Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Thursday, 18th March, 2021 12.00 pm

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

98.

ROLL CALL AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Ms D Earl.

 

99.

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 made on this occasion.

 

 

100.

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 from the meeting during consideration, if any, of Appendix 1 of Item 17 Award of Contract for Stage 1 Design - Carlisle Southern Link Road by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as this report contains exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

 

101.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 351 KB

To receive the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 4 February 2021 (copy enclosed)

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2021 be agreed as a true and accurate record.

 

102.

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 made the following announcements.

 

Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal

At a signing event earlier today he had signed the deal on behalf of Cumbria County Council, along with the Leaders of the other four local authorities involved in Borderlands.  The event was the culmination of a huge amount of work which had been ongoing for some time, and would see up to £350m of Government investment from which, it was hoped, would attract match funding from both other public bodies and the private sector of approximately another £100m of investment.

  

Cumberland Infirmary - Industrial Dispute

The Leader commented on an industrial dispute currently taking place at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.  This had been ongoing for a number of years, and involved a number of workers, not employed directly by the NHS, who therefore did not have parity with NHS employees for working unsocial hours, including switchboard operators, cleaners, catering staff and porters, all of which were amongst the lowest earners in the NHS.  The dispute was complicated and involved multiple parties.  The Leader outlined the details of the dispute and urged all parties to work together to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

   

Public Health Grant

Cumbria County Council had been notified yesterday that the grant from Government to deliver public health next year would increase by 0.67%, which in real terms, constituted a cut.  He was disappointed that Cumbria would only receive £38 per head of population compared to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea which would receive £138 per head.  Cumbria County Council would continue to press the case for a fair distribution model for this grant.

 

Residential Care Homes for Young People

The Cabinet Member for Childrens Services made an announcement about investment in residential care for Cumbria’s young people.  Recently, the County Council had developed two residential four bedded homes, an investment of £2m.  The first home opened in early 2020 in Oak Tree Road, Kendal and was currently being occupied by 4 Cumbrian young people, who would previously have ended up as ‘out of county’ placements, at a substantial cost.  A second home was due ready to be opened shortly in Penrith, and contained 2 flats, one with two bedrooms and one for single occupancy.  Members had been offered a virtual visit to the home and the Cabinet Member encouraged them to take up the opportunity. 

 

Velocity Patching

The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport made an announcement about velocity patching.  A total of six velocity patching machines had been brought into the County, working across all districts, to carry out work on rural road repairs.  It was hoped that this would enable the Council to repair up to two thirds of all the current repairs.

  

103.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

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

 

Minutes:

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

 

104.

REFERRAL FROM COPELAND LOCAL COMMITTEE

104a

Referral from Copeland Local Committee - Representation on Radioactive Waste Management's (RWM's) Copeland Working Group for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To consider a report from the Chair of Copeland Local Committee (copy enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of Copeland Local Committee presented a report which asked Cabinet to consider representation on Radioactive Waste Management’s Copeland Working Group, or to delegate the decision on this to Copeland Local Committee to agree representation.

 

At its meeting on 24 November 2020 Copeland Local Committee discussed the Copeland Working Group recently established by Radioactive Waste Management (RWM).  Members understood that a request for representation had been sent to the Leader of Cumbria County Council from RWM. 

 

The Chair of Copeland Local Committee believed this paper was a crucial one for the County Council, and was an opportunity for the Council to demonstrate that it believed in ‘local first’ as outlined in the submission to Government for a unitary authority.

 

He urged Cabinet to consider the referral on this basis and as part of a whole strategy of moving forward.  Over the last 12 months everyone had worked together successfully to bring together organisations within localities to deal with the pandemic.  This reinforced the message to Government that a one unitary authority for Cumbria could actually work.

 

The referral from Copeland Local Committee embodied the same philosophy, that local members be given the opportunity to participate in the decision making and influence decisions being taken for the future that involved local residents. 

 

He asked Cabinet to consider passporting the decision on who should represent Cumbria County Council on this working group to Copeland Local Committee.  He believed that by passporting this decision would cement the feeling that the Council was serious when talking about local first, and would help to promote this culture.

 

The Chair of Copeland Local Committee urged Cabinet to delegate the decision regarding representation on RWM’s Working Group to Copeland Local Committee. 

 

Cabinet’s response was covered in the next agenda item Minute No 104 (b) refers.

 

104b

Cabinet Response to Referral from Copeland Local Committee - Representation on Radioactive Waste Management's (RWM's) Copeland Working Group for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To consider a report from the Monitoring Officer (copy enclosed)

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council began by thanking the Chair of Copeland Local Committee for bringing the referral to Cabinet.  He found it interesting that the Chair had chosen to present the views from the Local Committee to Cabinet and link this back to the culture of unitary authorities.

 

He was pleased that the Copeland Local Committee Chair had not tried to defend the process that had led to the invitations to join the two RWM working groups for Allerdale and Copeland.  

 

The Leader agreed with a great deal of what was said by the Chair of Copeland Local Committee.  However, there were some issues where delegations were not appropriate, and he felt this was one of those instances.

 

The Government had engaged local authorities in the previous decisions for the siting of a repository for nuclear waste and the County Council had decided in January 2013 not to proceed to the next stage.   He felt this process was a reaction to that decision as the Government would never wish again to be in the position of allowing local authorities to influence this process.

 

If this process resulted in a site being identified, a planning application would come forward for a repository in Allerdale or Copeland which would be determined by the Secretary of State, not the local planning authority and Cumbria County Council would be a statutory consultee in this instance.

 

The Leader had been approached by RWM asking the County Council to consider joining the working group, and he gave a comprehensive reply to this, in which he explained why the Council would not be taking up the offer.  He was disappointed to find out that the representative at Copeland Local Committee had given the impression that RWM had written to the council but that no response had been received.  

 

He was concerned that it appeared that the Government was still searching for a suitable site to bury the nations legacy of nuclear waste without any scientific studies being undertaken, to assess the geology, and to investigate suitable locations. 

 

This had been undertaken extensively and exhaustively during the past two attempts to find somewhere suitable, and both of these studies had indicated that Cumbria was not a suitable location, and in locations where the geology was suitable there was no local community support for this.

 

The establishment of the RWM Working Groups was a deeply flawed process, and he asked Cabinet to support and confirm his decision not to nominate a representative to either of the RWM Working Groups.

 

Mr DE Southward, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and property asked that his preference for the option to agree to delegate the decision regarding representation to Copeland Local Committee be noted and recorded. 

 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet agree to confirm the decision of the Leader not to nominate to Radioactive Waste Management Copeland Working Group.

 

105.

SCRUTINY REVIEW - PROVISION OF INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT NEW DEVELOPMENTS

105a

Scrutiny Review - Provision of infrastructure to support new development – Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 229 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:

The Chair of the Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board Task and Finish Group on the Provision of Infrastructure to Support New Development presented the report to Cabinet

 

In March 2020, the Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board commissioned a Task and Finish Group to focus on the Council’s approach to specified planning obligation agreements. Members agreed to explore the implications of new developments in respect of physical and social infrastructure. As well as consider potential improvements to ensure that both physical and social infrastructure needed to support new development in Cumbria is effectively secured in the future.

 

The Task and Finish Group Chair took members through the report in detail and outlined the 6 recommendations made.

Recommendation 1 - Early engagement with Local Planning Authorities in the development of the local plan was essential in securing contributions for social and physical infrastructure.

 

Recommendation 2 - Cumbria County Council should explore the possible structures around planning in order to determine the most effective ways of securing contributions.

 

Recommendation 3 - strengthened dialogue between members and Cumbria County Council’s planning response officers may help to identify infrastructure requirements on receipt of a planning application, given Member’s knowledge of their communities.

 

Recommendation 4 - planning authorities should be asked not to use conditions which provide loopholes for developers to evade/avoid their obligations e.g. building a classroom when 200 homes have been built where the developer then stops at 198. 

 

Recommendation 5 - Cumbria County Council, as the Local Lead Flood Authority, should set out the flood alleviation and drainage design requirements at the time a site was included as an allocated development site in the Local Plan.

 

Recommendation 6 - Cumbria County Council to provide a cost neutral advice service on specific planning applications to ensure all parties were made aware of the necessary infrastructure contributions that would be required on any given land allocation.

 

The response to the recommendations was contained in the next agenda item.  Minute no 105 (b) refers.

 

The Chair thanked the Chair of the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group for the report.

RESOLVED, that members consider the findings and recommendations by the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group into Infrastructure to support new developments, as set out in Appendix of the report.

 

105b

Response of the Executive Director to the Scrutiny Review - Provision of infrastructure to support new development Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 255 KB

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

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the response of the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure to the report by the Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board Task and Finish Group on the subject of Cumbria County Council Provision of Infrastructure to Support New Development.

 

The Cabinet Member took members through the responses to all six recommendations.

 

Recommendation 1 - recommendation supported.

 

Recommendation 2 – this response had been split into two elements.  The suggestion of reviewing the arrangements related to the planning process and the securing of developer contributions was one of a number of opportunities presented by the potential for local government re-organisation. This part of the recommendation was fully supported.

 

Any approach to the establishment of joint planning committees would require the support not just of the County Council but also of the other eight planning authorities in the County. To have real benefit any joint committees would also require closer integration of officer teams, systems and processes. Therefore, at this time this part of the recommendation was not supported.

 

Recommendation 3 - recommendation supported.

 

Recommendation 4 - recommendation supported.

 

Recommendation 5 – recommendation partially supported.

 

Recommendation 6 – recommendation partially supported.

 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet note the report and support the responses that had been provided to each of the recommendations of the Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board Task and Finish Group.

 

The meeting adjourned at 13.05 and reconvened at 13.15

 

106.

SCRUTINY REVIEW - POST COVID WAYS OF WORKING

106a

Scrutiny Review - Post-Covid Ways of Working Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 373 KB

To consider a report from Mr P Turner, Chair of the Scrutiny Task and Finish Groupon Post Pandemic Ways of Working (copy enclosed)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Post Covid Ways of Working Task and Finish Group presented the report to Cabinet and invited members to consider the findings and recommendations arising from the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group.

 

In November 2020, the Scrutiny Management Board (SMB) commissioned a Task and Finish Group to focus on the Council’s Post-Covid Ways of Working. The desire for Scrutiny to explore these issues was first raised by members at the meeting of County Council on 8 September 2020. The implications of the Coronavirus pandemic had resulted in significant changes to the way the Council had operated since March 2020, with a move to remote meetings and use of digital channels for collaborative work and engagement.

 

The legislative framework enabling elements of these ways of working was currently temporary, and members and officers were considering the medium and longer-term implications of this, what arrangements would be in the future, and how to ensure equality of access and opportunity.

 

The Chair of the Task and Finish Group took members through the report in detail, outlining the 5 recommendations.

 

Recommendation 1 – the Council should continue to review approaches to managing well-being, stress and mental health and seeking new and innovative solutions to support staff and Members during and after the pandemic.

 

Recommendation 2 – the Council should put in place a comprehensive, organisation-wide Post-Covid Ways of Working strategic plan.

 

Recommendation 3 - Members should be connected into the Officer Future Ways of Working Group and fully engaged in the process of shaping, developing and supporting new ways of working

 

Recommendation 4 - as part of the strategic plan for post-Covid ways of working, consider new approaches to help increase the corporate understanding of staff needs, views and ideas around Post-Covid Ways of Working.

 

Recommendation 5 – the Council should develop policy and a comprehensive programme of support, training and engagement for future meeting formats, including online and hybrid meetings as appropriate.

 

The response to the recommendations was contained in the next agenda item.  Minute no 106 (b) refers.

 

The Chair thanked the Chair of the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group for the report.

 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet considers the findings and recommendations made by the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group into Post-Covid Ways of Working.

 

106b

Response of the Executive Director to the Scrutiny Review Post-Covid Ways of Working pdf icon PDF 267 KB

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

 

 

Minutes:

Cabinet Members considered the response of the Executive Director to the Scrutiny Review Task and Finish Group on Post-Covid Ways of Working.

 

The Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue took members through the recommendations contained within the Scrutiny Review.

 

Recommendation 1 - recommendation supported.

 

Recommendation 2 - recommendation supported.

 

Recommendation 3 - recommendation supported.

 

Recommendation 4 - this recommendation was supported.

 

Recommendation 5 – recommendation supported, however members noted the limitations on the use of hybrid meetings.

 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet note the report and agree to support the recommendations made by Scrutiny Members as set out in this report.

 

 

107.

Consultation on Local Government Reform Proposals in Cumbria and North Yorkshire pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Executive (copy enclosed)

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a report from the Chief Executive, which outlined the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s consultation on proposals for locally-led reorganisation of local government in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset and recommended an approach to developing, approving and submitting the Council’s responses.

Cabinet was recommended to agree that the decision was an urgent one, with the consequence that call in would not apply to the decision, and noted that the Chair of SMB had agreed that the decision was reasonable and to it being treated as a matter of urgency in line with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 13.32.

Following Ministerial discussions with Council Leaders in Cumbria in early July 2020, the County Council developed a Proposition and Business Case for local government reform in Cumbria, which were approved by Cabinet on 3 September 2020.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, formally invited any principal council in Cumbria to submit a proposal for single tier ‘unitary’ local government for the area on 9 October 2020.

The County Council had submitted its ‘One Cumbria’ Proposition, Business Case and supplementary information, collectively constituting the County Council’s full proposal, by the Secretary of State’s deadline of 9 December 2020.

The proposal set out the opportunity and benefits of reform in Cumbria, through the creation of a single unitary council to replace the County Council and the 6 District Councils. This proposal would deliver better outcomes for residents, contribute to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and boost Cumbria’s contribution to levelling up the UK.

In addition to the County Council’s proposal, three other proposals were submitted by councils in Cumbria:-

·      Allerdale Borough Council and Copeland Borough Council submitted a joint proposal for two unitary councils covering the whole of the area of the administrative county of Cumbria: one unitary council in the West comprising the current districts of Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland; and one in the East comprising the current districts of Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland.

·      Barrow Borough Council and South Lakeland District Council submitted a joint proposal for two unitary councils covering the whole of the area of the administrative county of Cumbria and the administrative district area of Lancaster City within Lancashire County: one unitary council (“The Bay”) comprising the current districts of Barrow, Lancaster City (in Lancashire) and South Lakeland; and one comprising the current districts of Allerdale, Carlisle, Copeland and Eden districts in “North Cumbria”.

·      Carlisle City Council and Eden District Council submitted a joint proposal for two unitary councils covering the whole of the area of the administrative county of Cumbria: one unitary council in the north comprising the current districts of Allerdale, Carlisle and Eden; and one in the south comprising the current districts of Barrow, Copeland and South Lakeland in the south.

On 22 February 2021 the Secretary of State launched a consultation on all four proposals received from councils in Cumbria, alongside parallel consultation on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 107.

108.

2020/21 Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring Report to 31 December 2020 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer), which set out the Council’s forecast financial position at 31 December 2020, Quarter 3 (Q3); covering the Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Treasury Management. 

 

The financial context for the Council remained extremely challenging.  For the period 2011/12 to 2020/21, the Council had agreed a total of £273m of savings in setting annual revenue budgets.  In setting the Budget, Council in February 2020 agreed £5.646m of new savings, having taken account of the impact of one-off savings from previous years, which required replacement in agreeing the balanced Budget for 2020/21.

 

Since setting the Budget, as a result of the response to, and planning for recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been significant and unprecedented financial consequences for the Council, as with other Local Authorities. The demands upon Council services and the consequent financial impacts of the COVID-19 continued to evolve and would be ongoing beyond 2020/21.

 

The Deputy Leader took members through the report in detail, and outlined the key messages for members.

 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet

 

(1)     note the revised Revenue Budget at the provisional outturn for monitoring purposes of £403.519m as a result of the transfers from the COVID-19 Emergency Grant Earmarked Reserve and agreed transfers to and from reserves (set out in Appendix 1);

(2)     note the forecast Revenue Budget outturn is breakeven at the year-end, with the assumptions as set out in this report;

(3)     note that the breakeven forecast outturn position is sensitive to a number of underlying assumptions, which are set out in paragraph 5 (ii) of the Executive Summary;

(4)     note progress in delivering the new savings for 2020/21 of £5.646m; a total of £4.186m (74.1%) of these new 2020/21 savings are forecast to be delivered by 31 March 2021;

(5)     Approve the transfer of £10.000m to the General Fund Balance, as detailed in paragraph 55;

(6)     Approve the transfer of £1.780m to the Strengthening Short-Term Capacity Reserve and the balance of the contingency budget, as detailed in paragraph 57;

(7)     Approve the creation of Directorate Earmarked Reserves totalling £2.805m as per Table 8 in paragraph 59;

(8)     For Local Committees it is proposed that Cabinet approve the transfer of the net revenue balance of both accelerated spend (overspendings) and underspendings on each Local Committee budget (highways and non-highways) as at 31 March 2021 to an Earmarked Reserve for use in 2021/22. Further detail is provided in paragraph 46;

(9)     Approve in principle that after, the above transfers  to earmarked reserves and the General Fund Balance (recommendations e to h) any remaining net outturn revenue position is transferred to the Financial Volatility Reserve;

(10) Approve revenue contributions to capital expenditure (RCCO) totalling £1.391m. The RCCO’s requested are in the table below;

Directorate

Description

£m

Economy and Infrastructure

Car parking

0.024

Electric car charging points

0.250

Transport – School’s vehicles

0.950

Emergency Active Travel Fund Tranche 2

0.177

Total

 

1.391

 

(11) Approve the following amendments to the Capital Programme:

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.

109.

Corporate Performance Monitoring Report – Quarter 3 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 585 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members had before them a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer), which provided Cabinet with a progress update on corporate performance, incorporating progress on the Council Plan Delivery Plan 2020/21 for the three month period from 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020.

 

The current Council Plan Delivery Plan included 50 actions and 41 measures which aligned to the Council Plan.  The report provided updates for key areas where there had been positive progress and areas where there had been delays. Appendix 1 provided further detail for each supporting outcome.

 

The Leader said overall, the report presented a majority of actions reporting positive progress across all outcomes.  The overall position by the end of Quarter 3 2020/21 was that 49 of the 50 (98%) Council Plan Delivery Plan actions were rated Green or Amber.  This quarter a higher proportion were RAG rated Amber so more with a recovery plan in place.  In terms of the measures used to track performance, the overall position for Quarter 3 was that 33 of 41 measures (81%) demonstrated a positive outcome or within 10% of the target.

 

Within Quarter 3 the council had continued to respond to challenges presented by COVID-19.  Actions to improve highways systems were indicating good progress, as well as publication of an early help strategy and there was continued improvement in Freedom Of Information responses.

 

Several actions had reconsidered timescales for milestone delivery but continued to recognise these were agreed priorities to progress when agreed in September 2020.

 

The Leader detailed those areas delayed for members.

 

He ended by saying that despite the context of COVID-19 a lot of positive progress had been made during Quarter 3 and confirmed that several actions would be reviewed during Quarter 4 to reassess timescales.

 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet note overall performance relating to delivery of the implementation of new ways of working and the three Council Plan outcomes, focusing on progress against the actions and metrics identified in the Council Plan Delivery Plan 2020/22 for the Quarter ending 31 December 2020.

 

110.

COVID-19 ONGOING RESPONSE pdf icon PDF 404 KB

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

 

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a report from the Director of Public Health which set out the current position in terms of responding to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Currently, case rates in Cumbria had stabilised at around 25-30 cases per 100,000 population per week, which was lower than the England average.  Rates were currently below 20 in South Lakes and Eden, and had been falling particularly fast in older age groups, demonstrating the effectiveness both of the lockdown and of the vaccination programme.

The Leader drew members’ attention to the uptake of vaccinations, and said that over 210,000 people in Cumbria had received at least one dose of the vaccine, which was over half of those eligible.  Cumbria remained on track to meet the goal of offering vaccination to everyone in the 9 priority groups before the middle of April.

Testing and contact tracing was the other key pillar of the local response.  The roll out of Lateral Flow Testing had been a substantial piece of work for Council officers.  Contact tracers in the County and District Councils would continue to provide an effective response as lockdown restrictions eased.  However, it was expected that localised outbreaks may become more prominent once the restrictions were eased.

RESOLVED, that Cabinet notes the report.

 

111.

Cumbria Community Testing Programme - Lateral Flow pdf icon PDF 432 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report from the Director of Public Health which provided members with a progress update on the Cumbria Covid 19 Lateral Flow Community Testing Programme and the positive contribution that Covid 19 testing was making to assist in tackling the Coronavirus pandemic across the County.

 

Testing had been identified as a vital tool to help tackle Covid 19.  The Local Community Testing programme in Cumbria was established following the national government launching the scheme in December with an emphasis on Directors of Public Health leading local test arrangements to target testing to cohorts of greatest risk, especially those unable to work from home.

The Lateral Flow Test devices gave a result in 30 minutes and detected the virus in asymptomatic people who could be spreading it to others without knowing.

In January, Cumbria held a successful pilot across 16 secondary schools that tested around 5000 students and teachers finding 20 asymptomatic Covid cases.

Following the learning from the pilot, the Council submitted a plan to the Department of Health and Social Care to expand a wider community testing programme for Cumbria which took two routes, one via workplace testing and the other via publicly accessible community test sites.

The Leader took members through the detail contained in the report and said this had been a large, complex and logistically challenging project in tight timescales and he thanked all those involved in making this important programme a success.

RESOLVED, that Cabinet

 

(1)     note the latest national policy position relating to Covid 19 Community Testing and the inclusion of localised Lateral Flow Testing as part of the response strategy for Cumbria;

 

(2)     note the progress made to date to establish Cumbria’s Community Testing Programme where the County Council is the lead agency responsible for delivery;

 

(3)     note the next stages of Community Testing and the Council’s contribution in light of the Roadmap published on 22 February 2021.

112.

Cabinet Working Group - Transport pdf icon PDF 363 KB

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

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services, which sought approval from Cabinet to establish a cross party Member Working Group on Transport.

 

Transport played an important role in tackling social isolation, maintaining well-being and enabling people to access health, education, employment and other key services. Many older people, particularly in the County’s rural areas and those that do not have access to a car, rely on local transport services for health, wellbeing and social connection.

Cumbria was the second largest county in England, and one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United Kingdom.  As a sparsely populated rural county, many communities were a long distance from the nearest key service centres. Many smaller communities had little or no access to bus services which could increase levels of social isolation.

In addition the railway network generally serviced the outer edges of Cumbria which precluded convenient access for many residents. This was compounded by the fact that the population was ageing more rapidly, and for many people without access to cars, transport provision was limited.

Over the last decade central government cuts had resulted in local authorities having to scale back local authority funded transport services and review subsidised routes.  To mitigate the reduction in central Government funding, community initiatives had been implemented across Cumbria to assist in improving local transport provision.

The COVID-19 pandemic was likely to result in some significant lifestyle changes across the United Kingdom, which could include individuals changing working arrangements on a regular basis with potential decline in patronage of rural bus services, as some employees could work from home. In addition, despite various Government funding provisions, some smaller public transport operators may struggle to survive resulting in lost connectivity for some communities.

Cabinet supported the establishment of a Cabinet Working Group to  help the Council to demonstrate its commitment to working with others to ensure places in Cumbria are well connected and thriving. 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet

(1)     approve the establishment of a cross party Member Working Group on Transport in line with the Terms of Reference set out in paragraph 15 of the report ;

(2)     appoint Mr P McSweeney as the Chair of the Member Working Group.

113.

Award of contract for the Dynamic Purchasing System for Transport Services pdf icon PDF 387 KB

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet Members considered a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure which sought Cabinet approval to establish a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for the procurement of transport services and approve the first tranche of successful supplier applications to join.

 

The system would operate for a maximum of 4 years commencing on the 1 April 2021, with no option to extend. The DPS would be a route used to procure transport services, including, but not limited to; Home to School, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), and Adult Social Care Transport and Rural Wheels Service requirements. 

 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet

 

(1)        approves the establishment of a DPS for the procurement of Transport Services and approves applications from the applicants detailed in Appendix 1;

(2)        delegate all subsequent decisions in relation to new applications to join the DPS to the Senior Manager Transport Services.

(3)        Agree all decisions in relation to specific routes awarded under the DPS will fall in line with the authorisation levels stipulated in the Contract Procedure Rules 6.37.

 

114.

Award of Contract for Stage 1 Design for Carlisle Southern Link Road pdf icon PDF 377 KB

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members had before them a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure, which The report seeks approval to award stage 1 of a two-stage design and build contract for the Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR). The award follows the restricted tender process carried out in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

 

The award of the contract was critical to ensuring that the overall project programme was maintained in line with the Grant Determination Agreement between the Council and Homes England for the construction of the CSLR.

 

As part of the procurement process ten PQQ submissions were received via the Chest on the due submission date. These were assessed and five contractors were selected for part 2 of the tender process.

 

The submitted tenders had been through a comprehensive assessment process. Financial and quality submissions had been considered and no communication in relation to the outcomes of the assessment had been permitted.

 

The detailed outcomes of the tender assessments were shown in Appendix 1 of the report.

 

RESOLVED, that Cabinet agree the Stage 1 of the two-stage design and build contract for Carlisle Southern Link Road be awarded to Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd.

 

115.

Cumbria Coastal Strategy pdf icon PDF 566 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure which sought endorsement of the Cumbria Coastal Strategy, and approval of its contents.

 

The Cumbria Coastal Strategy was a plan that set out how to manage the risks related to coastal flooding and erosion along the Cumbrian coastline. The Strategy had identified and evaluated potential long term solutions and would form an evidence base for making the case to secure funding for coastal management in the future.

 

The Cumbria Coastal Strategy was initiated by the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, recognising the success of strategies in other areas, including Lancashire. It built upon the ideas and policies presented in the North West Shoreline Management Plan.

 

The requirement for a Coastal Strategy also followed several extreme weather events and ongoing natural erosion of the Cumbrian coastline.  Flood and coastal erosion work had often been reactive and piecemeal; therefore, a more sustainable and integrated approach was needed.

 

There was a risk that in the future sea defences could fail, or that risks from erosion and flooding would increase over time due to the impacts of climate change, rising sea levels and ageing coastal defences. This may lead to impacts on property, businesses and other infrastructure located along our shoreline.

 

A Strategy was required for Cumbria, to ensure there was a clear plan for managing coastal risks in the future, taking these changes in risk into account. The plan would also be used to support applications to the government for future flood and coastal risk management schemes and to help secure national funds to contribute to the cost of defences.

 

The key objectives of the Cumbria Coastal Strategy were to:

 

  Evaluate the risk of coastal flooding and erosion along the Cumbrian coastline,

  Identify properties and infrastructure at risk,

  Identify and evaluate potential long-term solutions,

  Form a robust and objective evidence base, and

  Provide a framework for future infrastructure and development.

 

RESOLVED,  that Cabinet agrees to endorse the Cumbria Coastal Strategy.

 

116.

Better Care Fund/Improved Better Care Fund 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet had before it a report from the Executive Director – People, 

which sought delegations 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.

 

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 Better Care Fund allocation. The improved Better Care Fund required the agreement of the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Council and had the following three grant determination purposes:

       

  Meeting adult social care needs

  Reducing pressures on the NHS, including supporting more people to be discharged when they are ready.

  Ensuring that the local social care provider market is supported.

       

Guidance for the 2021/22 BCF had not yet been produced and as yet indicative timelines for this had not been given. However it had been confirmed the BCF would continue for 2021-22. 

 

Following the guidance being issued there would be clarity about the timeline for the formal submission process.  This would likely require approval of the submission by both CCGs and the County Council, prior to final sign-off by the Health and Wellbeing Board (potentially using the delegated authority).

 

Cabinet was asked to agree that if the timescales for submission do not fit with the Cabinet’s meeting timetable then authority to submit the Cumbria BCF/iBCF plan was 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)     agree the Spend Proposals for the Better Care Fund (including Winter Pressures Grant) and improved Better Care Fund 2021 to 2022 as set out in Appendix A of the report;

(2)     agree 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 or amend Spend Proposal headings  in Appendix A following any reviews of specific areas of the Better Care Fund and improved Better Care Fund;

(3)     agree 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.

 

117.

Western Excellence in Learning and Leadership (WELL) Project pdf icon PDF 389 KB

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

 

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report from the Executive Director – People which sought approval for the Council to act as the accountable body for the Western Excellence in Learning and Leadership (WELL) Project.

 

The WELL Project was co-created in the Spring of 2019 by Western School Leaders identified through The Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders (CASL), the Council, Sellafield Limited and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.  

 

In March 2019, £1.702m of grant funding for the WELL Project was provided by Sellafield Limited by way of a grant agreement between Sellafield Limited and the Council.  The Council, on behalf of the WELL Project, had recently applied to Sellafield Limited for a further £3.998m of funding to be spent over 3 years.

 

The WELL Project was uniquely focused on the agreed needs for the children, and young people in West Cumbria. Allerdale and Copeland had the largest proportion of disadvantaged pupils in the county and in all phases of education, the attainment gap had been too wide over time.

 

There was a possibility that the continued success of the project could lead to further funding on an annual basis. Cabinet approval to act as the accountable body in respect of the current bid and any future grants under the same programme was therefore sought.

 

The WELL Project Board had recently applied to Sellafield Limited for a further £3.998m of funding to be spent over 3 years.  It was anticipated that the application would be successful. This report therefore sought Cabinet approval for the Council to take on accountable body responsibilities in relation to the WELL Project.  If approved, the Council would be proposing to the WELL Board that a Memorandum of Understanding was entered into between the Council as the Accountable Body and the other partners who constitute the Board. 

   

RESOLVED, that

 

(1)     Cabinet agrees to the Council being the accountable body for the WELL Project;

(2)     Cabinet notes that:

 

(a)on 29 March 2019 the Council, on behalf of the WELL Project, entered into a grant agreement with Sellafield Limited for a grant of £1.702m;

 

(b)the WELL Board has applied to Sellafield Limited for a further £3.998m of funding to be spent over 3 years; and

 

(c)in the event the current application to Sellafield Limited is successful, the Executive Director – People will agree the terms of and authorise the execution of the grant funding agreement in consultation with the Leader, Deputy Leader, Portfolio Holder and the Director of Finance.