Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 4th February, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: This meeting will not take place in a physical location but will be held remotely. Please follow the link below to access the meeting:-

Contact: Jackie Currie  Email: jackie.currie@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

87.

ROLL CALL AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

88.

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:

Mr DE Southward declared a non pecuniary interest in Agenda Item No 10 – 2022-2023 School Admissions Arrangements - Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools, as he was a Governor at West Lakes Academy.

 

89.

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:

RESOLVED, that the press and public be excluded during consideration of Agenda Item No 11 – Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal – Final Deal Agreement, by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as this report contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information.

 

90.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 194 KB

To receive the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 17 December 2020 (copy enclosed)

 

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,  that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2020 be agreed as a true and accurate record and signed by the Chair.

 

91.

STATEMENTS BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL AND CABINET MEMBERS

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

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council began by saying that today, official data published by the county’s Health Protection Board confirmed that over 1000 Cumbrians had now died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.  That was a sobering milestone that should cause us all to stop and reflect.

 

A year ago, no-one could have imagined the impact the virus would have across the world.  Now the UK had over 100,000 dead and most people knew of someone who had been seriously ill or died. This was a tragedy and the Leader’s thoughts and sympathies were with the families and friends of all those who had lost their life.  The stark reality was that number would increase before the pandemic was fully under control.

 

Through this adversity we have however also seen the best of our county: the way the health and care services had responded with skill and determination; how communities had pulled together to support each other; how nurseries, schools, colleges and universities had dealt with constantly changing guidance to keep the young people learning; how local businesses had battled to continue trading and keep people employed.  He wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for doing their bit to keep us going.

 

He ended by saying now the Country was at a point where there was hope.  The vaccination programme was making fantastic progress, the current lockdown had driven down infection rates, but there was still work to be done.

 

Everyone had seen how easy it was for this virus to gain the upper hand if steps were not taken to stop the spread.  So, he urged Cumbria to keep going and although this was hard, together we would come through the other side.

 

The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport made a statement about new appointments to the Workington Harbour Management Committee.  Mr Sven Richardson had been appointed as the Port Manager and John Coughlan had been appointed as a new co-opted member.  He looked forward to working with both the new appointees and he felt their experience and knowledge would help to drive the board forward.

 

The Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services began by saying that as the Portfolio Holder for Health and Care Services she was very proud of the work that Cumbria Adult Social Care was doing in response to the pandemic.  She wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the feedback received.

 

The Assistant Director for Adult Social Care had collaborated with system partners to put together a statement which was reflective of the great work going on across Health and Social Care in Cumbria.  The Cabinet Member took members through the statement.

 

The Cabinet Member said that although some areas were starting to see a levelling off of infection rates, it was important to reinforce that infection levels and admissions to hospital remained high and the system remained fragile.  Everyone must continue to be vigilant and follow government guidance and restrictions.

 

She ended by asking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.

92.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

There were no questions, petitions or statements at the time of despatch

 

Minutes:

The Chair informed Cabinet that Ms Maggs Walton had requested the opportunity to speak to Cabinet about the 2022-2023 School Admissions Arrangements - Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools.  Democratic Services then called Ms Walton into the meeting.

 

The Chair welcomed Ms Walton and explained that she had up to 5 minutes in which to make her statement to members, and then invited her to speak.

 

Ms Walton gave the following statement:-

 

Thank you for giving me the chance to speak to you today in support of the recommendation to carry out a review of the secondary school catchment and transport arrangements for children who attend Gosforth, Seascale and St. Bega’s primary schools. I am speaking on behalf of local parents and our community who have been raising this issue with the Council since 2017. I am very pleased that since I last spoke to you things have moved forward resulting in today’s agenda item.

 

Over the last few years, the Westlakes Academy has been oversubscribed. Children from my area lose out on places due to the distance we live from the Academy, despite this being our closest and only catchment secondary school. Under current arrangements, the default position is that our children would then attend whichever Whitehaven school had spaces available as this would be the next closest school.

 

Many children choose to attend Millom School. Our villages naturally see ourselves as being part of a community which runs south to Drigg and Millom. Millom School recognises this and includes our children in their transition planning. We have never felt part of any Whitehaven school community. Historically, since my school days, here children have attended Millom.

 

Not knowing whether the Westlakes Academy will have a place for our children creates worry and uncertainty, it feels rather like a lottery. For this reason children and parents opt to select another school to avoid the disappointment of missing out on their first-choice school.  Sadly, not all children have this choice as transport costs then become a factor. The Council is obliged to pay the costs of those attending their catchment school, or any other school which the County Council nominates, but not if the child makes that choice unless the choice is for a school closer than their catchment school. This system discriminates against the children in my area, depriving them of the choice that other children have. Many parents are left asking what happens to the money allocated for their child’s transport in this instance and why some of the costs cannot be covered.

 

The most straightforward way to solve this is to make our area dual catchment with Westlakes Academy and Millom School. Children could then choose to try for a place a Westlakes knowing they had the safety net of a familiar second choice, or could opt for Millom School without having to make transport costs part of the selection criteria.

 

I’m asking you to support recommendation to hold the review. To ensure that the review  ...  view the full minutes text for item 92.

93.

SCRUTINY REVIEW - NEW DEVELOPMENTS

93a

Scrutiny Review - Provision of infrastructure to support new development – Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider a report from the Chair of the Scrutiny Review – Provision of Infrastructure to Support New Development Task and Finish Group (copy enclosed)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Due to the length of time it took to resolve the technical issues it was agreed that the item be deferred to the next Cabinet meeting.

 

RESOLVED, that this item be deferred to the next Cabinet meeting.

 

93b

Response of the Executive Director to the Scrutiny Review - Provision of infrastructure to support new development Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed)

 

 

Minutes:

Due to the length of time it took to resolve the technical issues it was agreed that the item be deferred to the next Cabinet meeting.

 

RESOLVED, that this item be deferred to the next Cabinet meeting.

 

94.

Draft Budget 2021/22 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2021/22-2025/26 and Draft Capital Programme 2021-2026 pdf icon PDF 361 KB

To consider a report from the Director of Finance (not yet available)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report from the Director of Finance (Section 152 Officer) which presented to Cabinet the Budget Proposal for 2021/22. The report set out the:-

 

a)    Draft Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2021-2026

b) Revenue spending plans to achieve a balanced budget in 2021/22

c) Council Tax Requirement for 2021/22

d) Draft Capital Programme for 2021-2026 and Capital Strategy

e) Draft Treasury Management Strategy for 2021/22. 

 

Cabinet was also asked to consider the recommendations in making its Budget Proposal (Revenue and Capital) for Council to consider at its meeting on 18 February 2021.

 

The Deputy Leader took Cabinet through the details of the report

 

The Deputy Leader began by saying that the last year had been hugely challenging for every resident of Cumbria and for everyone working at this County Council, whether officers or members.

 

He also paid tribute to the work of the Director of Finance and her team for the exceptional work carried out through the past year.   Budgets and resources were changing on a daily basis and the team had responded to these in an efficient and effective way, never losing sight of the need to provide a balanced budget.

 

Back in March, when the true scale of this challenge became apparent Cumbria County Council received a guarantee from Government that the treasury would stand behind the council and would cover the COVID-19 related expenditure.

 

The Deputy Leader was pleased to report that the Government had kept their promise.  There were questions around income guarantees and around future Council Tax and Business Rates revenues but generally speaking the Government had done what it said it would, and the forecast was that Cumbria County Council would end the year approximately where it was planned before the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

There were other factors which were responsible for the financial stability.  Cumbria was a well managed and prudent authority which went into last year well prepared and of course Cumbria was used to emergencies.  The authority was used to managing scarce resources and had spent several years running challenging yet sound budgets.

 

Significantly, Cumbria had never chosen to join the commercial property market by investing in shopping centres or commercial buildings miles away from Cumbria, unlike some other councils who were facing severe problems because of past investments of this kind. The Council’s investments were all in Cumbria and all driven by the Council Plan.

 

Although the Government had kept its promise for COVID-19 funding there were still a number of other issues still to be resolved.

 

Issues such as delivery of the Fair Funding Review, Business Rate Retention Reform and the Adult Social Care Green Paper – all critical to the future funding of Local Government, and all delayed needed to be resolved.

 

Council services needed to be planned on a multi year basis and year to year, made long term planning and forecasting difficult.

 

At the end of 2020 the County Council consulted on a General Council Tax rise of 1.99% which it believed would be enough  ...  view the full minutes text for item 94.

95.

STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR PUBLIC HEALTH COVID-19 GRANT FUNDING pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director (People) (copy enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet had before it a report from the Director of Public Health, which set out the strategic framework for assessing the future spend of government grants given to the Council for the purposes of containing and managing outbreaks of COVID-19.

 

Since the start of the pandemic there had been a significant amount of work and investment by the Council and partner organisations to contain the spread and impact of COVID-19, often reacting to a fast-changing situation.  This further investment would allow the County Council to continue to deliver, develop and strengthen this work.

 

As set out in the report the Strategic Framework would allow the Council to focus on key areas that would contribute significantly to the overall management and containment of COVID-19.

 

Since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic a number of different funding streams had been made available to the Council to support outbreak management and local test and trace arrangements, including:-

 

·      Local Authority Test and Trace Support Grant

·      Contain Outbreak Management Fund

 

To support the ongoing prioritisation of the identified funding a Strategic Framework had been developed.  The Strategic Framework covered all areas, not just those receiving funding from the TTSG and COMF to ensure priorities were aligned and visible in the wider context where resources supported more than one priority.  The five priority areas include:-

 

·      Vaccinate

·      Prevent

·      Respond

·      Treat

·      Communicate

 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet endorses the Strategic Framework.

 

96.

2022-2023 School Admissions Arrangements - Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) (copy enclosed)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was moved up the agenda to take place immediately after the public participation item.

 

Mr DE Southward declared a non pecuniary interest in this item as he was a Governor at West Lakes Academy.

 

Members had before them a report from the 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.  It also asked Cabinet to approve the proposed co-ordinated scheme for 2022-23 for all maintained schools and academies in Cumbria.

 

Between 7 October 2020 and 17 November 2020, the LA consulted on the proposed admissions policy for Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools for 2022-23 and the proposed co-ordinated consultation and scheme for 2022-23 for all maintained schools and academies in Cumbria.

 

On 17 December 2020, after considering responses to the consultation and listening to statements made as part of the Public Participation item, it was resolved that Cabinet defer a decision until 4 February on the proposed admission arrangements for 2022-23 for Community and Voluntary Controlled schools, to allow time for a meeting of the Scrutiny Panel where officers could be questioned on the operation of aspects of the proposed Policy.

 

As part of the consultation process, information about the process and the consultation arrangements was available to the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Children and Young People in order to enable Members to respond.  Local Committee Area Managers received similar information at the beginning of the consultation period for circulation to local committee Members.  

 

The proposed admission arrangements for 2022-23 for Community and Voluntary controlled schools in Cumbria had been updated to take account of the proposed changes to the School Admissions Code, including:

 

·         The addition of a new section (21 in Appendix A) setting out how the LA will process in-year applications;

·         Oversubscription Criteria – in line with provisions relating to children previously looked after from outside of England; and

·         Children of UK Service Personnel and Crown Servants – strictly in line with provisions of School Admissions Code.

 

The consultation closed on 17 November 2020.  No responses were received relating to changes made to the admission arrangements for Community and Voluntary Controlled schools to take account of proposed changes to the School Admissions Code.

 

With reference to PAN Changes it was proposed that the following schools change their PAN from September 2021:

 

School

Current PAN

Proposed PAN

Ewanrigg Junior School

40

30

Orgill Primary School Egremont

40

30

 

Members noted that as the statutory admission authority for the schools listed above it was for the LA to determine whether or not to amend the PANs; there was no compulsion to do so.

 

The head teacher and governing body of Ewanrigg Junior School, Maryport had formally requested that the PAN for the school be reduced from 40 to 30.  In recent years the September Year 3 intake had reduced.  Numbers generally in the area indicated that even with the PAN reduction sought there were likely to be sufficient places  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96.

PART II - ITEMS TAKEN NOT IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PUBLIC AND PRESS

97.

Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal – Final Deal Agreement

To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed)

 

Not for publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as this report contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information).

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet Members considered a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure which updated them on the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal and outlined the next stage in the process of entering the Deal Agreement with UK and Scottish Governments to confirm the funding and benefits to be realised. 

 

The purpose of the report was to outline the investment package for the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal and the benefits that local partners would be responsible for achieving.  The report sought authority to agree to enter the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal Agreement.  Any projects within the Deal where the Council would be responsible for delivery would be the subject of separate decisions in line with the constitution.

 

RESOLVED,         that

 

(1)     Cabinet agrees to enter the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal Agreement between UK and Scottish Governments and the Borderlands Partnership consisting of Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland Council and Scottish Borders Council, subject to the terms of the agreement being finalised;

(2)     Delegated authority is given to the Executive Director - Economy and Infrastructure in consultation with the Leader, Deputy Leader, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property, S151 Officer and Monitoring Officer to:

 

a)    Agree the final terms of the Deal Agreement in line with the draft version attached at Appendix 1 of the report.

 

b)  Approve the associated Deal documentation, specifically the Implementation Plan and the Financial Plan.