Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 10th March, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough

Items
No. Item

Chairman's opening remarks

The Chair, Councillor Colling welcomed the three new Cabinet Members to the meeting and looked forward to their contributions to the work of the Cabinet.  Councillor Colling also extended the Cabinet’s congratulations to the Council’s coastal defence team for winning the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Civil Engineering Centenary Award for their work on the Whitby Piers project.

 

1.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Members are reminded of the need to consider whether they have a disclosable pecuniary, prejudicial or other (personal) interest to declare in any items on this agenda.  Details of any interest must be declared at the start of the meeting or as soon as any interest becomes apparent during the meeting.  The attached form must also be completed. Any advice required should ideally be sought before the day of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2020 attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

3.

Public Question Time

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

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that no public questions had been received.

 

4.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 428 KB

To review the Cabinet’s Forward Plan (reference 20/68) attached.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the Forward Plan (Reference 20/68).  A number of items to be deferred were reported: Digital Strategy, Scarborough Harbour Master Plan and Sands Development Phase from April to May.

RESOLVED that, subject to the above, the Forward Plan be approved.

 

5.

Progress of Scrutiny of Executive Decisions

To receive an oral report by the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

Members were advised that there had been no call-ins of executive decisions since the last meeting on 11 February.

 

6.

Schedule of Meetings 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To consider the report of the Director (LD) (reference 20/48) attached

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 20/48) in respect of the draft Schedule of Meetings for 2020-21.  Introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jefferson noted an amendment that the Licensing Committee meeting scheduled for 7 September 2020, should read 21 September 2020.  Members of the Cabinet raised issues of both evening meetings to cater for councillors who worked office hours, and the use of technology to enable councillors to access remotely member briefings.  In reply, the Chief Executive commented that the Governance Working Group would be looking at the first issue with a view to bringing proposals to the wider membership shortly, whilst the use of webcasting and daytime/evening start times was also being explored for member briefings.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet recommend that full Council:

i         note the change of date of the Council meeting on 11 May 2020 to 12 May 2020 for the reasons given in the report;

ii       approve the Schedule of Meetings 2020/21, subject to the amendment to the September meeting of the Licensing Committee described above.

 

Reasons

Approval of the Schedule of Meetings will ensure that Council business is conducted efficiently.

 

7.

Financial Monitoring Report 2019/20 - (Third Quarter to January 2020) pdf icon PDF 826 KB

To consider the report of the Director (NE) (reference 20/47) attached

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 20/47) in respect of the Council’s financial performance to the end of December 2019, updated to the end of January where possible.  Members were advised that a year end surplus of £135k was now projected, an increase from the £20k previously reported, and therefore an unplanned draw from the General Fund was now considered unlikely.  There were various reasons for the increase but the main one was that the income target for off-street car parks was now expected to be achieved.  Members’ attention was also drawn to items highlighted within section 3.1.8 of the report that may cause variances in the financial outturn for 2020/21, the various small capital projects which had been completed within budget, and to the report’s recommendations including a number of grants for Member approval and an update on the Forge Valley Boardwalk Project.  Asked when the additional highways works on the Futurist site were likely to be completed, the Accountancy Manager, Mr Hughes advised that he understood that they were to be completed before National Armed Forces Day, although he would provide a fuller reply to the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jefferson.  In respect of the Council’s financial resilience and the adequacy of the Council’s reserves in particular the Insurance Reserve, Members were advised that this reserve had been identified as at the lower end, and this would be addressed through the Council’s Financial Strategy, and through the Capital Strategy to be reviewed in the next months.  In respect of the £136k Rough Sleeping Initiative Grant which would provide funding for a Dedicated Mental Health Nurse, Rough Sleeping Co-ordinator and provide a Rough Sleeper Accommodation Fund, Mr Hughes was asked whether there were plans to continue these important services beyond the one year life of the grant.  In response, he advised that should this pilot scheme be successful, then yes, he hoped the services would continue.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

i)        Note the report and in particular:

         That a year end surplus of £135k is currently projected for the year ending 31 March 2020 and the need to make unplanned draws from the General Fund are considered unlikely; 

         The proposal to transfer any surplus achieved in the year to the General Fund Reserve;

         That a number of the areas showing a deficit within this report have been addressed within the 2020/21 budget setting process but there are still areas that require review;

         The full year projections include many one-off savings or income streams that are unlikely to recur in future years;

         The capital programme continues to operate within the overall parameters set in terms of contingency levels;

 

ii)        Approve acceptance of the following grants:

         £136,148 Rough Sleeping Initiative Grant from MHCLG, which will provide funding for a Dedicated Mental Health Nurse, Rough Sleeping Co-ordinator and provide a Rough Sleeper Accommodation Fund;

         £32,168 from various funders to deliver the POMOC

         £583,871 from Sustrans Limited to improve the Cinder  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Use of commuted sum to support affordable housing development in Staithes pdf icon PDF 386 KB

To consider the report of the Director (NE) (reference 20/58) attached

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 20/58) in respect of additional grant required to support an affordable housing development in Staithes.  Members were advised that the Council’s Rural Housing Enabler (RHE) had been working with Hinderwell Parish Council, York Housing Association and North York Moors National Park over a number of years to bring forward an affordable housing development in Staithes.  The scheme would provide 12 homes for rent and shared ownership for households in need with a local connection to Hinderwell Parish, and so was important for the future sustainability of this rural community.  The scheme received planning approval from North York Moors National Park in 2019 and work was due to start on site early this year. However, tender prices for the development were substantially higher than the pre-tender estimate. In addition, recent site investigations undertaken by the successful tenderer showed that information on previous drainage levels submitted by Yorkshire Water were found to be incorrect. As a result a new drainage solution was required, which had also increased the development costs.  The costs of these extra works were in excess of what YHA had previously anticipated for the scheme and would seriously affect the viability of the scheme to the extent that it may not go ahead.  The report recommended the use of £60,000 in Section 106 Affordable Housing commuted sums to help YHA meet the viability shortfall for the development and enable it to proceed.  Asked whether there were other affordable housing schemes in the pipeline which would benefit from similar use of Section 106 Affordable Housing commuted sums to make them viable, the Housing Strategy and Development Officer, Mr Burroughs advised that the Rural Housing Enabler was working on several schemes in the northern area which could also fall into this category.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet provide York Housing Association with a capital funding grant of £60,000 from the Council’s affordable housing commuted sum (S106) budget to enable a new affordable housing development at Hinderwell Lane, Staithes to proceed.

 

Reasons

To ensure that a proposed affordable housing development at Hinderwell Lane, Staithes can be taken forward.

 

9.

Performance Management Framework Quarter 3 report - 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 481 KB

To consider the report of the Director (LD) (reference 20/56) attached

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 20/56) in respect of the Council’s performance for a rolling 12 month period to the end of the third quarter of 2019/20.  Members were advised that there had been a slight increase in the number of performance indicators hitting the exception reporting trigger point, but no areas of significant concern.  Time taken to deal with complaints and respond to Freedom of Information requests was improving, and in the main, the Critical Success Factors and Priority Projects were on track.  Levels of sickness absence had increased but were being carefully monitored.  Members then commented on the report.  They were disappointed at the reduction in the number of leisure visits and the number of shows at the Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion, and asked whether the fact that the percentage of licensed vehicles that were broadly compliant with licensing laws had been highlighted as at risk, raised any safety issues.  Members were advised that the number of leisure visits was a data quality issue, since spectators were no longer included in the figures.  Over the next year, the targets would be reviewed and efforts would be made to ensure the data was recorded accurately.  In respect of the Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion, the contract with Sheffield International Venues was monitored whilst the South Cliff Stabilisation project was cited as a possible factor in the reduction in shows.  The Senior Performance and Governance Officer, Ms Jackson would provide a detailed reply to the Cabinet in respect of the licensed vehicles indicator.  In reply to a question of whether the long term sickness figures related to a health and safety training issue, Members were advised that the health and safety of staff was taken very seriously, and issues raised and monitored regularly including through meetings with the unions; however, an ageing workforce, particularly in the Council’s operational services, increased the likelihood of long term sickness.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet note the contents of this report and in particular the good/satisfactory levels of performance being achieved by services at the current time in particular:

 

1.     The good progress being made against the delivery of the Council’s Priority Projects Plan

2.     The continuing improvement in response times to complaints; and

3.     The increase in compliments received by the Council in relation to the carrying out of its services.

 

Reasons

To provide information relating to Council performance for a rolling 12 month period to the end of the third quarter of 2019/20, including monitoring of the Priority Performance Plan, Performance Indicators, Critical Success Factors, FOIs and Complaints. 

 

To ensure that the Council’s Corporate Service and Business planning processes are effective.

 

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. 

 

10.

Development of new industrial starter units at Discovery Way, Whitby pdf icon PDF 1019 KB

To consider the report of the Director (RB) (reference 20/57) attached

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (RB) (Reference 20/57) in respect of the development of new industrial starter units in Whitby Business Park.  Members were advised that the report set out a significant investment by the Council to the value of £1.25m to create 13,000 square foot of new industrial and starter business units, subject to the receipt of planning consent.  Funded by the Council’s Commercial Property Investment Fund, this would create seven new industrial units on land that had remained undeveloped for many years.  Further, the fact that each unit was subject to pre-let would suggest strong latent demand for such facilities which the Director, Mr Bradley and his colleagues in the Strategic Estates and Planning teams would consider how to take forward.  In addition to driving economic growth, the proposals would provide a development return rising to over 8% when business rates were factored in, which would help the Council narrow its funding gap in the years ahead.  In response to a question, Mr Bradley confirmed that the Council’s Regeneration team would undertake further analysis of this latent demand, to help identify what further development opportunities were available within the Council’s property portfolio to provide these types of facilities.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

1.     Approve that subject to the receipt of satisfactory planning permission that a budget of £1.254m be established for the creation of circa 13,000 sq ft of new industrial and business starter units (B1,B2 & B8) on Council owned land at the Whitby Business Park, Discovery Way; with the costs to be funded from the Commercial Property Investment Fund;

 

2.     Delegate authority to the Director (RB) to enter into the agreements for lease and leases of the industrial and business starter units, as detailed within this report;

 

3.     Approve the appointment of Code Building Solutions Ltd as the preferred Design and Build Contractor, 70five Ltd as Project Manager and  a  Supervisor (yet to be appointed) subject to the contract sums being within the scheme budget.

 

Reasons

·       To enable the Council to build a stronger commercial property portfolio, increase revenue and maximise value;

·       To stimulate economic growth in the Borough by providing commercial units due to latent demand in this location;

·       To make better use of the Council’s land assets;

·       To generate financial returns from the development and contribute towards the revenue shortfall as identified in the Financial Strategy.