Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 23rd July, 2015 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - County Offices, Kendal, LA9 4RQ. View directions

Contact: Nick Evans  Email: nick.evans@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

27.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Mrs Feeney-Johnson and Mr Southward.

28.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises

 

1          Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for            profit or gain.

 

2          Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses.  (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

3          Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority

 

(a)       Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and

 

            (b)       Which has not been fully discharged.

 

4          Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority. 

 

5          Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer. 

 

6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)

 

            (a)       The landlord is the authority; and

 

            (b)       The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial                                                         interest.

 

7          Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where

 

(a)       That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the    area of the authority; and

 

 

(b)       Either –

 

(i)      The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one            hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or

 

(ii)     If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.

 

Note

 

A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).  

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest on this occasion.

29.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To receive the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 4 June 2015

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 June 2015, be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

30.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

The Leader advised that he had agreed to admit an urgent item of business at item 17 Strategic Planning Agreement – for Proposed Development Activity at Sellafield.  The matter was urgent as any delay in considering  the item could have adverse funding implications for the Whitehaven Education Campus.

 

RESOLVED,that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of Agenda Item 14 – Award of Contract – Substance Misuse Services, 15 – Award of Contract – Sexual Health and HIV Services, 16 – Award of Contract – Construction of Currock Bridge, Carlisle and the urgent item 17 – Strategic Planning Agreement – for Proposed Development Activity at Sellafield as they contained exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

31.

STATEMENTS BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL AND CABINET MEMBERS

To receive statements by the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services made an statement with regard to the unexpected announcement by the Minister of Care and Support stating that there would be a delay in the implementation of the cap on care costs system. The changes had been due to come into force in April next year. However, in light of concerns on timing expressed by the LGA (Local Government Association) and many others during the recent consultation on draft regulations and guidance, the Government had taken the decision to delay implementation until 2020.  The financial impact of the cap on care costs system was to be a significant new burden to Local Authorities and as such the commitment from Government was that these new burdens would be fully funded. The delay in implementation would therefore be matched by a delay in new burdens funding and so the funding challenge for the Council over the medium term remained unchanged, a £55m gap for the period 2016/17 to 2018/19.

 

The Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services made a further announcement in relation to NHS England announcing that the North East and Cumbria would be one of five national ‘Fast Track’ areas for Transforming Care for people with a learning disability. The aim of the programme was to reshape services away from institutional models of care, to shift the emphasis from bed-based inpatient provision for people with high levels of need, and to strengthen the support available to people with learning disabilities to live independently in their communities.  This was positive news for the county and would help deliver change that will make a real difference to the lives of people with learning difficulties.

 

The Deputy Leader made an announcement on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s  publication of the policy paper "Spending Review 2015: A country that lives within its means", which set out the government's approach to its Spending Review 2015.  The paper confirmed the government's commitments to priority areas of spending and the ring-fencing of funding for the NHS; national security; and the overseas aid budget which would result in unprotected government departments, including local government, being asked to model for two scenarios of savings within their resource budgets. These scenarios would be for savings of 25% and 40% of resource budgets by 2019/20 and are the same reductions requested ahead of Spending Review 2010.

 

Ring-fencing other areas of public spending would mean that local authorities would be hit harder again.  But the full impact on the Council would not be known until the Spending Review and then the draft Grant announcements which would follow in December.  It was safe to assume however that the Council’s £55m gap for the following three years would not reduce.  The full Spending Review would be published on 25th November after the October Cabinet where the budget consultation with the public would have been launched in order to meet all the deadlines ahead of setting the budget in February 2016.

32.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

None at this stage

Minutes:

None for this meeting.

33.

Appointment of Cabinet Working Groups and Representation on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report by the Chief Executive invited Cabinet to consider appointments to member working groups and representation on certain outside bodies.  The Leader referred to Part E – Appointments to Outside Bodies and advised that he would be the represent the Council on the Moorside Development Group as the other nominees from Local Authorities were of their respective Leaders.  The Deputy Leader advised that the nominee to the LGA SPARSE would be Mrs Sanderson and that the place on the North West Regional Leader’s Board would be offered to a District Leader for 2015/16.  Members were advised that the Conservative Group had confirmed their nominees to be unchanged from 2014/15.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

                  (1)    the proposed membership of Cabinet sub-groups and other bodies as set out in appendix 1 (as amended) (Parts A, B and E) to the report be approved;

 

                  (2)    the Assistant Director – Corporate Governance be authorised to make any changes to the approved list of appointments to Outside Bodies in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

34.

Corporate Performance Monitoring Report - Quarter 4 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report from the Chief Executive which provided Cabinet with a progress update on corporate performance, incorporating progress on the Council Plan delivery plan for the year ended 31st March 2015, and progress against the Children’s Services Improvement Plan for the period ended 30th April 2015.

 

A detailed analysis of corporate performance was attached in the Appendix to the report which contained performance information grouped under each of the Council’s Council Plan priorities.

 

In regard to the improvement programme for Children’s Services, the previous report to 31st December 2014 included 18 service performance measures and 6 quality measures for the first time. These were used by the Children’s Safeguarding Improvement Board to track improvement on safeguarding activity. Since the previous report to Cabinet, an insufficient number of quality audits were completed due to the OfSTED inspection visit and so no significant conclusions could be drawn from the number completed.  Consequently, only the 18 service measures were included in the report.

 

Overall, latest performance figures were positive, with many of the targets in the Council Plan delivery plan having been met. Others were on track for delivery against planned timescales, and would be rolled forward in the delivery plan for 2015-16 agreed by Cabinet on 30th April 2015. Similarly, the majority of the Council’s service performance measures indicated continued progress and further improvement.

 

Where performance had dipped below target or baseline, officers continued to identify and deliver appropriate actions to improve performance and to bring performance back on track. In these instances, remedial action was highlighted in this report and in the detailed commentary in the Appendices.

 

In response to a question from the Leader the Assistant Director – Corporate Governance advised that a more in depth analysis of the numbers of pupils in receipt of free school meals (and the associated school uniform grant) had been carried out.  Cabinet were advised that there were a number of factors influencing the numbers which included the fall in the unemployment rate and the implementation of the universal free school meals programme for infants.  It was anticipated that forthcoming changes to the benefits regime would have a further impact.  A recent publicity campaign regarding the availability of the scheme had resulted in an increase in numbers of parents registering and a further drive would take place before the start of the new school year. 

 

Members were keen that the matter be raised at the Schools Forum and school governing bodies to promote the scheme as both the child and the school benefitted from the scheme and its link to the pupil premium for the school and other associated benefits for families including the school uniform grant.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

                  (1)    the overall performance across the 8 Council Plan priorities for the year ended 31 March 2015, and for the period ended 30 April 2015 for Children’s Improvement Plan performance be noted;

 

                  (2)    performance across the performance indicators used to track progress against the Children’s Improvement Plan be noted.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Digital Strategy pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Environment & Community Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report from the Corporate Director – Environment and Community Services which presented the draft Digital Strategy for approval which set out the County Council’s ambition to develop electronic solutions that meet the needs and aspirations of the people of Cumbria. The strategy outlined the aspirations to move more transactional functions to an online platform to help the whole population access the information and services in the most effective way.

 

The strategy was critical to the transformation of services across the organisation and in local areas.  Implementation of this strategy was pivotal to the Council delivering value for money services and realising the efficiency savings it required, exploiting the benefits of technology and supporting local growth. Greater use of technology underpinned the levers of change required for the Council to continue to provide essential services efficiently and effectively while meeting the increasingly difficult financial challenge.

 

The Cabinet Member for Fire, Public Safety and Central Support Services confirmed that he had attended one of a number of digital inclusion events which had been held to help members of the public get online which would help in giving them access to the benefits provided by superfast broadband.

 

The Deputy Leader asked whether the Council could be confident that the strategy would embrace the learning opportunities such as offered by BT as part of the Connecting Cumbria Programme.  The Assistant Director Business Services confirmed that the strategy had been developed with stakeholders and there would be further work with partners to maximise the benefits of superfast broadband and its take up by the community.

 

RESOLVED,that the Digital Strategy 2015-18 be approved.

36.

Copeland Community Fund pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Environment & Community Services

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Corporate Director – Environment and Community Services in relation to the Community Fund for Copeland in respect of the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) at Drigg. 

 

A Co-operation Agreement, with respect to the Fund, was signed in October 2008 between the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Cumbria County Council (CCC) and Copeland Borough Council (CBC). A Project Board was established to run the Fund, which included representation from each of the local authorities, independent board members and the NDA to assess whether the decisions are in accordance with their socio-economic policy. 

 

The Co-operation Agreement set out the way the Project Board could operate. It identified ‘Reserved Matters’ which required unanimous written agreement or consent of the Parties signed up to the Agreement. 

 

Over the period 2013/14 a series of changes to the operation of the Board had been made and, following a review of operations by a company called Rocket Science, commissioned by the Project Board in 2013, additional changes had been suggested. Variations to the Co-operation Agreement were Reserved Matters and therefore require formal agreement of the County Council as one of the Co-operation Agreement signatories. 

 

Further, at the Copeland Community Fund Board meeting of the 3rd June 2015 the Whitehaven Campus was granted £5m toward the sports facilities associated with the Campus and town centre.  This level of grant exceeded 10% of the fund and, as per the Co-operation Agreement, required the Councils consent as a Reserved Matter.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

                  (1)    consent be given to the commitment of up to £5m grant from the Copeland Community Fund to facilitate the development and delivery of the sports facilities associated with Whitehaven Campus;

 

                  (2)    a further report be brought to Cabinet for decision following detailed consideration of the recommendations regarding changes to its operations.

37.

NuGen/Moorside Power Station: Response to Stage 1 Strategic Issues Consultation pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Environment & Community Services

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report from the Corporate Director – Environment and Community Services in respect of a response to stage 1 of the Strategic Issues Consultation in respect of the NuGen/Moorside Power Station, adjacent to Sellafield.

 

The Moorside Power Station was a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).  The application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) would be considered by the Planning Inspectorate and decided by the Secretary of State.  Cumbria County Council (the Council) was a statutory consultee and was classified as a “host authority”. The Council was working with NuGen through a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) to:

 

§                ensure that the developer provides and responds to evidence on likely impacts,

§                develop solutions for how the impacts can be avoided or mitigated,

§                maximise the legacy benefits

§                to agree the prospective terms of any Development Consent Order.

 

This report sought approval for the Council to respond to NuGen’s ‘Stage 1 Strategic Issues Consultation’ – a public consultation process that ran from 16th May to 25th July 2015.  The consultation set out NuGen’s requirements and approach to the development of the Moorside site, search areas for Associated Development, and preliminary environmental information.

 

A formal response to the Stage 1 Consultation was included in Appendix 1.  The views of all Local Committees potentially impacted by the Moorside project had been sought and were included in Appendix 2. 

 

The Leader commented that the Moorside development was on an unprecedented scale which would create thousands of jobs and that he was keen to ensure a lasting legacy in terms of infrastructure and employment which lasted well beyond the construction phase.  Planning needed to commence now if the maximum benefits were to be realised in terms of both employment and infrastructure including the road/rail network and the port.  There would be a significant lead time and the authority should start work now with NuGen to prepare the infrastructure for the construction phase which would commence in 2020.  Members raised concerns about the capacity of the organisation to cope with such large projects at a time when it was shrinking significantly and agreed this would need careful management. 

 

The Cabinet Member Fire, Public Safety and Central Services raised the issue of parking difficulties in villages along the railway line which served Sellafield caused by workers parking in villages along the route, for example Askham and sought to ensure that this matter was considered as part of the discussions.

 

RESOLVED,that the Council’s response to NuGen’s Stage 1 Strategic Issues consultation on the Moorside project, included at appendix 1 to the report be approved.

38.

Winter Highways Service Review 2015/2016 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Environment & Community Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Corporate Director – Environment and Community Services on the Winter Highways Service Review which was produced in the light of experience gained during last winter and included recommendations and issues for consideration.  As was normal, recommendations about alterations to the service had been made by road users and by Local Committees.  The report assessed the improvements introduced last year and recommended courses of action, especially for the community gritting operations.   Members noted the error on page 196 of the report and the reference to Carlisle City Council former claimed rights and agreed that it be deleted from the final document.

 

The Cabinet Member Fire, Public Safety and Central Services raised the issue regarding Chapel Street in Dalton in Furness between Broughton Road and Skelgate which included 3 schools which it had been agreed should be included in the programme but appeared to have been omitted.  The Corporate Director agreed that omission was in error and would be included.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

                  (1)    the Winter Maintenance Policy for 2015-16 as set out in Appendices 1 be approved;

 

                  (2)    the adoption of the local community group resources at Nenthead, Troutbeck near Windermere, the Lyth Valley and groups in Kendal and Hawkshead which had been piloted over the past two years as per section 1.4 of the report and contained in Appendix 3(vi) of the policy be approved;

 

                  (3)    the continuation of Snow Champions with a view to developing this role to taking into account other roles as per section 4.15 and 4.16 of the report be approved;

 

                  (4)    the proposed changes in Appendix 2 (as amended) which would then be added to the current treatment routes be determined and the additional budget requirement be approved.

39.

Children's Improvement Plan and Cumbria Children Looked After Strategy (2015-18) pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Children’s Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director – Children’s Services presented a report in response to the Ofsted report following the March inspection of services for children in need of protection, children looked after and care leavers – published 13 May 2015.  It provided an update on the Children Improvement Plan and presented the Children Looked After Strategy for agreement.

 

One of the key recommendations in the Ofsted Report was for the Council to produce and implement a Children Looked After Strategy.

 

The aim of the Strategy was to set out a vision for Cumbrian children and young people who are looked after that enables them to achieve their potential and have the best lift chances possible.

 

The Strategy formed a critical part of the Improvement Plan that was being managed through the Children’s Improvement Board.  Through this process the actions sitting underneath the plan would be monitored.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services paid tribute to the work of the outgoing of the Safeguarding Board Chair Ann Baxter, for her leadership, advice, challenge and support during her tenure.

 

Following discussion about the issue of support for those children leaving care and the changes to the housing benefit regime it was agreed to raise the matter with the County’s six local MP’s.

 

RESOLVED,that progress with the Children’s Improvement Plan be noted and the Children Looked After Strategy be approved.

 

 

PART 2 ITEMS CONSIDERED IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

 

40.

Award of Contract - Substance Misuse Services

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Environment & Community Services

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report from the Corporate Director – Environment and Community Services which sought  approval to award a contract based on the outcome of the tendering process to appoint a provider of the Substance Misuse Service for a period of 4 years from October 2015 (with an extension of up to 12 months). 

 

The Substance Misuse Service was advertised on the Chest from 8 April 2015 with the closing date for submissions being 20 May.  By the closing date, two substance misuse providers had submitted complete tenders.  These had been evaluated, resulting in the proposed award as set out below.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

                  (1)    the appointment of the successful Tenderer for the Substance Misuse Contract to Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust to take effect from 1 October 2015 for a period of four years (extendable up to an additional 12 months) be approved;

 

                  (2)    the contract be subject to an annual performance review with the ability to terminate should performance fail to meet contractual requirements.

41.

Award of Contract - Sexual Health & HIV Services

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Environment & Community Services

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Corporate Director – Environment and Community Services which sought approval to award a contract based on the outcome of the tendering process to appoint providers for the provision of Sexual Health (lot 1) and HIV services (lot 2) for a period of 3 years from October 2015 (with an extension of up to 12 months).  Cabinet had agreed the Permission to Procure at its meeting in March 2015.

 

The procurement of a contract for the provision of Sexual Health and HIV Services had been undertaken in collaboration with NHS England to ensure service recipients receive an integrated service which meets their needs.  The contract value is £2.86m pa, of which £1.86m was funded by the Council and £1m was funded by NHS England.  The value of the Sexual Health service demonstrated a saving of £0.200m per annum in regard to the Medium Term Finance Plan.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

                  (1)    the appointment of the successful Tenderer, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, for the Sexual Health service and HIV service to Lots 1 and 2 of the framework be approved;

 

                  (2)    the call off of Sexual Health Services from Lot 1 of the framework be approved;

 

                  (3)    the contract be subject to an annual performance review with the ability to terminate should performance fail to meet contractual requirements.

42.

Award of Contract - Construction of Currock Bridge, Carlisle

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Environment & Community Services

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Corporate Director – Environment and Community Services which sought approval to award the contract for the construction of Currock Bridge, Carlisle. The existing footbridge over the Cumbrian Coastal line linked the communities of Currock and Denton Holme and had reached the end of its serviceable life and required replacement. The works contract to be awarded would include the removal of the old bridge and the installation of a new bridge and approach ramps to accommodate cyclists, pushchairs and wheelchairs.

 

Cumbria Local Transport Body identified the scheme as priority in July 2013 and allocated DfT ‘devolved major transport scheme’ funding to the scheme. This funding was now included in Cumbria’s Local Growth Fund allocation available in 2015/16 and 2016/17.

 

Following a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), on the 18th May 2015, the Council invited 7 contractors to tender for the construction of the scheme. 6 suppliers submitted a bid. All compliant tenders had been evaluated and it was recommended that the contract be awarded to the organisation submitting the most economically advantageous tender using the award criteria stated in the tender documentation.

 

RESOLVED, that

 

                  (1)    the tender submitted by the organisation providing the  most economically advantageous tender as detailed in Appendix 1 is accepted;

 

                  (2)    the final award of contract be delegated to the Corporate Director - Environment and Community Services in consultation with the Leader of the Council, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport and the Cabinet member for Fire, Public Safety and Central Support services;

 

                  (3)    subject to confirmation that the following conditions have been met:

 

                          (a)    All land purchase required for the scheme is complete

 

                          (b)    Network Rail Approval in Principle and Bridge Agreement are confirmed.

43.

Strategic Planning Agreement for Proposed Development Activity at Sellafield

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Corporate Director – Environment and Community Services in respect of the terms of a Strategic Planning Agreement to be entered into regarding proposed development activity at Sellafield and a negotiated community benefits package.

 

RESOLVED,that Members approve the negotiated package and delegate authority to sign the Agreement to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development.