64 per employee.


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