Venue: Conference Room A, Cumbria House, Carlisle CA1 1RD
Contact: Shamim Lindsay Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Mrs A Burns, Mrs S Sanderson and Mrs J Willis had given apologies owing to travel difficulties following heavy rain in the south of Cumbria.
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).
Mr Southward, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property, declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 7 as a County Council representative on the governing body of West Lakes Academy.
To approve the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 19 October 2017 (copy enclosed).
RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 19 October 2017.
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.
There were no items on the Agenda from which Cabinet resolved to exclude the press and public.
STATEMENTS BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL AND CABINET MEMBERS
To receive statements by the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members.
Mr Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport made an announcement about the Council’s response to the adverse weather in Cumbria on 22 November. He assured Cabinet that Highways Teams had been out during the heavy rainfall working to prevent or minimise the impact of flooding and thanked officers for their work overnight.
Mr Young, the Chair, echoed Mr Little’s appreciation of the work of the Highways Teams and also thanked the Fire and Rescue Service for their efforts. He observed that people have become used to severe weather events and take for granted that Council services will swing into action. However, these services are funded through Council Tax and government grants and if the Council continued to lose funding this would inevitably impact on services.
Mr A Pratt will attend to present a petition on the school catchment area for Millom.
The Chair welcomed Mr Andrew Pratt who presented a petition to the Cabinet on the school catchment area for Millom.
Mr Pratt spoke to the meeting of his concern about the impact on rural communities in Eskdale, Gosforth and Seascale of West Lakes Academy’s admissions policy, which reflects that of the Council. West Lakes Academy was oversubscribed for Year 7 pupils in 2016/17 and some pupils were offered places outside the catchment area.
He expressed concerns about the alternatives available to parents which he did not consider to be satisfactory. He explained his concerns about school standards and in particular a lack of transport links.
He referred to the report presented to Copeland Local Committee which he said contained inaccurate information as to the cost of transport and numbers of pupils on which the costs were based.
He asked Cabinet to give full regard to the points he had presented.
Mr Southward received the petition and there being no questions to Mr Pratt, the Chair thanked him for his presentation.
REFERRAL FROM COPELAND LOCAL COMMITTEE AND RESPONSE OF THE CABINET
To consider a referral from the Copeland Local Committee (copy enclosed).
Mr Hitchin, Chair of Copeland Local Committee, presented a referral to Cabinet from the Local Committee. The referral asked Cabinet to consider issues arising from Secondary School provision in the Copeland area and the impact oversubscription at West Lakes Academy has had on parents and pupils.
At its meeting on 3 October 2017, the Local Committee had considered a report on secondary school provision in Copeland, specifically the issue of pupils living in Seascale, Gosforth and Eskdale who had been unable to secure a Year 7 place at West Lakes Academy. Mr Hitchin advised that the issue had been well-debated before the Local Committee resolved to make a referral to Cabinet.
Mr Hitchin drew Cabinet’s attention to two main points: questions about the robustness of the information relied on in determining catchment areas and the question of whether a redrawing of the catchment area would result in more money for County Schools.
The Local Committee had referred three recommendations to Cabinet, as follows:
1) Cabinet consider redrawing the catchment boundaries to provide a shared secondary school boundary for Millom and West Lakes Academy covering the existing Seascale, St Bega’s and Gosforth Primary Schools.
2) Cabinet are asked to consider that the existing Council Policy of Transport costs is not adhered to and transport costs of parents in this area be met.
3) Cabinet continue to challenge the Regional Commissioner for Schools about the performance of Whitehaven Academy.
Mr Southward thanked Mr Hitchin for his presentation.
To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services in response to the referral from Copeland Local Committee (copy enclosed).
Mr Dan Barton, Assistant Director – Learning and Inclusion, introduced a report on behalf of the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services advising Cabinet about the report presented to Copeland Local Committee on 3 October 2017.
Parents of the pupils who had been unable to secure a place at West Lakes Academy had requested the provision of free transport to Millom School, and a redrawing of catchment area boundaries to ensure that similarly affected parents in future would be eligible for free transport to Millom.
The report of the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services, presented to Local Committee, had advised that acceding to these requests would be a significant deviation from agreed County Council policies, and could set a precedent with far-reaching consequences. The Local Committee had resolved, having considered the report, to refer the issue to Cabinet.
Mr Southward thanked Mr Pratt and Mr Hitchin for their contributions to the meeting. He acknowledged the success of West Lakes Academy which had contributed to its popularity, in contrast to alternative schools. He said he had listened with empathy to parents who wanted their children to attend West Lakes Academy in preference to other schools but felt it would be unfortunate to characterise the issue as an attack on rural communities.
Mr Southward outlined his reasons for proposing Option 3 in the report. He was not persuaded that an exception should be made to the existing policy. Making an exception to the policy in this case would create pressures for the future, by setting a precedent for future requests for exceptions where parents were unsuccessful in being allocated their choice of school. Option 3 would not create additional burdens on County Council budgets or a risk of financial commitments in future years.
1) Cabinet notes the referral by the Copeland Local Committee.
2) Cabinet receives the petition presented by Mr Andrew Pratt.
3) Cabinet agrees to apply existing County Council policies, and continue to support, challenge and work with the Regional Schools Commissioner and the wider CASL partnership in bringing about improvements at Whitehaven Academy.
To consider a report form the Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation (copy to follow)
The Chief Executive introduced a report which set out a draft vision and outcomes for the Council for the period 2018-2022. She observed that all Council’s faced similar issues, but Cumbria faced some particular challenges owing to its geography and infrastructure.
Introducing the Budget Consultation document (Appendix 1 to the report), which had been tabled at the meeting, she referred to the continued reduction in central grant funding which meant the Council had to look at new ways of working, including income generation and managing demand. The focus of the draft vision is on key themes of early intervention, working with partners, exploring enterprise and revenue generation.
Dr Roberts, Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation provided further comment on Appendix 1, highlighting the reduction in the Council’s budget by £214 million since 2011, with a further £70 million to save by 2022, total savings of around £285 million.
Dr Roberts highlighted that feedback from public consultation will inform the new Council Plan, which will be considered by the full Council in February 2018 alongside the 2018/19 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for 2018-2022. She advised that some of the proposals in the MTFP did not require public consultation, while others would have targeted consultation before changes were implemented.
Mrs Crellin, Assistant Director – Finance explained the financial planning assumptions for the period of the new four year MTFP 2018 – 2022, which was set out in Appendix 2 to the report, tabled at the meeting. She guided members through the approach that will be taken to deliver the savings required to achieve a balanced budget over the four year period (2018 – 2022), highlighting the key financial aspects of a proposed general Council Tax increase of 1.99% and a 2% adult social care precept, budget pressures, savings required to achieve a balanced budget and budget proposals focused around the key themes of enterprise and efficiency, working together, prevention and early intervention and digital transformation.
Cabinet was asked to consider and agree the consultation document tabled at the meetingthat would inform both the Council Plan and the Medium Term Financial Plan. The consultation document seeks views on the overall vision and outcomes for Cumbria and the proposed approach to addressing the financial challenges by building a financially sustainable future.
Mr Stewart, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, proposed that Cabinet agree the recommendation in the report and thanked officers for their work on the development of the budget and draft Council Plan.
He said that the Cabinet did not take lightly the need to ask Cumbrian residents once again about proposals to increase Council Tax. He encouraged people to contribute to the public consultation.
The Chair added that the Council was making its budget proposals in the context of the national budget statement on 22 November. Central funding of local government had been reducing since 2011 but what is not always apparent is that pressures on budgets are increasing, by £15 million in 2018/19.
Mr Thornton, Cabinet ... view the full minutes text for item 44.
To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer (copy enclosed – Appendix 1 to follow)
Mr McVay, Assistant Chief Fire Officerintroduced a report which set out a draft Year 3 Action Plan which supports the Fire and Rescue Service Integrated Risk Management Plan 2016-2020.
The Fire and Rescue Service has a statutory duty to prepare a four year Integrated Risk Management Plan with the purpose of making the service more responsive and to identify risks and needs.
The draft Year 3 Action Plan was tabled at the meeting for consideration by members.
The draft Year 3 Action Plan outlines that the Fire and Rescue Service will –
1) Continue to develop Fire and Rescue services to provide a safe and efficient service in Cumbria
2) Continue to innovate and deliver services, including supporting broad public health work in Cumbria
3) Focus on greater collaboration with the Police and North West Ambulance Services
4) Provide an effective and efficient emergency response that meets the needs of people in Cumbria.
The consultation period proposed would run until 8 January 2018.
Mr K Little proposed that the recommended resolution will give people a say in how to target resources for Fire and Rescue services.
Cabinet approves the draft Year 3 Action Plan (2018/19) for stakeholder consultation.
To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer (copy enclosed).
Mr McVay, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, introduced a report about the Fire and Rescue Service National Framework for England, which requires all Fire and Rescue Authorities to provide assurance annually on financial, governance and operational matters.
Mr McVay explained that the Statement of Assurance is a document that demonstrates how the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and the County Council acting as the Fire Authority are meeting the legislative requirements placed on it by the Government. It serves to assure the public that the Service is being managed in an effective and efficient manner and demonstrates that the systems and measures in place with respect to financial, governance and operational matters are robust, fit for purpose and effective.
Mr McVay explained that the statement also highlights the activity that the Council’s Fire and Rescue Service carries out with regard to partnership working and gives an insight into the work delivered to ensure the people of Cumbria are kept as safe as possible.
Cabinet, having considered the proposed Statement of Assurance 2016/17 and been assured that the Statement of Assurance demonstrated assurance on financial, governance and operational matters
1) Cabinet approves the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service Statement of Assurance 2016/2017.
2) Cabinet authorises the Chief Fire Officer and the Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue to sign the Statement of Assurance prior to publication.
To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Economy and Highways (copy enclosed)
Mr Donnini, Corporate Director – Economy and Highways, introduced a report the purpose of which was to seek Cabinet’s agreement to adopt the updated Cumbria Development Design Guide.
Mr Donnini advised that the updated Design Guide takes into account national highways standards and standards of sustainable urban drainage. The Appendices provided guidance for developers, how the Council will assess planning applications and a guide to charging for advice.
Mr Little gave assurance that all relevant stakeholders had supported the new Design Guide.
The current guide is out of date and needs to be more robust and up-to-date with National Planning Policy Framework requirements, including the commitment to the creation of sustainable and inclusive public spaces endorsed by the Council.
The updated Guide will enable officers to apply current guidance in the Cumbrian context and allow the Council as Highways Authority to take a consistent approach across Cumbria.
The updated Guide will provide developers with clear standards that the County Council will expect forthcoming residential developments to adhere to, which will reduce delay to applications once submitted.
For these reasons Cabinet supported the introduction of the updated Guide, which has been subject to consultation and provides clear and accessible guidance.
1) Cabinet adopts the amended Cumbria Development Design Guide as County Council Policy.
2) Cabinet authorises the Corporate Director – Economy and Highways, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder Highways and Transport, to make minor amendments to the Cumbria Development Design Guide (such as amendments to technical standards to align with national policy / guidance changes and amendments to highway agreement protocols in relation to process, commuted sums and standard construction costs) to ensure the Design Guide is kept up-to-date.
To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Economy and Highways (copy enclosed).
Mr Donnini, Corporate Director – Economy and Highways, introduced a report which set out proposals for the Cumbria English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) for 2018/19 including the reimbursement rate to be paid to transport operators. The proposals represented a continuation of the present scheme.
Members considered whether it was necessary to make a scheme and questioned whether it would be possible to consider making savings in the future.
The Chair confirmed that the Council has a legal duty to make arrangements and comply with the statutory consultation timetable. The scheme as described would fulfil the Council’s obligations to follow national legislation. For these reasons it was
1) Cabinet approves publication of the 2018/19 Cumbria Concessionary travel Scheme which maintains the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme basic reimbursement rate at 58% from 1 April 2018.
2) Cabinet authorises the Corporate Director for Economy and Highways to make non-substantial amendments to the published Scheme in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport.