Venue: Conference Room A, Cumbria House, Carlisle
Contact: Jackie Currie Email: email@example.com
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Mrs PA Bell and Mrs S Sanderson.
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.
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).
There were no disclosures of interest made on this occasion.
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.
RESOLVED, that the press and public be excluded during consideration of Appendix 1 of Agenda Item No 17 – Award of Contract – Learning and Skills Training provider by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A this report contains exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).
To receive the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 19 December 2019 (copy enclosed)
RESOLVED, that the minutes of the meeting held on 19 December 2019 be agreed as a true record and signed by the Chair.
STATEMENTS BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL AND CABINET MEMBERS
To receive statements by the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members.
The Leader asked Cabinet to note that this would be the Interim Executive Director – People’s last meeting, as he would be leaving the County Council on Friday. Cabinet thanked the Interim Executive Director and wished him well for the future.
The Deputy Leader was delighted to have represented the County Council, along with other members, on 27 January at the National Holocaust Memorial Day. It was a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who had been murdered or whose lives had been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The Deputy Leader reminded everyone that tomorrow at 11pm Britain would be leaving the EU. This would bring both opportunities and challenges, and Cumbria County Council would be challenging the Government to match the EU’s aims for Cumbria.
The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport made an announcement about the Northern franchise, which would be transferred from Arriva to the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort with the new company to be called Northern Trains Limited. This would take effect from 1 March 2020. This was in direct response to the poor performance of the Northern franchise and recognised that the franchise was no longer financially sustainable.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services made an announcement about the recent visit from Ofsted to the Council’s Edge of Care facility at Sedbergh Drive which had again been rated as excellent.
There were no questions, petitions or statements at the time of despatch
There were no petitions, public questions, or statements made on this occasion.
To consider a report from the Chair of Carlisle Local Committee (copy enclosed).
The Chair of Carlisle Local Committee presented a report which detailed two recommendations to Cabinet from Carlisle Local Committee at its meeting on 12 November in relation to Waste Prevention and Road Safety.
The former recommendation related to the committee’s wish to lobby for a change in legislation making it lawful to remove items from skips in the interests of fewer items going to landfill. The latter related to the committee’s wish to ensure that wearing of seatbelts was included in the procurement process for school transport providers.
Carlisle Local Committee members had raised concerns regarding the prosecution of individuals for the removal of goods from skips both on the highway and at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).
Carlisle Local Committee members had highlighted that home to school transport was subsidised by the Authority and suggested that the wearing of seatbelts could be made mandatory in future procurement contracts.
(1) Cabinet is asked to raise the issue of unlawful removal of items from household skips through the Local Government Association and to lobby for changes in legislation;
(2) Cabinet is asked through the procurement team, to raise the issue of mandatory wearing of seatbelts (where fitted) with all relevant providers as a requirement of the contract
The Chair thanked the Chair of Carlisle Local Committee for the referral. Cabinet’s response was detailed in the next item. Minute No 87 refers.
Response of the Executive Director to Carlisle Local Committee Referral - Relating to the removal of waste from skips and the wearing of seatbelts by pupils travelling on County Council provided home to school transport PDF 110 KB
To consider a response from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed).
The Cabinet Member presented a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure which detailed Cabinet’s response to the referral from Carlisle Local Committee.
Members of Carlisle Local Committee had raised their concerns regarding the prosecution of individuals for the removal of goods from skips both on the highway and at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs). It was suggested that Cabinet be recommended to raise the prosecution issues with regards to a change in the legislation with the Local Government Association.
At the same meeting Carlisle Local Committee members highlighted that home to school transport was subsidised by the Authority and suggested that the wearing of seatbelts could be made mandatory in future procurement contracts.
The opportunities to enable members of the public to retrieve for re-use items discarded at HWRC’s had been reviewed by the Communities and Place Scrutiny Board and had been the subject of a task and finish group and associated action plan. The barriers which currently prevented members of the public retrieving items at County Council HWRC’s were primarily related to contractual matters. It was noted that under no circumstances should members of the public remove items from the skips at HWRC’s on safety grounds and that any future opportunities for the public to retrieve items from HWRC’s would require careful management to ensure public safety.
Officers continued to work with the Council’s contractor to seek options to overcome these contractual barriers.
The issues surrounding the retrieval, by members of the public, of discarded items placed in skips privately procured by householders was complex.
In addition there were issues to consider in relation to the health and wellbeing of the public in relation to the contents of any skip. As a consequence it was recommended that Cabinet endorsed the publically available advice that members of the public wishing to retrieve discarded items from skips on the highway should seek permission from the relevant householder or from the company supplying the skip.
In relation to the wearing of seatbelts on home to school transport, the County Council had several clauses regarding seatbelts in its school transport contracts, and these had been standard in the County Council’s Terms & Conditions for several years. In addition to this, the mandatory wearing of seatbelts policy made it clear to both parents and children using home to school transport, and this was supported by the bus operators and schools.
(1) In relation to element 1 it is recommended that Cabinet refer to the progress being made through the Communities and Place Scrutiny Board “Waste and Third Sector Task and Finish” work, which is appended to this report;
(2) In relation to element 2, it is recommended that Cabinet endorse the existing publically available advice, which recommends that members of the public wishing to retrieve items from skips on the highway seek permission of the householder or skip company.
(3) Mandatory Wearing of Seatbelts on Home to School Transport: Cabinet note that the wearing of seatbelts on home to school ... view the full minutes text for item 87.
To consider a report from the Chair of Scrutiny Management Board (copy enclosed).
The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board presented a report which invited Cabinet Members to consider the findings and recommendations arising from the Attendance Management Task and Finish Group.
The Task and Finish Group held a one-day session on 14 November 2019 in County Hall, Kendal.
Based on the current absence data, members heard from the Assistant Directors from Customer and Community Services, Integration and Partnerships, Adults and Provider Services about their action plans for managing absence. This included deep dives into the data on absence for their areas of responsibility, including the causes and numbers of absences for 2018/19, demographic factors and the key issues in the relevant service areas.
Members had considered a range of information in advance and during the Task and Finish session, which included corporate and service area specific data and trends, benchmarking information, examples of internal and external good practice, and pieces of national research on absence management.
The Task and Finish Group made 5 recommendations to Cabinet on actions to improve absence management across the Council and reduce absence in service areas with current high levels of absence.
RESOLVED, that the report be received and noted.
The Chair thanked the Chair of Scrutiny management Board for the review. Cabinet’s response was detailed in the next item. Minute No 89 refers.
To consider a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).
Members considered a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services, which asked Cabinet to consider a suggested response to the recommendations submitted to Cabinet by the Scrutiny Management Board Task and Finish Group.
Firstly, the Cabinet Member placed on record her thanks on behalf of Cabinet for the time invested by members and officers that led to the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group Workshop and the resultant recommendations outlined in the report presented by Councillor Wearing today.
The reasons and issues that related to staff absence in a large and complex organisation such as Cumbria County Council were significant - with many factors involved. Scrutiny Members had invested time to thoroughly research these issues, analyse absence data and trends, interview officers and research what other organisations were doing well.
Attendance and wellbeing remained key Council priorities identified in the Council Plan and Workforce Plan – both important commitments to ensure that the Council maximised the capacity available to deliver the best possible services to the community and also to ensure the Council supported the workforce to remain safe, healthy and resilient.
In supporting that the recommendations made by Scrutiny be approved, the Cabinet Member acknowledged that the issue of absence management had been a challenge for the County Council for a number of years.
Whilst significant work had already been implemented through a detailed Corporate Absence Action Plan, performance remained off target and as such these recommendations from Scrutiny Members were welcomed and would aim to contribute to an improved performance.
RESOLVED, that Cabinet
(1) Notes the report and agrees that all five recommendations made by Scrutiny Members are supported subject to an assessment and prioritisation of resources;
(2) Request that officers progress the recommendations as part of the wider Corporate Absence Management Action Plan.
To consider a report from the Chair of Scrutiny Management Board (copy enclosed)
The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board presented a report which set out the reasons from Scrutiny Management Board to refer the decision relating to the closure of The Abbey Care home in Staveley back to Cabinet.
On Wednesday 18 December 2019, SMB held a meeting to consider the call-in of Cabinet’s decision to close The Abbey (Cabinet meeting 14 November 2019, Item 63. Cumbria Care – Reshaping of Care Services).
After full consideration of the cases put by the Call-in Members and the Lead Member for Cabinet, Scrutiny Management Board agreed to refer the decision back to Cabinet for its next meeting scheduled on 30 January 2020.
The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board outlined the reasons for the referral back to Cabinet.
RESOLVED, that the referral be noted.
The Chair thanked Scrutiny Management Board for the referral back. Minute No 91 detailed Cabinet’s response to this.
To consider a report from the Executive Director – People (copy enclosed)
Cabinet considered a response to the referral from the Scrutiny Management Board Call in. The report provided a response to the recommendations from Scrutiny Management Board (SMB) following the call in of the Cabinet decision on the 14November 2019.
The Cabinet Member took Cabinet through the response to the SMB recommendations.
In response to reason 1 the original Cabinet paper clearly stated that discussions with the community including the Parish Council had been ongoing and that if a decision to close The Abbey was taken then the site currently occupied by the home could support development of alternative care provision to meet the community’s future aspirations and needs.
In respect of the recommendation 2 from SMB a significant engagement and consultation process had been followed over a long period of time to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to feedback on the proposals put forward. Paragraph 56-59 of the Cabinet report in November described the consultation approach. The engagement and consultation approach described demonstrate that best practice was followed.
In respect of engagement and consultation with South Lakeland Local Committee an Area Planning project was initiated by the Council in August 2018. A timeline setting out the key milestones of that project was attached at Appendix 2 of this report and included discussions and close working with the Elected Division Member, with the Local Committee updated through their working group.
(1) The decision taken by Cabinet taken on the 14th November 2019 to cease residential care provision at The Abbey in Staveley is upheld;
(2) Cabinet restates its support to continue to work in partnership with the community to develop options for reshaped care services in Staveley.
Draft Revenue Budget 2020/21 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2020/21 – 2024/25 and Draft Capital Programme 2020-2023
To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy to follow)
The Deputy Leader presented a report from the Director of Finance which presented to Cabinet the Budget Proposal for 2020/21.
Cabinet was asked to consider the recommendations in making its Budget Proposal (Revenue and Capital) for Council to consider at its meeting on 13 February 2020.
The Budget Proposal had been prepared against a backdrop of continued uncertainty in public finances, increasing demand for key local services, and a lack of clarity from national government as to the future model for local government finance after 2020/21.
The Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and the Council Plan demonstrated how the Council would align resources and priorities to deliver for the people of Cumbria.
The expected final year’s reduction to the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) was not included in the draft Local Government Finance Settlement with RSG continuing into 2020/21, or its equivalent it was assumed would continue throughout the period of the Medium Term Financial Plan. The Council’s Revenue Support Grant in 2011/12 was £148million and in the 2020/21 Draft Settlement was £18.1million, a reduction of £129.9million.
Cumbria County Council had so far saved £272million but based on current assumptions, there was still a further £44million to deliver over the next 3 years. The Medium Term Financial Plan at Appendix A of the report, very clearly set out the financial environment within which the Council had to work and detailed how the £5.6million savings for 2020/21 would be made.
In the face of this sustained uncertainty Cumbria County Council was moving to a five year Medium Term Financial Plan as it was believed that this would bring a level of certainty and stability to the planning. This five year plan starkly illustrated the challenges to be faced in the future and Cumbria County Council would join with all County Councils, of all political parties, in calling for government to push through a number of delayed reforms, including the Fair Funding Review, in order to secure a sustainable future.
It was thought that last year was the final year the Council could raise an Adult Social Care precept but this year the government had assumed that all Councils would again use the ‘flexibility’ to raise Council Tax by an additional 2% to be used on Adult Social Care.
The Deputy Leader asked Cabinet to note that every 1% increase in Council Tax raised £2.3million so nowhere near enough to keep the Council funded in the future. Cumbria County Council had therefore consulted on a General Council Tax rise of 1.99% and the 2% Adult Social Care Precept. He asked Cabinet to consider carefully the 361 consultation responses received at Appendix B of the report. Although this was a small number of respondents in relation to the population, only one third of respondents supported the proposed increase in Council Tax by 1.99%. The Deputy Leader asked Cabinet to be mindful of this when considering the budget to recommend to Council for Council to consider when it met on 13 February.
Cumbria County Council ... view the full minutes text for item 92.
To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy enclosed).
Cabinet considered a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer), which informed members that the Council’s contract for its main insurance services was due to expire on 30 April 2020, and work had been underway throughout 2019 to retender for these services.
This Cabinet report summarised the procurement process and recommended that the contract for the Council’s main insurance services be awarded to Zurich Municipal for the next three years, with a potential two year extension. Zurich Municipal was also the current contracted provider for main insurance services for the Council.
In line with the Contract Procedure Rules, the contract had been competitively tendered through a national framework – the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) Framework. The framework included the five main insurers providing specific insurance services to local authorities, including Zurich Municipal - the Council’s current provider for main insurance services.
Bids were received from four suppliersfor one or more of the framework lots. Appendix 1 showed a breakdown of the assessment scores for each lot.
(1) Cabinet agree that all seven lots of the Council’s main insurance contract be awarded to Zurich Municipal;
(2) Cabinet agree that the contract be let for a three year period from 1 May 2020 to 30 April 2023 with a potential two year extension to 30th April 2025.
To consider a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed)
Cabinet had before it a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services, which asked members to award the contract for the provision of Temporary Agency Workers and 1:1 Tuition via a Virtual School, beginning 1 March 2020, for a period of 2 years, with two possible extensions of up to 1 year each (to 29February 2024).
The current supply of Temporary Agency Workers had been in existence since 28 January 2016 through the national framework,Flexible HR Solutions - HR Services and Solutions (YPO). Randstad Solutions Limited were currently the Managed Service Provider and managed first and second tier suppliers to ensure the provision of agency workers meet the needs of the Council.
The new contract would commence on 1 March 2020 and end on 28 February 2022. There are two possible extensions of up to 1 year each (to 29 February 2024).
The mini competition ran between 25 November and 6 December 2019, in line with the Council’s Contract Procurement Rules. The only bid received was submitted by Randstad Solutions Limited.
RESOLVED, that Cabinetaward the contract for the provision of Temporary Agency Workers and 1:1 Tuition via a Virtual School to the following provider: Randstad Solutions Limited.
To consider a report from the Interim Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).
Cabinet considered a report from the Interim Executive Director – People, which asked for approval of the Cumbria Integrated Health and Care Workforce Strategy and Action Plan attached as Appendix 1 of the report.
The Strategy was recommended for endorsement at Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Board on 13 September 2019.
This Strategy and action plan addressed the 2018 CQC review concern around a lack of a Cumbrian system-wide Workforce Strategy for the sector.
To develop a workforce fit for the future Cumbria County Council needed to think innovatively and work differently to transform the way health and care was delivered in Cumbria.
Employers within the Health and Care sector faced the same challenges and pressures and were interdependent, the success of each lies in a collaborative approach to workforce planning and development.
Cabinet noted that Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP), through their Health and Care Employer Panel would work collaboratively with Cumbria County Council.
RESOLVED, that Cabinet approve the Cumbria Integrated Health and Care Workforce Strategy attached as Appendix 1 to the report.
To consider a report from the Interim Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).
Members considered a report from the Interim Executive Director – People, which sought approval to award the contracts for the learning and skills training provider framework, for the period April 2020 to March 2024, with the option of a one-year extension, dependent upon Council need and satisfactory provider performance.
The framework had been procured in line with the Council’s procurement regulations and was compliant with the requirement that all public sector tenders above the threshold of £118,113 are published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
Significant training provider interest was shown in the Cumbria County Council learning and skills framework, with 82 training providers submitting SQs. 66 providers were shortlisted and invited to tender (ITT), 59 of which submitted ITT’s against the framework for eight lots:-
· Lot 1 – Leadership, Management and Culture
· Lot 2 – Health and Safety Training
· Lot 3 – Highways Training
· Lot 4 – Fire and Rescue Services Training
· Lot 5 – Adults and Children’s Services (including Social Work, Children &Young People and Occupational Therapists)
· Lot 6 – Cumbria Care Training
· Lot 7 – Professional Services
· Lot 8 – School Development
RESOLVED, that Cabinet award framework contracts to the providers detailed as follows:-
To consider a report from the Interim Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).
Cabinet considered a report from the Interim Executive Director – People which set out the proposed admission arrangements for Community and Voluntary Controlled schools, for which the county council was the statutory admission authority. The Local Authority (LA) was required to consult other admission authorities on any changes to the policy, including catchment areas and proposed reductions to published admission numbers (PANs). The LA must also consult the governing bodies of Community and Voluntary Controlled schools where it proposes to increase or retain the existing Published Admission Number (PAN) for 2021-22.
The School Admissions Code 2014 came into force on 19 December 2014 replacing the School Admissions Code 2012. The county council retained the role of admissions authority for Community and Voluntary Controlled schools in the county, and must determine admission arrangements by 28 February 2020 for the 2021-22 academic year.
Where changes are proposed to admission arrangements (or at least every seven years where no changes have been proposed), including reductions in PANs, the county council was required to consult.
The 6 week consultation opened on 22 October 2019 and closed on 2 December 2019. The LA consulted on all aspects of the proposed admission arrangements.
During the consultation on the proposed admission arrangements for 2020-21 that took place between 3 October and 13 November 2018 the LA was asked to consider amending the admission arrangements to include a section on children of UK service personnel.
At the time the request was received, the inclusion of an additional paragraph in the 2020-21 admission arrangements had not been consulted on widely. An additional paragraph had now been added to the proposed admission arrangements for 2021-22.
Cabinet welcomed the inclusion of the additional paragraph to include a section on children of UK service personnel.
It was proposed that the following schools change their PAN from September 2021:
Members noted the comments received from the consultation and also those made by the headteachers from those schools affected by the proposals, none of which were against the proposals.
RESOLVED, that Cabinet approve the proposed admissions policy for Community and Voluntary Controlled schools at Appendix A of the report, including the reduction in the Published Admission Number (PAN) for Ewanrigg Junior School and an increase in PAN at Haverigg Primary Schools and Jericho School, Whitehaven.
To consider a report from the Interim Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).
Members had before them a report from the Interim Executive Director – People which sought delegations to be put in place to enable the Better Care Fund application to be submitted to NHS England if Cabinet cycles do not align with the submission date. The report also asked Cabinet to approve the proposals for the Better Care Fund and improved Better Care Fund as set out in Appendix A of the report.
The Better Care Fund was a financial incentive for the integration of health and social care. It required Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities in every single Health and Wellbeing Board area to pool budgets and to agree an integrated spending plan for how they would use their Better Care Fund allocation. The improved Better Care Fund required the agreement of the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Council.
Guidance for the 2020/21 BCF had not yet been produced. However the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2020-21 indicated that funding associated with the BCF and iBCF would continue.
Cabinet was asked to agree that if the timescales for submission do not fit with Cabinet’s meeting timetable then authority to submit the Cumbria BCF/iBCF plan be delegated to the Executive Director - People after consultation with the Leader, the Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services.
RESOLVED, that Cabinet
(1) agrees the Spend Proposals for the Better Care Fund (including Winter Pressures Grant) and improved Better Care Fund 2020 to 2021 as set out in Appendix A;
(2) agrees to delegate to the Executive Director – People, in consultation with the Leader, the Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services, authority to vire between Spend Proposal headings in Appendix A following any reviews of specific areas of the Better Care Fund and improved Better Care Fund. Usual requirements for agreements with relevant CCGs remain unchanged;
(3) agrees to delegate to the Executive Director – People, in consultation with the Leader, the Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services, authority to approve the Better Care Fund (BCF) submission (which will include iBCF and Winter Pressures Grant funding) to NHSE on behalf of Cumbria County Council.