Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 18th January, 2011 10.00 am

Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough

Contact: Gill Wilkinson 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 50 KB

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.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2010.  (Minutes attached).

Minutes:

3.

Public Question Time

Public questions of which due notice has been given and which are relevant to the business of the Cabinet.

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

 

4.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To review the Cabinet’s Forward Plan (Reference 11/16 attached).

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the Forward Plan (Reference 11/16).

RESOLVED that the Forward Plan be approved.

 

5.

Progress of Scrutiny of Executive Decisions

To receive an oral report by the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

(For Approval)

6.

Character Appraisal, Management Proposals and conservation Area Boundary Review - Cloughton pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To consider a report by the Head of Regeneration and Planning (Reference 11/12 attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Head of Regeneration and Planning (Reference 11/12).  Cabinet were informed that Section 29 of the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 imposed a duty on Local Planning Authorities to designate as ‘Conservation Areas’ any areas of special architectural or historic interest.  It also imposed a duty to review these areas ‘from time to time’.  The  first draft of the Character Appraisal and Management Plan had been presented to the Planning & Development Committee on 4 November 2010 and after this a formal consultation had been carried out with individual members of the public (184 letters), Cloughton Parish Council, North York Moors National Park Authority and the Duchy of Lancaster as major landowner.  Councillor Backhouse asked about the negative factor of 18 High Street and asked if there was anything that could be done. It was noted that there were various powers and officers would consider this.

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommend to Council that:-

(a)       the Character Appraisal and Management Plan for Cloughton be adopted as Planning Guidance; and

(b)       the Conservation Area be enlarged to cover the area shown in the map at Annex 4 of the report.

Reasons:

Report HRP10/560 considered by Planning & Development Committee on 4 November 2010 reported the first draft Character Appraisal and Management Plan for Cloughton.  Officers were authorised to carry out public consultation and report back.

The Character Appraisal and Management Plan which sets out a framework for establishing policies for ensuring the qualities of the area are preserved has now been subject to public consultation.  The results of that consultation, which are set out in Annex 2, have been considered and the Character Appraisal and Management Plan have been modified as necessary.  The recommendation now is for the Character Appraisal and Management Plan to be adopted as Planning Guidance and for the Conservation Area to be slightly enlarged.

 

7.

Temporary Accommodation for the Homeless pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To consider a joint report by the Head of Environmental Services and Head of Finance and Asset Management (Reference 11/32 attached).

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a joint report by the Head of Environmental Services and Head of Finance and Asset Management (Reference 11/32).  Cabinet were informed that this was the first of a number of reports following an earlier report to Cabinet on the changes to housing benefit that indicated there were likely to be increased costs on homelessness due to these changes.  It was noted that a more cost effective and sustainable approach was required to provide temporary accommodation.  This report proposed making a capital investment – match funded via Registered Social Landlords’ (RSL) contribution (50% of total costs) in order to make a revenue saving over the long term.  This would be used to offer grants to RSLs to enable them to indentify and bring back into use empty homes (likely to be blocks of flats) that would be used by the Council to discharge its duties in relation to homelessness via a contract agreement.  The benefits of this approach were that RSL investment/borrowing was exempt from Local Housing Association rate restrictions and there would be proper and effective management.  There would be no revenue costs for the Council.  The report recommended changes to current empty homes policy and to borrow up to £750,000. The revenue savings to the Council were anticipated to be £134,000 per year and money would be drawn down as opportunities arose.

The third recommendation related to a homeless hostel that was no longer suitable for use. The cost to bring this back into use would be £400,000. Under this model of match funding via RSLs a more cost effective option would be to sell the property and take capital receipts to reduce the borrowings.

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

(i)         agree to the following change to the Councils Empty Homes Grant policy to ensure that:

“Empty homes grants are targeted towards RSLs to help support the purchase of long term empty dwellings on the open market.  A maximum level of grant (£50,000) is payable per dwelling and that this grant should not exceed more than 50% of the total cost of the Purchase, Repair or Conversion of that dwelling.  As a condition of the grant award, the RSL is required to enter into a 25 year agreement with the Council, giving the Council 100% nomination rights.  Dwellings brought back into use can only be used by the RSL as temporary accommodation for homeless.” 

(ii)        agree that an Invest to Save bid in the sum of £750,000 be included in the Council’s Financial Strategy 2011-21, which will be presented to Full Council for approval in February 2011. This funding will provide grant payments to match fund RSL contributions, enabling the purchase of empty dwellings that can be brought back into use as temporary accommodation for the homeless. The £750,000 is to be funded from an increase to borrowing to be repaid from revenue savings achieved on the cost of temporary accommodation;

(iii)       instruct officers to market the sale of the Councils former homeless  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Safeguarding Adults and Children and Young People's Policy and Procedure pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To consider a report by the Head of Environmental Services (Reference 11/36 attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Head of Environmental Services (Reference 11/36).  Cabinet were informed that the Corporate Strategy Overview and Scrutiny Committee had recommended that the Council review its Safeguarding policies and introduce wider training to ensure all staff were aware of the revised policies relating to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.  As a result of the review a Community Health and Safeguarding Officer was employed by the Council who had reviewed the children’s safeguarding policy in line with current legislation and developed the draft documents.   Training would begin next week with the senior management and be rolled out to all staff.  Members would also receive training.  Councillor Kenyon stated that this was an essential part of the Council’s policy framework.

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommend to Council the Safeguarding Adults and Children and Young Peoples Policy and Procedure appended to the report.

Reasons:

The principal legislative basis for the Government’s vision for safeguarding children is the Children Act 2004 which places significant duties on county level authorities in their role as Children’s Service Authorities (CSA).  Within this role they have a duty under Section 10 of the Act to promote inter-agency co-operation between named agencies including district councils which are involved with children and young people and contribute to their well being. 

To ensure the Council fulfils the duty on Local Authorities to make arrangements to ensure that their functions are discharged with regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (Section 11, Children Act 2004) and to work with partners to ensure that vulnerable adults at risk of abuse receive protection and support.

 

(For Decision)

9.

Corporate Efficiency Review Programme pdf icon PDF 178 KB

To consider a report by the Strategic Director (Hilary Jones) (Reference 11/50 attached).

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Strategic Director (Hilary Jones) (Reference 11/50).  Cabinet were informed that following approval by Cabinet to appoint Northgate as the efficiency partner this report set out how these savings would be implemented and how efficiencies would be delivered. Under the risk reward contract the introduction of efficiencies within the operation of Customer First and Revenues and Benefits was anticipated to generate a net saving for the council of £2.1 million by 2016. Recommendation 1b in the report asked Cabinet for approval to continue the process of identifying further savings in the Council.  To protect frontline services, these reviews would be in the corporate core and be included in the risk/reward model.  The timescales would be tight as the momentum needed to be maintained.  Therefore the report asked that the Leader be given authority to approve the costs arising from the Phase 1 reviews identified at 1(b) in the report and to authorise a phase 2 review programme to assist Human Resources to identify and implementing new systems and processes including an expansion and improved utilisation of a computerised HR system.

In the contract the anticipated savings and the cost of delivery were laid out in the financial improvement plan.  This formed the basis of the contract and could be monitored month by month allowing the Council to seek a rebate/ withhold payment if savings were not realised.  Northgate’s fees were therefore at risk if they did not achieve the savings.  If additional resources were needed to make savings Northgate had to put these in.  There was a fixed monthly cost to Northgate for the service of £22,500.  It was anticipated that monthly savings would outweigh monthly payments by June 2011.

The Strategic Director, Hilary Jones proposed an additional recommendation for the report in that  financial improvement plan and the monthly targets be referred to the Audit Committee for monitoring at their quarterly meetings.

It was noted that by 2013 the Council should be able to fully repay the reserves that had been drawn down In 2013/14.  Mrs Jones thanked staff from Legal Services, Finance and Policy and Performance for their help with the briefing note for Cabinet.

Cabinet were informed that services may need support for the changes to process in particular the expansion of the automation of the HR systems.

Councillor Dixon asked for more detail of what the consequences to the Council would be for this level of savings as the report proposed very major savings and would have significant implications.  He stated that Members had been informed that when the framework contract was agreed further more detailed reports would be produced for Cabinet and there should have been more details on the current report.  The report stated that there would be staff reductions but this did not state at what level.  He asked if this was included in the financial improvement plan.

Mrs Jones stated that this was about reducing costs but guaranteeing service levels.  The financial improvement report identified the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Revenue and Capital Budget 2011/12 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To consider a report by the Head of Finance and Asset Management  (Reference 11/31 attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Head of Finance and Asset Management (Reference 11/31).  Councillor Fox passed on Councillor Marsden’s and Councillor Simpson's thanks to the Finance team for their hard work and this was endorsed by Cabinet.

Cabinet were informed that these recommendations were now out for consultation. This had been one of the hardest budgets to set with a 14.6 % cut to the budget.  Councillor Kenyon stated that this was a robust budget and protected the frontline.  Areas where the public had asked for less or more money had been acknowledged as far as possible.

Kerry Metcalfe stated that budget seminars were being held for Members prior to the full Council meeting on 25 February which would ultimately make the final decisions on the budget.  There would be a press release on this draft budget and there would be a feedback form on the Council’s website.  Each Member should receive a ward based profile by the end of the month.  The Council had balanced the budget with efficiency savings and no cuts to frontline services.  Next year it was likely that the Council would have to identify £2.5million of savings and Members would have to make difficult decisions and prioritise services.  Councillor Kenyon stressed the importance of Members attending the briefing sessions.

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

(i)         note and endorse the draft budget proposals set out in this report, and the linkages to the ‘Have Your Say’ budget consultation, prior to them being presented to Full Council for approval in February.

(ii)        agree for Officers to enter into a period of consultation on these proposals.

Reasons:

Full Council must approve the 2011/12 budget, and associated Council Tax level at its meeting on 25 February 2011.  It is important that the Council consults with the public and key stakeholders on its budget prior to it being approved, and that the areas identified in the consultation process are taken into consideration in the budget setting process. 

 

11.

Cell 1 Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme 2011-2016 pdf icon PDF 341 KB

To consider a report by the Head of Technical Services (Reference 11/23 attached).

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Head of Technical Services (Reference 11/23).  Cabinet were informed that this was good news as it endorsed the Council as being the lead authority from the Scottish borders to Flamborough Head and gave £3.1million of funding from the Environment agency.  It was noted that the work to be undertaken was very specialised and therefore it was not possible to carry out much of this in house.  The project management would be by the council.  It was noted that Cell 1 was 300km long.  Councillor Dixon asked if there was any risk of DEFRA clawing back the grant.  He was informed that this was a caveat that came with every grant but that DEFRA had not taken this action thus far on any scheme and it was considered a low risk.  It was acknowledged that this should have been included in the Risk Register for the report.

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

(i)         approve the Cell 1 Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme for 2011-2016;

(ii)        approve a capital budget of £3,100,000 which is to be financed 100% by Environment Agency grant funding;

(iii)       approve the use of the Council’s Strategic Coastal Monitoring Framework to determine a preferred consultant and contractors to undertake the study; and

(iv)       subject to satisfactory confirmation of the scope of the commissions, grant authority to enter into contract with preferred consultant and contractors.

Reasons:

To acquaint Cabinet with the details of and seek approval to the Cell 1 Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme 2011-2016.

 

12.

Robin Hood's Bay Coastal Strategy Study pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To consider a report by the Head of Technical Services (Reference 11/57 attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Head of Technical Services (Reference 11/57).  Cabinet were informed that was an overarching Shoreline management plan.  Below this were a number of strategies and this was one of them that gave the detail of how the Council would deliver the overall shoreline management policy.  It was noted that at this stage there was a need to get stakeholder engagement in the strategy for this area as there were detailed proposals in the strategy and it was only right that stakeholders should be able to comment on these proposals.  A report would be brought back to Cabinet for the final strategy.  Councillor Dixon stated that this report was late coming as the consultation was the next day.  Councillor Mortimer stated that this was a follow up since 1996 and it was important that the consultation went ahead.  Agreed to note the report rather than approve the contents.

RESOLVED that Cabinet note the Draft Robin Hood’s Bay Coastal Strategy Study as the basis for public consultation in January 2011.

Reasons:

To ensure that the Robin Hood’s Bay Coastal Strategy is informed by public comment.

 

13.

A64 Connectivity Study pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To consider a report by the Head of Technical Services (Reference 11/27 attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Head of Technical Services (Reference 11/27).  Cabinet were informed that this was quite complex and had short, medium and long term aims.  This was a milestone in the way that the A64 was being looked at.  It was noted that this had been a very comprehensive study and set out a blueprint to bring about improvements that would ultimately benefit the Borough or Scarborough.  The Council was at the end of the route so it was important that the Council kept a watching brief on progress and held the Department of Transport to account if progress was lacking.  In the short term there should be improvements to the bus/rail interchange in Scarborough.  The Park and Ride service to the north was currently purely an aspiration.  The Council had asked for better signage to the current Park and Ride.  It was also noted that the relocation of Seamer railway station was purely an aspiration at this stage.

The report was for improvement to the A64 but linked it to better public transport.

Cabinet discussed this report.  Councillor Jefferson stated that there should be more car parking at Seamer railway station.  Councillor Haycock agreed with this.  She also added that she was concerned regarding socio-demographic changes and the localised problems for Seamer.  She raised the issue of unemployment and the lack of help for longer term unemployed people.

Mr Riby stated that the demand for car parking at Seamer outstripped demand.  It was difficult to see how this could be managed without purchasing more land.  The rail service did however recognise that steps had to be taken regarding this.

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

(i)         receive and note the report of the Head of Technical Services, 10/741, to the Projects & Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee dated 15 December 2010;

(ii)        support/endorse the packages of measures set out at section 5 of this report;

(iii)       inform the County Council that the packages of measures identified be prioritised according to cost/benefit having regard to the success of funding bids;

(iv)       request that the study stakeholders implement a programme of periodic reviews to provide stocktakes and ongoing monitoring of the impacts of development growth upon the transport network;

(v)        request the inclusion of the Borough Council in these reviews and request that the reviews be held at regular intervals to reflect the periods in the Local Transport Plan;

(vi)       approve that officers use appropriate opportunities to elicit the views/perceptions of commuters and visitors on the performance of transport networks along the A64 corridor, for the purpose of identifying the impact of the A64 road corridor conditions on visitor attitudes to Scarborough, perceptions of existing transport provision and visitors’ willingness to return to Scarborough in the future;

(vii)      request the County Council to issue a copy of the final report of the A64 Corridor Connectivity Study to Mr Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Transport and to the MP for Scarborough and Whitby and other  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

(For Information)

14.

Cabinet (Grants and Relief) Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 44 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2010 (attached).

Minutes:

15.

Individual Cabinet Member Decisions pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To note the decisions of individual Cabinet Members (Reference 11/17 attached).

Minutes:

16.

Exclusion of the Public

To consider the following motion:-

“that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information (as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act) relating to the financial affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)”.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information (as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act) relating to the financial affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

(For Decision)

17.

North Street Car Park, Scarborough

To consider a joint report by the Strategic Director (David Archer), Head of Finance and Asset Management and Head of Legal and Support Services  (Reference 11/42 attached).

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a joint report by the Strategic Director (David Archer), Head of Finance and Asset Management and Head of Legal and Support Services (Reference 11/42).

RESOLVED that Cabinet :

(i)         approve in principle the release of North Street Car Park for development, subject to the constraint that any developer provide to the Council as part of any development at or in close proximity to the site equivalent car parking capacity, at no greater cost than that currently incurred by the Council in operating the existing site

(ii)        allow North Street Development to put forward an offer for the site; which addresses this constraint,  to enable consideration of whether the company may be capable of achieving Special Purchaser status.

Reasons:

(i)         To comply with the Council’s constitution.

(ii)        No compelling case has been made at the present time to show that treating with North Street Development would produce better value to the Council than a competitor.

(iii)       To expand and develop the town centre.

(iv)       To enable the present level of town centre car parking to continue in accordance with the Car Parking Strategy.