The Committee considered a report of the Corporate Director of Resources (Interim) which briefed the Committee on developments in matters that were both Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) specific, as well as providing an update on non-LGPS specific matters of interest (for copy see file of Minutes).
Councillor Earley asked if the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Bill would cover investment in tobacco companies, and was advised that this would not breach UK policy. The purpose of the legislation would be to prevent public bodies investing in a way that was contrary to UK foreign policy, and had been prompted by a pension fund’s refusal to invest in Israel.
Councillor Atkinson asked for more background information regarding the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Paul Cooper advised that this was linked to the matter raised by Councillor Earley. The Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) had intended to produce guidance for Responsible Investment but this had been affected by the court case involving the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. SAB had therefore decided to wait until more information was received in respect of the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Bill which would limit public bodies from taking a different investment approach to UK foreign policy.
Councillor Christine Fletcher stated that as a new member she wished to express her thanks to the Officers and Advisers for the excellent training members had received in this complex and changing regulatory environment.
That the information contained in the report be noted.