Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 21st December, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Conference Room A and B, Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle, CA1 1RD

Contact: Shamim Lindsay  Email: shamim.lindsay@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

49.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Mrs C Tibble.

 

50.

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 I Stewart, Mrs S Sanderson and Mr P Thornton each declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Items 12 and 13 as members of South Lakeland District Council.

 

51.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To receive the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 23 November 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2017.

 

52.

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 to exclude the press and public during consideration of Agenda Items 15 and 16 for the reasons set out in the reports.

 

53.

STATEMENTS BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL AND CABINET MEMBERS

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

Minutes:

Mrs J Willis, Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue, made a statement about the Cabinet led review of the Windermere Ferry.

 

She highlighted that the review had been requested by the Council in June 2017 following changes to operations regarding the ferry.  She acknowledged, with apologies, that the full consequences of the changes had not been given due consideration, in part owing to resources being concentrated on the recovery following Storm Desmond.

 

She stated that the report of the review would be published on the Windermere Ferry website and acknowledged what had gone wrong, the remedial actions and next steps.  She said that much had been done since June 2017, for example, to improve signage and provide additional staff.

 

Mrs Willis thanked the officers who had worked on the review and those who had contributed to improved operations.

 

Ms Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services, made a statement about childhood obesity.  She expressed concern that while in 2012 the percentage of children under 12 diagnosed as obese had been in line with the national average, at 23%, this had increased to 28% in 2017.  The national average had remained broadly the same.

 

Ms Earl highlighted the short and long term health impacts of childhood obesity, which she described as a complex problem with interlinked causes.  For this reason, individuals, public agencies and the private sector all need to be involved in taking action to reduce obesity.

 

Ms Earl advised Cabinet that the Public Health Team would be holding a multi-agency summit in March 2018 to bring stakeholders together to tackle this serious public health problem.   She stated that the County Council was determined to meet the challenge head on.

 

Mr Southward, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property, provided an update on the Connecting Cumbria superfast broadband project. He highlighted that 120,000 households were now able to benefit from superfast broadband in the County, as a result of commercial delivery and the £30 million investment delivered through Connecting Cumbria.

 

He highlighted that it remains a challenge to reach rural communities but the aim by the end of 2018 is to reach 93% of households and businesses. 

 

Mr Southward advised that access to improved broadband is not automatic, customers have to apply. Of people in the County who could have access to fibre broadband, 45% have taken up the opportunity so far.

 

54.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

None at the time of despatch.

 

Minutes:

There were no items of public participation at this meeting.

 

55.

REFERRAL FROM LOCAL COMMITTEES

55a

Referral from South Lakeland Local Committee - 3rd Party Agreements on the Highways Network pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider a referral from the South Lakeland Local Committee regarding 3rd party agreements on the highways network.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr N Cotton, Chair of South Lakeland Local Committee, presented a referral from the Local Committee regarding issues arising from a review by the Highways Service of agreements under which Parish Councils carry out works such as verge maintenance in their areas. 

 

Mr Cotton discussed the background to the referral, which is set out in his report to Cabinet.  He stated that the issue had been referred to Cabinet as it had become apparent that it had implications across the County.

 

Mr Cotton said that the Local Committee was keen to encourage communities to look after their environment through verge maintenance, litter picking, sign cleaning and similar activities, but carrying out these activities has thrown up issues about the liability for such work, when it takes place on the highways network. 

 

The Local Committee had therefore decided to refer two requests to the Cabinet, as set out below:

 

·         Cabinet is asked to provide greater clarity on the scope of the review and the full rationale in terms of risks to Cumbria County Council.

 

·         Cabinet is asked to carry out the review swiftly, setting out a firm timeframe for its conclusion and the reporting of recommendations.

 

Mr S Young, Leader of the Council, thanked Mr Cotton for his presentation and invited Mr Stephen Hall, Assistant Director – Highways, Transport and Fleet to present a response.

 

55b

Response to the Referral from South Lakeland Local Committee - 3rd Party Agreements on the Highways Network pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To consider a response from the Corporate Director – Economy and Highways to the referral from South Lakeland Local Committee.

 

Minutes:

Mr S Hall, Assistant Director – Highways, Transport and Fleet, introduced  a report responding  to the referral from South Lakeland Local Committee.

 

He explained that the Highways Service had become aware that a number of arrangements and agreements had grown up around the County over the years, in relation to a diverse range of highways functions. These vary significantly in quality, documentation and the level of assurance provided to the County Council. 

 

He asked Cabinet to support the review that the Highways Service is undertaking, drawing attention to the reasons set out in the report for the recommendations.

 

Mr K Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, supported the recommendation, explaining how he had become aware of the issues raised in the report and referring to recent national publicity relating to Cumbria.  He supported full investigation of the issue and while he supported action and funding by Parish Councils, he considered it important that this is carried out under legally binding agreements in order to ensure public safety.

 

Mr Thornton, Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services perceived the issue to be an important one for Parishes.  He explained that communities are able to act quickly following severe weather events, when County Council resources are stretched. He felt it was important to find a way for community involvement to take place.  He also proposed that the review required collaboration with local members.

 

Other Cabinet members supported the recommendations, emphasising the importance to communities of being able to carry out works and of collaboration with local members in carrying out the review.

 

Members discussed the timescale of the review and agreed that officers should aim to report to Cabinet in March 2018 on the outcome of the review, to ensure sufficient time for a robust review.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet

 

1)   Supports the review which has commenced within the Highways, Transport and Fleet Service into the current arrangements surrounding the undertaking of maintenance activities on the highway by Parish Councils and other groups.

 

2)   Requests officers to bring a paper setting out the conclusions of the review and proposed next steps for review by Cabinet at its meeting in March 2018.

 

56.

SCRUTINY REVIEW - BUDGET CONSULTATION

56a

Response from Scrutiny to Strategic Planning Consultation pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider a report from the Chair of the Scrutiny Management Board.

Minutes:

Mr W Wearing, Chair of Scrutiny Management Board, presented a report from the Scrutiny Management Board on Scrutiny’s engagement in the 2018/19 Strategic Planning process. 

 

He explained that this was focused around a session on the 28th November 2017 at which Members had the opportunity to receive presentations and question the Deputy Leader, the Chief Executive, Corporate Directors and Assistant Directors about the challenges facing the Council and direction of travel required. The event had been well attended, with over 25 Members present.  The issues emerging from the event had been considered by Scrutiny Management Board on 11 December 2017.

 

Mr Wearing highlighted four key themes that had emerged from the consultation:

 

·         clear communication with customers

·         increased collaboration with District Councils

·         greater co-ordination of lobbying across parties

·         using the skills of all members in planning future proposals.

The Scrutiny Management Board had then agreed specific recommendations, which were set out in the report for Cabinet to consider.

 

Mr Wearing noted the response recommended to Cabinet in the report of the Corporate Director and welcomed the approval of four of the recommendations.  With regard to the fifth recommendation, he stated that he understood the response regarding the  budget in 2017 and welcomed the response so that Scrutiny can make an earlier impact in 2018/19.

 

Mr Young thanked Mr Wearing for his presentation.

 

56b

Cabinet Response to the Scrutiny Response to Strategic Planning Consultation pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation.

Minutes:

Dr D Roberts, Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation, introduced a report responding to the Scrutiny response on the budget consultation and the five specific recommendations in Mr Wearing’s report and the reasons for the recommendations.

 

She advised that Cabinet was recommended to support recommendations 1 – 4 in the report.

 

With regard to recommendation 5, Dr Roberts highlighted that the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) contained the Directorate budgets. This included the main budget lines that were reported to Cabinet as part of the Budget Monitoring report on a quarterly basis.  She did not recommend that a comprehensive budget book was developed due to prioritisation of resources. However, following Council’s approval of the budget in February 2018, and the subsequent adjustments to budget lines such as the allocation of the inflation budget.  Dr Roberts noted that quarterly budget monitoring reports considered by Cabinet are in the public domain, before going on to say that information would be extracted from them for members. This would provide more detailed information on the Council’s revenue budget.

 

Mr I Stewart, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, supported the recommendation commenting that since the last time a comprehensive budget book had been produced the Council had modernised its practices and funding had reduced.  He encouraged members across all political groups to lobby central government on behalf of the County.

 

Other Cabinet members supported the response, drawing attention to pressures on the Council and examples of lobbying activity.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet agrees the proposed responses contained in this report to Scrutiny’s feedback on the Budget Consultation.

 

57.

2017/18 Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring Report to 30 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 470 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director - Resources and Transformation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms P Duke, Senior Manager – Accountancy, introduced the second Budget Monitoring Report to Cabinet for 2017/18.  The report set out the Council’s financial position at 30 September 2017 (Quarter 2); covering the Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Treasury Management.

 

Ms Duke highlighted that the starting point for the 2017/18 Budget is the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) agreed by Council in February 2017. She advised that the financial context for the Council remains very challenging. The Council has agreed £214 million of reductions in the Revenue Budget since April 2011 in response to significant funding reductions from central government and increasing service pressures.

 

Ms Duke guided members through the report,  highlighting the key messages.

 

She explained that the recommendations had been made to Cabinet to enable decisions to be made to enable the preparation of the statutory financial statements of the Council.

 

Mr I Stewart, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, supported the recommendations.  He stated that the Council had not yet achieved a balanced budget and faced challenges owing to increased pressures in Children’s and Adults services.  However, the challenge was being faced and mitigations sought to achieve a balanced budget.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet

 

1)    Notes the Revised Revenue Budget at Q2 for monitoring purposes of £384.390m as a result of the transfers from the Inflation and Contingency budget and agreed transfers from reserves (set out in Appendix 1of the report).

2)   Notes the forecast Revenue Budget outturn of a net pressure of £2.607m.

3)   Notes progress in delivering the revised 2017/18 savings target of £16.398m; a total of £11.891m (72.5%) of the 2017/18 savings target is forecast to be delivered by 31 March 2018. 

4)    Notes the forecast General Reserve balance at 31 March 2018 of £7.552m before additional mitigations.

5)    Approves the transfer of £0.297m from the Contingency Budget to Directorate budgets and release of the remaining balance as an underspend to support the Council’s Revenue budget as set out in Table 4 of the report.

6)      Approves the additional capital scheme increases of £0.935m for 2017/18 referred to in Table 6 of the report funded from external contributions.

7)    Recommends to Council in respect of the Capital Programme:-

a)to accelerate £0.277m from 2018/19 into this year’s Capital Programme against for Bridges and Structures for works on the Memorial Footbridge in Carlisle and, to accelerate £0.023m from 2018/19 into this year’s budget for leachate management of closed landfill sites to complete design work ahead of programme works in 2018/19; and

b)to approve the proposed re-profiling of £7.598m of approved capital spend into future years;

8)      Notes the forecast outturn for the Capital Programme 2017/18 of £157.988m against a current budget of £158.235m (excluding Accountable Bodies) resulting in a variance of (£0.247m) as set out in Table 7 in the report.

9)    Notes Treasury Management activities during Q2 have operated within the treasury limits set out in the Council’s Treasury Policy Statement and Treasury Strategy Statement and the Prudential Indicators set by Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Corporate Performance Monitoring Report – Quarter 2 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director - Resources and Transformation.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Dr D Roberts, Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation,  introduced a report the purpose of which was to provide Cabinet with a progress update on corporate performance, incorporating progress on:-

 

·        The 2017/18 Council Plan Delivery Plan for the three month period from 1 July 2017 to 30 September 2017

 

·        Key service performance indicators used to track progress to 30 September 2017 against the Children’s Improvement Plan

 

Dr Roberts highlighted key points in the report which focused on the Council Plan Delivery Plan for 2017/18 agreed by Cabinet in April 2017, which sets out how the Council will deliver each of its commitments under the 5 priorities in the Council Plan 2016/19 agreed by Council in February 2016.

 

She explained that where performance indicators have dipped below target or baseline, action is taken to improve performance to bring performance back on track.

 

Dr Roberts noted that the Council was awaiting the outcome of the recent Ofsted report of Children’s Services and a CQC Review of services across health and care services in the new year.

 

Mr S Young, Leader of the Council, proposed that Cabinet accept the recommendations for the reasons outlined in the report.

 

Mr P Thornton, Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services, stated that he was encouraged by the work being undertaken which would impact positively on other services, reducing costs further down the line.  He gave the example of the NEET figures which have consequences later in a young person’s life.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet

 

1)   Notes the overall performance across the 5 Council Plan priorities including progress against the Council Plan Delivery Plan for the 2nd quarter ending on 30 September 2017.

 

2)   Notes performance at 30 September 2017 across the key performance indicators that are used to track progress against the Children’s Improvement Plan.

 

59.

Local Plan Consultation Response on the Pre Submission Draft Development Management Policies Development Plan Document for South Lakeland pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Economy and Highways.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr S Hall, Assistant Director – Transport and Fleet, introduced a report informing Cabinet about the consultation being undertaken by South Lakeland District Council on the South Lakeland Development Management Policies Development Plan Document.

 

He advised members that the report provided Cabinet with the proposed Council response to the Development Plan Document which had now reached its “Publication” stage.  Following this consultation the document would be submitted together with representations made on it to the Government who would appoint an Inspector to carry out an Independent Examination. If the Inspector finds the Development Plan Document to be sound South Lakeland District Council would be able to adopt the Plan and it would form part of their statutory Local Plan for the District.

 

Mr Hall advised that the County Council had been actively involved in the development of the Development Plan Document he advised that the majority of it was appropriate.  The proposed response included some proposed amendments, which he highlighted to members, explaining the reasons for the recommendation.

 

Mr Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, proposed that Cabinet support the recommendation in the report.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet approves the Council’s consultation response, contained in Appendix 1 of the report titled South Lakeland Development Management Policies Publication Document, for submission to South Lakeland District Council.

 

60.

Local Plan Consultation Response on the Pre Submission Draft Development Plan Document for the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Economy and Highways.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Stephen Hall, Assistant Director – Highways and Fleet, introduced a report, explaining that it was a draft South Lakeland District Council Development Plan Document relating to the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The process being undertaken was the same as for the report discussed by Cabinet at Agenda Item 11.

 

Mr Hall guided members through consideration of the report, advising that most of the recommendations in the draft Plan were appropriate, explaining proposed amendments and the reasons for them.

 

Mr K Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, proposed that Cabinet approve the recommendations for the reasons set out in the report. 

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet approves the Council’s consultation response as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 of the report titled Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Development Plan Document: Publication Consultation, for submission to South Lakeland District Council.

 

61.

School Funding Formula pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr D Barton, Assistant Director – Learning and Inclusion, introduced a report, informing Cabinet that in July 2017 the Department for Education announced the introduction of a national funding formula for school funding from April 2018.

 

Highlighting key issues in the report he advised that the Council in consultation with the Schools Forum and local schools could decide whether to adopt the national funding formula from April 2018, or to retain a locally determined formula for 2018-19 and 2019-20.  It was expected that from 1 April 2020 the national funding formula would be mandatory, with the local option withdrawn.  The Council was statutorily responsible for deciding on a formula through which funding was allocated to schools.

 

He advised that following a consultation with all Cumbrian schools affected by these proposals, the Cumbria Schools Forum had recommended that the national funding formula was implemented from April 2018 for the 2018-19 financial year. In order to give some stability to schools in terms of financial planning, the Forum had also recommended that the national funding formula was adopted for the 2019-20 financial year.  This would allow affected schools the time to plan for the financial impact of the national formula.

 

Proposing that Cabinet support the recommendation, Mrs S Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, stated that a good spread of schools responded to the consultation.  Adoption of the formula in 2018 would also give the Council the opportunity to feed back to the Department for Education on unintended consequences.

 

Members discussed financial pressures on some schools and commented on specific details of the formula, including the difference between the Council and DfE view of the impact of “sparsity” and looked after children.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet approves the recommendation of the Cumbria Schools Forum to allocate funding to schools using the national funding formula in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

 

62.

School Admission Arrangements 2019-2020 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr D Barton, Assistant Director – Learning and Inclusion, introduced a report which set out the proposed admission arrangements for Community and Voluntary Controlled schools, for which the County Council is the statutory admission authority.  The proposed policy was set out at Appendix 1 of the report.

 

Mr Barton advised that the Council was required to consult other admission authorities on any changes to the policy, including on proposed reductions to published admission numbers (PANs).  The Council must also consult the governing bodies of Community and Voluntary Controlled schools where it proposed to increase or retain the existing Published Admission Number (PAN) for 2019-20.  Consultation on the 2019-20 arrangements took place for a 6 week period between 3 October 2017 and 13 November 2017.

 

Mr Barton highlighted the recommendations in the report and the reasons for these recommendations, which were physical changes at George Romney and Greengate Junior Schools and in relation to Nelson Thomlinson School that they had not met the numbers expected if the current PAN were to remain.

 

Proposing that Cabinet supported the recommendations Mrs S Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, highlighted the priority given to social disadvantage and looked after children.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet approves the amended Admissions Policy for Community and Voluntary Controlled schools including the reduction in the Published Admission Number (PAN) for George Romney Junior School, Greengate Junior School and The Nelson Thomlinson School.

 

63.

Children Looked After Placements Commissioning Sufficiency Strategy 2017-2020

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services.

 

Minutes:

Mr D Barton, Assistant Director – Learning and Inclusion, introduce a report which recommended Cabinet approve the Cumbria Children Looked After Placements Commissioning Sufficiency Strategy 2017-2020 which was set out in Appendix 1 of the report.

 

He advised that the purpose of the strategy was to set out Cumbria’s vision for and approach to providing sufficient, safe, secure and appropriate homes for children looked after and care leavers over the next 3 years.  The strategy was supported by the Sufficiency Analysis 2017 which was set out in Appendix 2 of the report, which analyses the demand, supply and support across the provision of placements for children who are looked after, adopted and care leavers and was supported by a Sufficiency Action Plan. 

 

Mr Barton advised that the aim of the strategy was to provide a common understanding of the needs of Cumbria’s children looked after population and the strategic priorities in relation to meeting this need.  The successful delivery of this strategy would result in children looked after and care leavers living in safe, secure and appropriate homes that can best meet their needs.  This would support them in achieving their potential and having the best life chances possible.

 

Recommending approval of the strategy, Mrs A Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said that the strategy would provide a foundation for safe secure homes for looked after children and care leavers. 

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet approves the Council’s Children Looked After Placements Commissioning Sufficiency Strategy 2017-2020.

 

64.

Award of 3 New Contracts for the Delivery of Highway Core Surfacing - Highways, Transportation and Fleet

To consider a report from the Corporate Director – Economy and Highways.

 

Minutes:

Mr Stephen Hall, Assistant Director – Highways and Fleet, introduced a report which recommended that Cabinet award contracts for highways Core Surfacing.

 

Mr Hall advised members that the recommended contractors had submitted the most economically advantageous tenders in the procurement exercise.

 

Mr K Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport proposed that Cabinet accept the recommendations. 

 

RESOLVED that Contracts for Core Surfacing be awarded as follows:

 

·         Lot 1 East Area – Hanson Contracting Ltd

·         Lot 2 West Area – DSD Construction Ltd

·         Lot 3 South Area – Aggregate Industries Ltd

 

Each contract will be for an initial term of 3 years with three possible one year extensions.