Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday, 17th December, 2014 10.00 am

Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Members are reminded of the need to consider whether they have a personal or prejudicial interest, or a disclosable pecuniary interest, to declare in any of the items on this agenda.  If so, the nature of the interest must be declared at the start of the meeting or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.  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:

Councillor Bastiman declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 8, North Yorkshire County Council Grass Cutting Service Level Agreement, in his capacity as a Member of North Yorkshire County Council.  He also declared a personal interest in agenda item 15, Holbeck Land Disposal, since Bidder 2 was known to him.

 

Councillor Chance declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 8, North Yorkshire County Council Grass Cutting Service Level Agreement, in his capacity as a Member of North Yorkshire County Council.  He also declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 10, The Future of Staithes as a Designated Bathing Beach, since Staithes was in his County division, and he was also a member of the North York Moors National Park Authority which had been consulted on the proposals in the report.  Lastly, he declared a personal interest in agenda item 16, Whitby Golf Club, since he had friends and relatives who were members of Whitby Golf Club.

 

Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 7, Local Lettings Agreement at Helredale and St Peter's Road Development, Whitby, since she was a Council representative on the Board of Yorkshire Coast Homes.

 

Councillor Fox declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 7, Local Lettings Agreement at Helredale and St Peter's Road Development, Whitby, since his wife was the Chair of the Board of Yorkshire Coast Homes.

 

Councillor Marsden declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 8, North Yorkshire County Council Grass Cutting Service Level Agreement, in her capacity as a Member of North Yorkshire County Council.

 

Dispensations – agenda item 8, North Yorkshire County Council Grass Cutting Service Level Agreement

 

Both Councillors Bastiman and Chance were successful in obtaining dispensations from the Council’s Monitoring Officer to participate in the debate and decision in respect of this item for the following reasons:

Councillor Bastiman – as Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategic Planning, the effect of reduced grass cutting could have an adverse effect on any future investment / development, which would in turn have an effect on the overall economy of the Borough.

Councillor Chance –the variation or cancellation of the North Yorkshire County Council Grass Cutting SLA directly impacted on his portfolio of Tourism and Culture. The decision taken at County Hall, as part of the budget process, in no way reflected any view he might take as a Cabinet Member of Scarborough Borough Council upon the impact of said decision upon the Borough.  He was seeking a dispensation to allow him to represent the electorate of Scarborough Borough in this matter. He would retain an open mind and would cast his vote based upon the report before the Cabinet and its implications for the people of the Borough of Scarborough whom he represented.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2014 (attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2014 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 174 KB

To review the Cabinet’s Forward Plan (reference 14/430) attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Forward Plan (Reference 14/430) be approved.

 

5.

Progress of Scrutiny of Executive Decisions

To receive an oral report by the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

Members were informed that there had been no call-ins of executive decisions since the last meeting on 18 November 2014.

 

6.

Local Support for Council Tax 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To consider a report by the Director of Service Delivery (reference 14/413) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Service Delivery (Reference 14/413) which presented the Local Support for Council Tax (LSCT) scheme for 2015/16 for Members’ approval.  The report was introduced by the Corporate Advisor on Welfare Reform, Mr David Ponton-Brown, who Members thanked for his excellent service to the Council on the occasion of his retirement.  Members welcomed the proposed continuation of the flat rate of the 90% maximum eligible Council Tax liability which did not disadvantage any particular group whilst noting other relevant factors such as the latest financial and caseload projections, Council Tax collection rates, the impact on the local economy and overall financial disadvantage to residents.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet note the contents of the report and recommend that the Council approve the local support for Council Tax (LSCT) scheme for 2015/16 in accordance with Schedule 1A Section 13A of the  Local Government Finance Act 1992 (Council Tax Reduction Schemes) comprising (working age only) :

·      A maximum eligible Council Tax liability of 90% used in the calculation of LSCT (resulting in a minimum Council Tax bill of 10% for all working age households); and

·      Retention of all other elements of the 2014/15 LSCT scheme

 

Reasons 

The Council approved and implemented a one year LSCT scheme for 2014/15 and has to agree and set a scheme for providing financial support for Council Tax in 2015/16 by 31 January 2015 which means that approval will be sought from full Council on 12 January 2015.

 

The Welfare Reform/LSCT task group has been working on scheme options and considered the latest budget situation and forecasts of future caseload trends.

 

A report to Resources Scrutiny Committee (14/389) on 25 November recommended no changes to the 90% maximum liability scheme approved by Council on 6 January 2014 for 2014/15.

 

7.

Local Lettings Agreement at Helredale and St Peter's Road Development, Whitby pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To consider a report by the Director of Service Delivery (reference 14/405) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Service Delivery (Reference 14/405) which proposed a Local Lettings Agreement for the Helredale and St Peters Road development in Whitby.  Members were advised that this was a positive report responding to the acute local housing need in Whitby which would give additional preference to residents in the Whitby area to this new affordable housing through the Choice Based Lettings system.  For new larger developments, the Council would seek to adopt similar agreements in other areas of the Borough, although the report alluded to the disadvantages of extending this approach more broadly to relets.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet approve the adoption of a Local Lettings Agreement in respect of the allocation of the affordable rented homes at the Yorkshire Coast Homes development at Helredale and St Peters Road, Whitby.

 

Reasons

To ensure that additional preference is given to households from Whitby in respect of the allocation of 91 new affordable rented homes being developed by Yorkshire Coast Homes at Helredale and St Peters Road, Whitby.

 

(In accordance with their declarations under Minute 1, Councillors Donohue-Moncrieff and the Chair, Councillor Fox both left the meeting during the debate and determination of the above item.  Councillor Bastiman took the Chair during Councillor Fox’s absence.)

 

8.

North Yorkshire County Council Grass Cutting Service Level Agreement pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider a report by the Director of Service Delivery (reference 14/421) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Service Delivery (Reference 14/421) which proposed various actions for the Borough Council to take in response to the County Council’s decision to limit the areas it will fund grass-cutting to those on highways safety grounds (about 80% reduction in area).  Members were advised that grass was cut across the Borough under a number of different regimes: the County Council contracted both the Borough Council and parish councils to cut the grass on verges it owned, and the Borough Council also maintained some 190,000 sqm of its own grass verges.  The drastic reduction in area (and corresponding budget for the Borough Council’s contract with the County Council – from c. £137k to c. £37k p.a.) had far reaching implications for the appearance of the Borough in rural, urban and suburban areas, but also for the suitability of the Council’s equipment, and in respect of the Council’s own budgets and staff.  The report proposed that in various ways the Council maximise the benefit from the existing service, albeit with significantly less funding.  The Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Culture and Member of the County Council, Councillor Chance commented that he vehemently opposed the County Council’s proposals because of the potential effect on the appearance of the Borough and thus on the local visitor economy.  He warned that in the public’s eye the Borough Council would bear the brunt of the blame, adding that the resulting complaints should be redirected to the County Council.  Other Cabinet Members echoed these concerns, also referring to the increased risks of disposing of clinical waste found on less maintained verges, the risks to children walking to school, and to ramblers.  All agreed that the current Service Level Agreement with the County Council was both unacceptable and unworkable.  There was also opposition to asking parish councils to make up the funding shortfall, which could entail parish councils subsidising non-parished areas of the Borough.  Local ward councillor, Amanda Robinson addressed the Cabinet with her concerns about the publicly owned gardens in Ramshill ward, and the impact on crime prevention and fear of crime.  The meeting was informed that since these gardens were owned by the Borough Council, the grass would continue to be cut as before; but if Ramshill were parished, then the local area would have the opportunity to enhance the service through the parish precept.  The Chief Executive reported that he and the Director of Service Delivery would be meeting with their counterparts at the County Council early in the new year to review the current Service Level Agreement and explore ways to minimise the impact of the County Council’s proposals.  The Cabinet agreed that Councillor Chatt should also attend to represent the Cabinet.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

(i)            note the decision of North Yorkshire County Council to cease to fund most highway verge grass cutting; and

(ii)          defer a decision to enable the Chief Executive, Director of Service Delivery and Councillor Chatt to enter negotiations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Draft Revenue Budget 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 390 KB

To consider a report by the Director of Business Support (reference 14/431) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Business Support (Reference 14/431) which set out the Council’s Tax Base, draft revenue budget proposals and Council Tax levels for 2015/16.  Members were advised that preparation for the 2015/16 budget had started the previous year, and after a rigorous review process, a total of £2.632m of savings had been identified (outlined in Appendix A3), which still left a further £224k of savings to find.  Further proposals to meet this funding gap and achieve a balanced budget would be presented to the Cabinet in January, but in the meantime the Council would launch a public consultation on the draft budget proposals including the two alternative Council Tax levels in the report.  In the longer term, it was clear that the Government was only half way through its austerity programme, and the Council was reaching the stage when more frontline services would be affected.  However, on the positive side, despite the funding pressures, the draft budget made provision for £568k ongoing investment in a range of priority areas including the Water Park and Leisure Village. In addition, the Council had secured £160.5k of Government funding to participate with local partners in an anti-fraud initiative.  Members commented on the draft budget reiterating the importance of considering the impact of savings proposals to avoid unintended consequences (and costs in the long run) of considering alternative ways of delivering services.

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet approve: 

 

i.                 the Council Tax Base for 2015/16 as 36,225.58 Band D equivalent properties;

ii.                that a surplus of £1.008 million be declared on the Council Tax Collection Fund. This surplus will be distributed in proportion to the share of Council Tax attributable to each precepting authority and the Borough Council's share of the surplus will equate to a one-off sum of £136,383;

iii.              that as the Council Tax surplus is one off funding it be earmarked for the Council’s Investment Management Plan;

iv.              that authority to approve the NNDR1 Return be delegated to the Director of Business Support;

v.               the acceptance of a £160,500 grant from the Department of Communities and Local Government to tackle fraud by establishing a Yorkshire Coast fraud hub led by the Borough Council. The hub will be a joint partnership between the Borough Council, Yorkshire Coast Homes, North Yorkshire Police, and the Clinical Commissioning Group.

and:

vi.              endorse the draft budget proposals set out in the appendices to this report prior to them being re-presented to Cabinet and Full Council for approval in February; with particular attention being given to the savings proposals listed at Appendix A3. If any savings proposals listed are deemed by Members to be unacceptable alternative savings of an equivalent value must be identified;

vii.            Note that the funding gap in 2015/16 totals £2.857 million and savings identified to date total £2.633 million therefore savings of £224k still need to be identified in order to set a balanced budget;

 

viii.           that a decision has yet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

The Future of Staithes as a Designated Bathing Beach pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Executive (reference 14/375) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Chief Executive (Reference 14/375) in respect of the proposed de-designation of Staithes bathing beach.  Members were advised that the proposals in the report sought to accentuate the positive aspects of the village of Staithes as a visitor destination, whilst noting that despite considerable efforts by the Bathing Water Partnership and local stakeholders, the bathing water quality there was very unlikely to achieve the minimum standard of ‘sufficient’ under the revised Bathing Water Directive, usage was low, and therefore de-designation of the bathing water in a controlled manner was identified as the preferred option.  Members were reassured that following de-designation, sympathetic signs would be erected alerting visitors that to this fact.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet approves that the Council as the beach controller submits an application to DEFRA (Department of Farming and Rural Affairs) to de-designate the bathing beach at Staithes based on low bather numbers and inability to identify a solution that would offer a significant enough improvement in bathing water quality for it to reliably achieve the minimum standard of ‘Sufficient’ under the new standards of the revised Bathing Water Directive (2015). 

 

Reasons

The main criterion for de-designation of bathing beaches is low bather numbers (anybody swimming or paddling in the water is considered to be a bather).

 

A Beach User Survey conducted between 11am and 3pm over 20 days, including weekends and a Bank holiday in August, September and October 2013 identified very low bathing numbers at Staithes (35 swimmers and 362 paddlers out of a total number of 6,392 beach users).

 

Applications for de-designation on water quality grounds will not be granted by DEFRA. However it should be noted by Members that: 

 

·         Efforts by the Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership to mitigate the sources of pollution at Staithes using a range of measures have been unable to identify a solution that would offer a significant enough improvement in bathing water quality for it to reliably achieve the minimum standard of ‘Sufficient’ under the new standards of the revised Bathing Water Directive. 

 

·         There is a significant risk that achieving ‘Poor’ in the annual bathing water quality results and a potential de-designation by default after five years of ‘Poor’ results will result in negative publicity and could adversely affect tourism.

 

·         Signage on the access points onto the beach highlighting ‘Poor’ water quality and advising against swimming after every “Poor” annual result and permanent signage highlighting ‘Poor’ water quality and advising against swimming following de-designation by default after 5 years of “Poor” water  quality will reinforce this negative publicity and could adversely affect tourism.

 

·         De-designation of the bathing water in a controlled manner is seen as a preferred option to negate the need for such signage and avoid the adverse effects on tourism.

 

(In accordance with his declaration under Minute 1, Councillor Chance left the meeting during the debate and determination of the above item.)

 

11.

North East Coast Environmental Assessment Studies pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Executive (reference 14/410) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Chief Executive (Reference 14/410) seeking approval to undertake a pioneering coastal sediment cell study which had been 100% grant funded by the Government.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet approve:

i.        that a combined Water Framework Directive assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment for Coastal Sediment Cell 1 (St Abbs Head to  Flamborough Head) be undertaken;

ii.        the appointment of consultants, selected through a competitive tendering exercise via the YORconsult Framework, to assist with the development of the study

iii.       the acceptance of 100% grant funding of £150,000 provided by the Environment Agency and Regional Flood and Coastal Committee Local Levy. No funding contribution is required from Scarborough Borough Council to undertake this study.

 

Reasons 

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) came into force in 2000 and is one of the most substantial pieces of European water legislation to date. The purpose of the WFD is to establish a framework for protecting inland surface waters, transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwaters. The directive needs to be taken into account in the planning of all new activities in the water environment. 

 

Therefore, the Environment Agency (the competent authority in England responsible for delivering the WFD) has recommended that decisions setting policy, including large-scale plans such as the Councils adopted Shoreline Management Plan 2, take account of the requirements of the Directive.

 

The two Shoreline Management Plans covering the North East Coast (Northumberland and North Tyneside SMP2 and the Councils River Tyne to Flamborough Head SMP2) included Environmental Assessments integrated into the process of setting out coastal policy.  However these Environmental Assessments considered the potential effects of implementing each policy in isolation.  The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will consider the potential environmental effects of implementing the SMP2s policies in combination over the coastline from St Abbs Head to Flamborough Head. Although the WFD and SEA are standalone documents the combined investigation approach adds value and saves on duplication of data collection and analysis.

 

12.

Performance Management Framework - Quarter 2 Monitoring 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 364 KB

To consider a report by the Director of Democratic and Legal Services (reference 14/420) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Democratic and Legal Services (Reference 14/420) in respect of the performance of the Council’s services for the second quarter of 2014/15.  Members were advised that the overall picture was good and the areas of concern identified in Appendix A were all being satisfactorily addressed.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

(i)            Note the results of the Performance Monitoring for the quarter 2 period 2014/15.

 

(ii)          Note the good/satisfactory levels of performance being achieved by services at the current time.

 

Reasons 

To provide information relating to Council performance for quarter 2 2014/15, covering the period March 2014 to September 2014 inclusive.

 

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. 

 

13.

Tour de Yorkshire Cycle Race pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To consider a report by the Director of Service Delivery (reference 14/427) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Service Delivery (Reference 14/427) seeking Members’ views on an offer for Scarborough to be a ‘host city’ for a new cycle race, the Tour de Yorkshire 2015.  The report set out the potential benefits of hosting the tour, including the international promotion of the Borough and significant visitor numbers, but also the total cost to the Council of accepting the offer – some £135k – at a time of considerable pressure on the Council’s budgets.  Although the report in paragraph 1.4 recommended that the matter be referred to full Council for final decision since there was no identified budget for the costs, the fact that a decision was required by 22 December, meant the matter now had urgent decision status, which would entail obtaining the agreement of the relevant scrutiny committee chair to go ahead.  The offer divided opinion among the Cabinet.  Some Members believed this was too good an opportunity to miss to provide a welcome boost to the local tourist economy.  Others felt that this new race, without an established pedigree, was too much of a risk for the Council to invest in, at a time of severe budgetary constraints.  In the event, the majority view was to accept this offer from Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet note:

i.              the potential benefits and financial implications of hosting the Tour de Yorkshire;

 

ii.            that in order for Scarborough to be included within the proposed Tour de Yorkshire as a host city, the Council must notify the organisers of its decision by 22 December 2014, or the opportunity will be lost

 

and give approval to:

 

iii.           host the Tour de Yorkshire Cycle Race at a cost of £135,000 (to be funded from the estimated year end surplus).

 

Reasons 

To inform Members of an approach from Welcome to Yorkshire (WtY) and Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to offer Scarborough the status of a “host city” of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2015.  In essence this would mean that Scarborough would be the starting location for racing on one day of the tour.  The organisers are seeking a financial contribution from the Council to take part in this event and there would also be additional expenditure required to deliver appropriate infrastructure and support for the day itself.

 

In order to meet the timescales necessary to implement this project, WtY has informed the Chief Executive that they require the Council to commit to hosting the race by 22 December 2014.

 

14.

Exclusion of the Public

To consider the following motion:-

“that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (and subject to consideration of the public interest under Paragraph 10 of Part 2 of Schedule 12A of the Act) the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information (as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act), namely information;

(a) relating to any individual;

(b) which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual; and/or

(c) relating to the financial or business 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 (and subject to consideration of the public interest under Paragraph 10 of Part 2 of Schedule 12A of the Act) the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information (as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act), namely information;

(a) relating to any individual;

(b) which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual; and/or

(c) relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

15.

Holbeck Land Disposal

To consider a report by the Director of Business Support (reference 14/406) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Business Support (Reference 14/406) in respect of the sale of a parcel of land at Holbeck Hill, Scarborough.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

 i.             consider the objections received in relation to the sale of Public Open Space at Holbeck Hill, Scarborough;

ii.             accept the offer from Bidder 1 for the freehold purchase of land edged red on Appendix 1 as outlined in the report.

 

Reasons

·      To obtain a capital receipt to assist the Council in meeting its corporate objectives.

·      To approve the terms in respect of the disposal.

·      To comply with the Council’s Constitution and Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

16.

Whitby Golf Club

To consider a report by the Director of Business Support (reference 14/412) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Business Support (Reference 14/412) in respect of Whitby Golf Club.

RESOLVED that the recommendations in the report be approved as recorded in the Council’s Restricted Minute Book.

 

Reasons

As recorded in the Council’s Restricted Minute Book.

 

17.

Sale of Land and Rationalisation of the Existing Tennis Provision at South Dene, Filey

To consider a report by the Director of Business Support (reference 14/411) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Business Support (Reference 14/411) in respect of the sale of land and rationalisation of the existing tennis provision at Southdene, Filey.  Members were advised that Tender Offer 1 would deliver new tennis facilities in accordance with the specification, and a housing scheme, including s.106 payments and the provision of affordable housing.  The Director of Business Support stated that Filey Town Council had written to the Council raising concern that any financial offer may fall short of their expectation and hopes for the use of this capital receipt to support Filey improvements. The Council had not divulged any details of the bid proposals nor made any commitments on the potential capital receipt.  The Cabinet Member for Harbours, Assets, Coast and Flood Protection, Councillor Cockerill  expressed disappointment with the value of Tender Offer 1, and proposed that officers investigate alternative opportunities, but the majority view of the Cabinet was to accept the offer.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet accept Tender Offer 1 in Appendix 3 of the report.

 

Reasons

(i)            To achieve a capital receipt from the sale of the site subject to obtaining planning permission.

(ii)          To provide a new reduced, but improved, tennis provision in the centre of Filey subject to obtaining planning permission.

(iii)         To comply with the Council’s Constitution.

 

18.

Restricted Minute (14/393)

Minutes:

The restricted minute of the meeting held on 18 November 2014 in respect of Eskside Wharf, Whitby was agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.