Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 21st March, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: County Offices, Kendal

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

Items
No. Item

94.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mrs A Burns, Mr K Little, and Mrs S Sanderson.

95.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

            (b)       Which has not been fully discharged.

 

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

 

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

 

6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)

 

            (a)       The landlord is the authority; and

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

(b)       Either –

 

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

 

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

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

 

Note

 

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

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest on this occasion.

 

96.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To receive the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 7 February 2019 (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,  the minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2019 be agreed as a true and accurate record and signed by the Chair.

 

97.

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 not excluded for any item of business on this occasion.

 

98.

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 made a statement about the death on Friday of former Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance Bob Mather.  Bob worked for the county council for many years, making a significant contribution to the life of the county, and retired in 2008. Following retirement Bob continued to play an important role in Cumbria, most recently as Chairman of the Cumbria Community Foundation.  The funeral would be held on Thursday 28 March at Carlisle Cathedral at 2pm and the Leader and Cabinet Members expressed condolences to Bob’s family.

 

The Leader then made a further statement about the successful Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal bid.  A £345m package of funding for the scheme was announced last week by Government.  Borderlands Growth brought together the five cross-border local authorities of Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council to promote economic growth and competitiveness of the area that straddles the Scotland-England border.

 

The Borderlands Growth partners were working together to deliver transformative change across the region to maximise the benefits of growth. This included two key economic challenges - the need for population growth and improved productivity.

 

The Leader and Cabinet Members asked that their thanks be recorded to all the officers involved in the submission of the bid, with specific thanks to the Senior Manager - Economic Development.

 

99.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

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

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions, questions or statements made at this meeting.

 

100.

2018/19 Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring Report to 31 December 2018 pdf icon PDF 417 KB

To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy enclosed)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was considered from the Director of Finance (s151 Officer) which set out the Council’s financial position at 31 December 2018, Quarter 3 (Q3); covering the Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Treasury Management.  Members noted that this report would also link to the Q3 Council Plan Delivery Plan Performance report (referred to at minute 101).

 

On presenting the report the Deputy Leader asked Cabinet to note that the budget position continued to be monitored as part of the integrated approach to managing resources to deliver the Council Plan, provide for the statutory responsibilities and secure the financial sustainability of the Council going forward.  It was highlighted that although the forecast was for a balanced budget position at the year end, which was welcome, every effort was being made to be ‘on budget’ at the year end, given the service demand pressures, particularly in People Services.  The Committee noted this remained challenging and Cabinet Members were aware of budget and service demand pressures being reported by councils elsewhere.

 

The County Council had received the benefit of the renegotiation of the Carlisle Northern Development Route PFI contract.  It had been assumed that a £3million pound benefit would be achieved but once finalised, this had increased to £10.6million.  The additional £7.5million pounds had helped in balancing the £4.6million pressures which had been reported as per the Quarter 3 forecast, largely in the People Directorate.

 

The principal service pressures for the People Directorate were in Children Looked After and SEND Transport. These were being met by in-year Promoting Independence Programme savings in Adults, the refinancing of CNDR , Treasury Management, insurance and holding vacancies. This produced the balanced budget position as well as securing the General Fund Balance at about £12million pounds.

 

In relation to the Capital budget, the County Council was forecasting £140million pound spend on the Capital Programme – with a variance of around £4.5million which was a major achievement.

 

The Deputy Leader was delighted that the Council had been able to arrange the financing of the Carlisle Southern Link Road, and this along with the announcement of the Borderlands deal showed that Cumbria could still be outward looking and ambitious, even in these challenging times.

 

The Statutory Deadline for the closure of draft accounts changed last year and was now required by 31 May and the outturn would be reported to the June meeting of Council.

The Deputy Leader was asking Cabinet to agree to an in principle agreement of transfers to Earmarked Reserves now, as, although Cabinet could make transfers to and from Earmarked Reserves, there was no provision to make transfers to and from the General Fund Balance.  Therefore if funds were not earmarked for commitments, the resulting underspend would be accounted  for, and increase the General Fund Balance. 

 

Cabinet noted that once the General Fund Balance target of £15million was achieved any additional funds would be transferred to the Innovation Fund reserve providing necessary revenue funding to support the Council’s commitment to new ways of working to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 100.

101.

Corporate Performance Monitoring Report - Quarter 3 - 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 395 KB

To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) (copy enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Finance (s151 Officer) which provided a progress update on corporate performance, incorporating progress on the Council Plan Delivery Plan 2018/19 for the three month period from 1 October 2018 to 31 December 2018.

 

The Leader presented the report which focused on the Council Plan Delivery Plan for 2018/19 that was agreed by Cabinet in June 2018.  It was noted that the Council Plan Delivery Plan for 2018/19 set out a series of actions and indicators relating to how the Council would deliver the three outcomes and implement the new ways of working as identified in the Council Plan 2018-22, which was agreed by Council in February 2018.

 

Cabinet note that the overall position by the end of Quarter 3 2018/19 was that 56 of the 81 (69%) Council Plan Delivery Plan actions had delivered, met or were track to meet the planned milestone, 23 (28%) were at risk of missing the planned milestone with a recovery plan in place. These are therefore rated green or amber. For the same period, 2 actions (2%) had missed a key milestone, did not fully deliver as intended and has therefore been rated red.

 

Members were informed that where performance was below target or baseline, action would be taken to improve performance to bring performance back on track.  It was explained that in those instances, remedial action was highlighted in the detailed commentary (attached within Appendix 1 of the report).

 

The Leader made reference to achievements and successes set out in paragraphs 18-30 in the report and the milestones that had been missed in paragraphs 32-41.

 

RESOLVED,  that the overall performance relating to delivery of the three Council Plan outcomes and implementation of new ways of working, focusing on progress against the actions and metrics identified in the Council Plan Delivery Plan 2018/19 for the 3rd quarter ending 31 December 2018 be noted.

 

102.

Fire Service Integrated Risk Management Plan 2019-2023 pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Fire Officer (copy enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report by the Chief Fire Officer which detailed the final version of the IRMP 2019–2023 and asked members to endorse the final version for recommendation to Full Council. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue presented the Integrated Risk Management Plan, which was a statutory document with the main purpose of making the Fire Service more responsive to locally identified risk. It provided a risk-managed approach to community safety, fire protection and emergency response that will contribute to a safer Cumbria.

 

It was noted that the IRMP included the key deliverables for the service to work towards over the next four years, and included a four year delivery plan, which focused on :-

 

  • The importance of the fire prevention agenda and partnership working to protect the most vulnerable in our society

 

  • Using our available resources in the most efficient and effective ways to manage risk and ensure public safety

 

The Cabinet Member reported that one of the innovative ideas within the plan was to pilot the use of smaller Rapid Response Vehicles in a small number of lower risk and demand areas.  These vehicles were smaller than a normal fire engine and would allow the Fire Service to provide a better response to the people of Cumbria.

 

The new Plan had been through a comprehensive consultation process that had allowed the people of Cumbria a say in how our Fire and Rescue Service continued to target its resources in the most efficient manner.  All the consultation responses that related to the current IRMP had been considered, and responses to the main points raised were included in the Cabinet Paper.

 

The Cabinet Member asked that it be noted that Copeland Local Committee passed a motion at the meeting held on 15 January  2019 to not support the IRMP proposal to introduce a Rapid Response Vehicle at Frizington.

 

In recommending the IRMP to Full Council for approval, Cabinet would give the staff who worked for Service, the public and other agencies certainty about the strategic direction of travel over the next four years.

 

Cabinet asked the Chief Fire Officer to investigate whether it would be possible to bring the Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) to full Council on 11 April 2019, to allow all members the opportunity to see the vehicle.  The Chief Fire Officer agreed to investigate.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted and approved and that the final version of the IRMP be RECOMMENDED for adoption by full Council.

 

103.

TUC Great Jobs Agenda pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet received a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services which provided members with the opportunity to consider a national campaign being led by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) regarding the Great Jobs Agenda.

 

The Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue presented the report and asked cabinet to note that the Great Jobs Agenda promoted that every job should be a great job with all workers having :-

 

·      A voice at work – the chance to be represented by Trade Unions and be consulted on the key things that matter at work;

·      Fair and decent pay - pay all workers at least the ‘real living wage’;

·      Regular hours - give staff who want them contracts with guaranteed hours;

·      Fair treatment and respect - zero tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination;

·      Learning and development opportunities - quality apprenticeships and learning and progression opportunities for all;

·      Safe and healthy workplace – including active joint health and safety committees.

 

The TUC campaign was not just about what the County Council could do as an employer, but also what it could do to promote standards to other employers locally.

 

RESOLVED, 

 

                   (1)    that the six standards outlined in the TUC Great Jobs Agenda be considered;

 

                   (2)    to agree to support the principles of the Great Jobs Agenda national campaign;

 

                   (3)    to promote the Great Jobs Agenda with key stakeholders across Cumbria.

 

104.

Schools Maintenance - Liabilities and Funding pdf icon PDF 274 KB

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

 

Minutes:

A report was considered from the Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure which provided information in respect of the financial challenges being faced by the County Councils programme for schools maintenance.

 

Members were provided with a projection of the funding required to maintain the County Councils school estate to a “safe, wind and watertight” standard as set out in the County Councils Property Asset Management Strategy together with an overview of the schools maintenance activity undertaken in recent years.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property said this paper outlined the challenges being faced now and to be faced in the future by Cumbria County Council in seeking to maintain our schools to a safe, wind and watertight standard. With declining central government funding over recent years and with an ageing school estate, it was becoming increasingly challenging to maintain the schools to the standards that was expected and that the children of Cumbria deserved.

 

Over the last 5 years the funding that the county council received from government to maintain schools had fallen by nearly £2m from £6.7m to just £4.7m, and in the same period it had been necessary for the council to invest a staggering £16.4m, largely financed through prudential borrowing, in order to keep schools safe, wind and watertight.

 

Over the next few years this challenge was set to increase as further reductions in central government funding for school maintenance were anticipated.  

 

The Cabinet Member felt that unless there were changes in the funding available for the maintenance of schools there existed a very real risk that schools may have to close due to the lack of basic maintenance necessary to keep Cumbrian children safe.

 

For this reason the Cabinet Member proposed a further recommendation, namely, that cabinet agrees to send this paper to the six Cumbrian MPs and to seek an urgent opportunity to discuss this pressing issue with them.  This was AGREED.

 

RESOLVED,  that

 

(1)     the report be noted;

(2)     Cabinet agrees to send this paper to the six Cumbrian MPs and to seek an urgent opportunity to discuss this pressing issue with them.

 

105.

Cumbria Joint Public Health Strategy pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To consider a report from the Director of Public Health (copy enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet Members considered a report from Director of Public Health which presented a draft Joint Public Health Strategy for Cumbria, for approval prior to its submission to Council in April.

 

In presenting the report the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services asked cabinet to note that the strategy sets out how the Council would work on the Health and Wellbeing Strategy theme of ‘Tackling the Wider Determinants of Health’.  The focus would be on the wider environmental, social and economic factors rather than on lifestyles and behaviours.

 

As a joint strategy this had been developed with, and approved by, the District Councils and the Lake District National Park, and this showed a strong commitment to joint working on health and wellbeing, which was key to working towards the ambitious aims.

 

The Cabinet Member reported that the next step would be to develop action plans at a county level, owned by the Public Health Alliance and at district level, owned by the local Health and Wellbeing For a, and all partners were already working on this.

 

Cabinet noted that as joint strategy the work to achieve the aims would involve many stakeholders, all with a role to play.

 

RESOLVED,  that it be RECOMMENDED the Joint Public Health Strategy be adopted by full Council.

 

106.

Better Care Fund/Improved Better Care Fund 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 238 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report by the Executive Director – People which sought delegations to be put in place to enable the Better Care Fund to be submitted if Cabinet cycles did not align with the submission date.  The report also asked Cabinet to approve the Improved Better Care Fund Proposals.

 

RESOLVED,  that

 

                   (1)    it be agreed 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 on behalf of Cumbria County Council;

 

                   (2)    the proposals for the Improved Better Care Fund (iBCF) (as set out in appendix 2 of the report) be agreed.

 

107.

Consultation on the Proposed Expansion of Thursby Primary School pdf icon PDF 282 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report by the Executive Director – People which informed the Cabinet of the outcome of the representation period triggered by the publication of notices for the potential expansion of Thursby Primary School.  It was noted that the representation period opened on 11 January 2019 and closed on 8 February 2019. 

 

On presenting the report the Leader referred to responses received to the public consultation, which took place between 8 October and 16 November 2018. There were 17 responses (mostly returned by the school) during the consultation period of which 70% were in favour of the proposal.   Many responses raised issues over the potential increased traffic and parking problems around school start and finish times.  This point was identified in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and traffic surveys and a review of Thursby School Travel Plan was being undertaken as part of the planning application.

 

RESOLVED,  to implement proposals for the expansion of Thursby Primary School.