Agenda and minutes
Tuesday, 13th December, 2011 10.00 am
Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough
Contact: Gill Wilkinson
Members are reminded of the need to consider whether they have a personal or prejudicial interest to declare in any of the items on this agenda. If so, the nature of the interest must be declared at the start or as soon as the interest becomes apparent, of the meeting. In addition, the attached form must be completed and passed to the Committee Administrator. The Officers will be pleased to advise, if necessary, and any request for assistance should be made, in the first instance, to the Committee Administrator whose name appears at the end of this agenda. Ideally, such advice should be sought before the day of the meeting so that time is available to consider any uncertainty that might arise.
Councillor Miss Jane M Kenyon, declared a Personal interest in agenda item 6, Character Appraisal, Management Proposals and Conservation Area Boundary Review - Sandsend. Sandsend was part of her North Yorkshire County Council division..
To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2011. (Minutes attached).
Public Question Time
Public questions of which due notice has been given and which are relevant to the business of the Cabinet.
There were no public questions.
To review the Cabinet’s Forward Plan (Reference 11/537 attached).
Progress of Scrutiny of Executive Decisions
To receive an oral report by the Chief Executive.
To consider a report by the Head of Regeneration and Planning (Reference 11/503 attached).
Cabinet were informed that since August 2006 reviews of Weaponness, Scalby, Seamer, Falsgrave, Snainton, Dean Road / Manor Road Cemetery and Cloughton had been carried out and new or enlarged Conservation Areas formally designated.
The area of Sandsend which had been appraised was larger than the existing area currently having Conservation Area designation in order that the boundaries may be reviewed and the setting of the heritage asset considered. The appraisal area was partly in the North York Moors National Park and this report, which had also been to overview and scrutiny committee, set out the results of the appraisal.
Cllr Kenyon stated was happy to see the Mulgrave Estate being part of this consultation but it would have been useful if the county council could also have been consulted. Officers noted her comments and agreed this could be done for future consultations. It was noted that there were other conservation areas in the borough and these would also have further reports on them brought to cabinet and council.
RESOLVED that Cabinet recommend to Council that:
· The Character Appraisal and Management Plan for Sandsend is adopted as planning guidance.
· The Conservation Area is extended to cover the area shown in the map at Appendix 3.
Reasons: This resolution was in line with the findings from public consultation and would protect the character of the conservation area.
To consider a report by the Head of Legal and Support Services (Reference 11/584 attached)
David Archer informed members that the Futurist Task group was established by the then Corporate Strategy Overview and Scrutiny Committee in January 2010, to determine a viable and sustainable use of this prime location in keeping with the Council’s regeneration ambitions and the Urban Renaissance vision.
Central to this review was an eight week public consultation based on a paper and online questionnaire and an all day informal drop-in session. Public and stakeholder views were combined with evidence from specialist interest groups such as the Theatres Trust and experts in the various fields of arts and tourism, theatre management and programming, and the retail and leisure property market. A consultant architect was also commissioned to produce a concept and vision for the site. This wealth of lay opinion and expert knowledge informed the Task Group’s comprehensive 300 page report.
After endorsement by the Corporate Strategy Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Task Group’s recommendations were adopted in their entirety by the Cabinet on 19 October 2010 (Report Reference 10/591).
One of the recommendations was that: ‘the Corporate Strategy Overview and Scrutiny Committee maintains the matter under regular review and this report constituted the 12 month review which since the restructure of the scrutiny function now fell to Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee
Members were further informed that one of the Task Group’s recommendations, adopted by the Cabinet on 19 October 2010 was that those who promoted the idea of a People’s Trust be given the opportunity to bring forward firm proposals within 12 months to operate a Theatre from the site, based on a robust business plan.
Ms David, a spokesperson for supporters of the theatre, was contacted shortly after Cabinet made its decision in October 2010 and an offer was made to meet with the Strategic Director, David Archer to discuss how the process to develop proposals for a People’s Trust could be managed. This was followed by a further offer of Council officer support to Ms David from the Chair of the Task Group, Councillor Jeffels. Neither offer was accepted.
Ms David was contacted again in early 2011 and asked if she had any proposals to run the Futurist Theatre by a Charitable/People’s Trust that she wished to bring to the Scrutiny Committee. In reply, Ms David submitted a letter dated 16 February 2011 and supporting “Report on Action” in which she advised that a Business Plan to run the Theatre by a People’s Trust would not be put forward at the present time as it was not considered to be feasible or practical.
Since then, no proposals from any group or individuals for a Charitable/People’s Trust had been submitted to the Council, nor any requests made to discuss such proposals with Council officers.
Members also noted that the council had received a letter from English Heritage reporting its decision to refuse listing for the Futurist Theatre.
Officers would now seek Member approval in January 2012 to issue the draft development brief for public consultation starting in ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To consider a report by the Strategic Director (Hilary Jones) (Reference 11/540 attached).
Mrs Jones informed members that appendix 2 of the report gave details of the service plan for Customer Services, Local Taxation and Benefits Services and appendix 3 gave key recommendations for the Service and Financial Improvement Plans in Finance, ICT, and Democratic and Support Services, which would redesign these support services. It was noted that these corporate support services touched every part of the council and therefore all services would be affected by this redesign. She informed members that it was therefore appropriate to develop a two year plan to support this implementation. It was noted that the savings had to include payment for the partner and reductions in the base budget. If these savings were not delivered the council could withhold or take back payment. This was a programme of major change which would have been a high risk to the council therefore using a partner transferred this risk.
RESOLVED that Cabinet approve:
(a) The draw down of a two year programme of work from the Efficiency and Improvement Partnership Framework with Northgate Public Services (NPS) to support the Council’s vision to re-design and modernise Council services while reducing the costs of providing those services in the following service areas:
· Democratic and Support Services
· Financial Services
(b) Fees of £758,702 for the contracted programme of work to be funded in full from budget savings delivered under the Risk/Reward terms of the Partnership Framework Contract, which will be subject to provision of detailed Service and Financial Improvement Plans that will guarantee a reduction of £599,148 in the base budget by the end of the contract and savings of £1,713,678 over the next three years, £2,911,983 over five years.
(c) The use of the Efficiency and Improvement Partner reserve to manage the payment profile, covering short term requirements for funds pending recovery from budget savings.
(d) The approach laid out in the ‘Shaping the Council for the Future’ paper be adopted as the Council’s blueprint for change and modernisation.
Members are aware that the Council is facing significant budget pressures and tighter spending controls. The Comprehensive Spending Review announced in autumn 2010 delivered significant cuts in the Council’s annual grant funding settlement 14.6% for 11/12 and 9.2% for 12/13. In December 2010 the Actuary Review of pensions identified an additional £1m costs for the Council over a three year period. Therefore the speed and extent of savings that need to be delivered by the Council is greater than originally envisaged:
Medium Term Financial plan identifies minimum savings of:
· £2.1million 11/12
· £2.5million 2012/13
· £1.4million in 2013/14
In addition in the future there will be other unavoidable pressures that will have a further impact on revenue budgets requiring higher levels of saving to be achieved:
· Reduction in ring-fenced grants that have funded resources in community safety, regeneration, community development and economic development
· Increasing demand for services and priority areas of growth
· Recession impact on income, fees and investment interests
· Changes in benefits and local tax regimes
The proposals ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
To consider a report by the Head of Regeneration and Planning (Reference 11/563 attached).
Cllr Backhouse stated that this was the second scheme to be promoted in Scarborough since the Holbeck Hall disaster arising from the Scarborough Coastal Defence Strategy. It was noted that further representations had been received since the report had been published and these had been taken into account.
There were six options in the report for coastal management which were:
Option 1 Do Nothing – No further work will be undertaken. The condition of the defences would deteriorate over time, resulting in eventual failure.
Option 2 Do Minimum - Continue the current management regime. This includes for the provision of repairs and maintenance to coastal defences including repointing, infilling of breaches and rebuilding of failed sections of defences to extend their effective life and reduce chance of failure. It does not address the risks created by wave overtopping or over steepened slopes, nor would it create confidence for future investment in the town's tourism infrastructure. The Council’s aspirations for developing The Spa need to be complimented by major investment in its sea defences.
Option 3 Improve. Rock revetment with a high wave wall – Improve the defences by constructing a rock revetment in front of the existing sea wall. A new wave wall would be constructed, with a height of 1.4m above walkway level.
Option 4 Improve. Rock revetment with a medium height wave wall - Improve the defences by constructing a rock revetment in front of the existing sea wall. A new wave wall would be constructed, with a height of 1.1m above walkway level.
Option 5 Improve. Rock revetment with a low height wave wall - Improve the defences by constructing a rock revetment in front of the existing sea wall. A new wave wall would be constructed, with a height of 0.6m above walkway level. The wall would be topped by a handrail to increase the barrier to the minimum requirement of 1.1m (Building Regulations).
Option 6 Improve. concrete stepped revetment with a wave wall 1.4m in height - Improve the defences by constructing a concrete stepped revetment in front of the existing sea wall, with a 1.4m wave wall at the crest of the revetment. This option was subsequently added to the short-list following consultation with key stakeholders as an alternative material to rock armour, and following a similar scheme being highlighted to high acclaim in Weston-Super-Mare. Only one wave wall height was able to be considered for the concrete stepped revetment structure as this form of structure is less hydraulically efficient than the rock armour revetment and it was recognised early in its development that the structure footprint would become prohibitively large with a lower wave wall.
Mr Stewart Rowe gave a brief presentation on coastal management and explained that the sea wall was being constantly maintained using revenue budgets. He gave details of potential options to improve the defences of the seawall. He explained that the height of the seawall was related to the rocks required on the beach. The higher the ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
To consider a report by the Head of Tourism and Culture (Reference 11/586 attached).
Cllr Jeffels stated that this gesture was absolutely marvellous and that the council were very grateful for her generous donation. He looked forward to this becoming Scarborough’s Angel of the North.
Cllr Cockerill supported this and invited people to come to Filey to see the other sculpture by the same artist, that was currently on display there.
RESOLVED that Cabinet agree:
a) to accept the gift of the sculpture named ‘Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers’, seek appropriate planning consent and insure, maintain and display the sculpture in North Bay, Scarborough for the enjoyment of the residents of the Borough and visitors.
b) That a letter of thanks be sent to Mrs Maureen Robinson for her generosity in purchasing and then donating such a popular piece of art to the Borough.
c) That a suitable plaque be purchased from monies raised to inform those viewing the sculpture of the generosity of Mrs Maureen Robinson in gifting the sculpture and to provide information about it.
The sculpture has been purchased by Mrs Maureen Robinson and she wishes to donate it to the Council on condition it is maintained and remains on display in North Bay, Scarborough.
To consider a report by the Head of Environmental Services (Reference 11/574 attached).
Mr Rowe stated that in July this year, Cabinet considered report HES11/317which explained the potential benefits of creating a single Home Improvement Agency (HIA) with Ryedale District Council. Further to that report, agreement to work toward a single HIA was given by Cabinet, subject to satisfactory financial and governance arrangements being agreed.
Officers from both Councils had been working up proposed arrangements for this single HIA that would form part of a partnership agreement with Ryedale DC and this report highlighted the key elements of the proposed partnership with Ryedale and sought agreement from Members to enter into a formal agreement.
It was noted that Scarborough Borough Council would be lead council for this partnership and Ryedale would provide payment and transfer staff under TUPE. This had included an administration post that the partnership would change into a more front line post. Robust governance arrangements were being discussed and a further report would be brought back to cabinet on these arrangements.
RESOLVED that Cabinet recommended to:
Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) provide a range of housing related services and solutions to enable elderly and vulnerable people to live independently in their own homes. The Borough Council and Ryedale District Council currently operate two separate HIAs. This report seeks approval to enter into an agreement with Ryedale to develop a single shared Home Improvement Agency. This will bring a range of benefits to both authorities including financial sustainability and consistent provision or services that span both social care and health care boundaries.
To consider a report by the Head of Environmental Services (Reference 11/573 attached).
Mr Rowe informed members that in March 2011 Cabinet had considered a report on proposed changes to the Council’s Housing Strategy in relation to the regulation of Houses in Multiple Occupation (report 11/157). That report contained a draft action plan with a recommended objective for the Council to “promote good practice amongst HMO owners and landlords through a continued emphasis on advice and prevention” and committed officers to complete the assessment of the potential for the development of a landlords’ accreditation scheme.
This report described some of the benefits of landlord accreditation schemes and recommended that a local Council scheme was adopted and launched in February 2012. It was proposed that throughout 2012/13 the proposed scheme would be run as a pilot project which would be cost neutral. At the end of that period a review would be undertaken in order to evaluate the success of the scheme in order to inform a recommendation as to whether to continue with, or if needed, change the scheme.
It was noted that there was a national landlord’s accreditation scheme but officers were not suggesting this as there was no compliance monitoring within this scheme. It was purely a self regulation scheme by the landlords.
Officers had developed these proposals in consultation with private landlords via a consultation event held in 2010. At that event, around 40 local landlords had expressed an interest in becoming ‘accredited’. Consultation had also been held with key stakeholders including the National Landlords Association and the Scarborough Borough Private Tenants Rights Group. The council would charge £50 to cover the costs of the scheme and this would give members of the scheme a reduced licence fee for HMOs and also advice and publicity for the landlords. This scheme provided benefits over and above the national scheme.
Cllr Kenyon that this seemed to be too good to be true and asked what the risks were. Mr Rowe stated that the key risk was no take up of the scheme by landlords but this was part of the overall solution for landlords across the borough. Cllr Chatt stated that this was to encourage and support good responsible landlords.
Cllr Mortimer stated that she welcomed this report and hoped there would be good take up.
RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to:
1. Adopt a Borough wide Landlord Accreditation Scheme for Private Sector Landlords.
Reasons: To support and facilitate good practice amongst private landlords within the Borough.
To consider a report by the Head of Tourism and Culture (Reference 11/585 attached).
Cllr Backhouse introduced this report, which was for members to agree the proposed parking charges that would then be advertised for public comments, and informed members that there had been representations from the Overview and Scrutiny committee that the costs of winter parking on Marine Drive be £1 for 1 hour and £2 for 6 hours. He proposed that this was changed to £1 with no time limit rather than free during winter.
Stewart Rowe stated that there had been a number of comments about Marine drive which currently was free to park in winter. He thought that there should be a nominal charge particularly as there would be reduced spaces when Yorkshire Water was carrying out work which would reduce the number of parking spaces available.
It was noted that the main area of change was town centre car parking to increase competition and encourage turnover.
Cllr Fox reminded members this was only to agree what was advertised so that people could comment by February 2012. It was noted that where a table had the word “remove” this meant that the specific time option for purchasing tickets had been removed. It was noted that by removing the intermediate time bands this should encourage a longer stay.
Cllr Jeffels commended the parking group for their assistance with this and thought that a charge of £1 to park on Marine Drive in the winter was acceptable. He noted that there were 20000 users between November and February and this was a small price to pay for the views in this area. With regard to the coach prices he now believed that with the improved facilities and security of the coach parks, £15 was a fair price for the day’s parking.
Cllr Challen questioned the principle of charging in winter on Marine drive and warned that this amount would increase. He stated that the council should encourage all round tourism for the area and asked what evidence there was that it would be worthwhile for officers to check for payment of a £1 charge. He also questioned why the 5 day permit had been abolished for West Pier so that only a 7 day permit could be purchased.
Cllr Fox reminded members that this was to agree the scheme to be advertised and not to make decisions on the charges.
Cllr Jefferson stated that she was also opposed to any charges for Marine Drive as the residents of Scarborough liked to use this area in the winter. She also agreed with Cllr Challen regarding the permits for West Pier.
Cllr Kenyon stated that she thought these views would come forward from the business community during the consultation period. Cllr Sharma stated that the North Bay traders would oppose any charging on Marine Drive. He stated that there would be two years of upheaval while the work was being carried out by Yorkshire Water and this was the wrong time to impose charges. Cllr Fox asked if he would recommend taking the ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
To consider a report by the Head of Human Resources and Performance (Reference 11/579 attached).
Cllr Marsden introduced this report. Mrs Jones went through the details of this report and noted that sickness levels, collection of business rates, delivery of affordable homes, all crime indicators regarding serious crime, Customer First call handling, planning applications process, dog prosecutions, net income from catering and harbours income had all improved. Performance was down in the period April – October 2011 in the following areas compared to 2010:
Recycling rates,( although these figures had to be verfied through external partners) processing new benefit claims, and the number of admissions to sports and leisure facilities.
A report on benefits performance had been presented to Resources Overview and Scrutiny committee in November detailing the actions being taken by the service. It was noted that the service had been in a transitional period and it was expected that their performance and the performance for recycling would improve by the end of the year.
The matter relating to sports and leisure admissions had been referred to the health and well being scrutiny committee.
Cllr Bastiman asked if the figures had been affected by the introduction of Barrons leisure facilities. Mrs Jones stated this did not think this was included but she would supply figures to the councillor.
RESOLVED that Cabinet:
(i) Note the results of the Performance Indicators up to the end of October 2011
(ii) Refer the performance information re indoor leisure visits/admissions to the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee to investigate areas for concern
Reasons: To provide information relating to Council performance for April to October 2011.
In accordance with Government guidelines, details on the performance of the Council and its services must be made available through as many mechanisms as possible
To consider a report by the Head of Transformational Management (Reference 11/538 attached).
RESOLVED that Cabinet approve:
Reasons: The establishment a framework contract that can be used by any Council, Police Authority or National Park in the Yorkshire & Humber region. Establishing a framework will not only provide value for money, but also significant savings in the cost of procurement for participating partners.
To consider a report by the Head of Finance and Asset Management (Reference 11/591 attached).
Cabinet were informed that this report was to inform members of the progress for installing PV cells on council owned buildings and also to consider the wider issue of community schemes and other feed in tariffs. Members were informed that the council’s energy manager had been identifying buildings that could use small PV units with a view to preparing individual business cases and reporting in the first instance to the sustainability working group (SWG). Originally the cut off date for the feed in tariff had been April 2012 but this had been changed to the 12 December by the government as there had been an unexpectedly large response to take up of this scheme. It was decided that due to logistics and the generation tariffs that were available schemes under 4 Kilowatts would be prioritised. With the reduction in time before the deadline only one scheme was able to be implemented and this was now awaiting a planning decision on Thursday 15 December 2011. The Energy manager and Sustainability Officer were continuing to look at each scheme and if there was a business case these would be put forward as an invest to save bid.
It was noted that further reports would be brought back to cabinet on these bids as necessary.
Cllr Fox asked what the pay back period was as this could affect the council’s decision on whether to provide invest to save on these schemes. It was noted that this could vary between each scheme.
Cllr Backhouse asked why there was not still the facility for free to install cells whereby the householder received their electricity free with no outlay and the installer benefitted from the feed in tariff. It was noted that these schemes known as “rent a roof” were currently on hold.
Cllr Bastiman asked if these panels had any scrap value as this could lead to theft. He was informed that there was virtually no second hand value to the panels. The main cost was the converter which was housed inside the building.
Cllr Challen stated that this 25 years tariff was still within the council’s invest to save criteria and thought that the council needed to look at what it could do in partnership with other groups in the borough. The government expected the local council to play a greater role in implementing their green deal.
Cllr Mortimer welcomed the report.
Cllr Watson stated that the price of the panels had now been significantly reduced.
Cllr Fox stated that the council now needed to move forward on this.
RESOLVED: that Cabinet note the report