Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 20th October, 2015 10.00 am

Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 43 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 Donohue-Moncrieff declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 11, The Publication of the Proposed Submission of the Scarborough Borough Local Plan and, Subject to any Minor Amendments Resulting from the Representations Received, its Submission to the Secretary of Statement for Independent Examination, in her capacity as a member of Hunmanby Parish Council which owned a site specifically referred to in the Local Plan.

 

In respect of agenda item 6, Land at Danes Dyke, Newby, and a letter from Newby and Scalby Parish Council, which referred to a potential interest of Councillor Backhouse in this matter, Councillor Backhouse wished to clarify the employment position of his wife.  Mrs Backhouse had been employed by the Women’s Project, under the umbrella of the Cambridge Centre, on a fixed term contract which had ended on 30 September.  Mrs Backhouse had worked in this capacity providing support to female prison-leavers.  Since the contract had ended, this employment was no longer referred to in his Register of Interests.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 September 2015 (attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 15 September 2015 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 279 KB

To review the Cabinet’s Forward Plan (reference 15/276) attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Forward Plan (Reference 15/276) be approved.

 

5.

Progress of Scrutiny of Executive Decisions

To receive an oral report by the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

Members were reminded that two executive decisions had been called in for scrutiny and were considered by the Resources Scrutiny Committee on 29 September.  In both instances, the scrutiny committee had resolved to refer the original decision back to the decision-taker for reconsideration.  The decision in respect of the future use of Danes Dyke, Newby was the subject of a report at Item 6 on today’s agenda.  The Portfolio Holder for Harbours, Assets, Coast and Flood Protection has been asked to review his decision to release a restrictive covenant on the Eastfield Public House site in a report to be considered on 23 October.

 

6.

Land at Danes Dyke, Newby pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To consider a request by the Resources Scrutiny Committee that the Cabinet report of 14 July 2015 (reference 15/193) be referred back to Cabinet for further deliberation and an associated urgent report of the Directors (NE and LD) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Directors (LD and NE) (Reference 15/296) in respect of land at Danes Dyke, Newby.  Members were reminded that the Cabinet’s original decision dated 14 July to place the land on the open market and invite tenders for its purchase subject to planning permission, had been called in for scrutiny and had been considered by the Resources Scrutiny Committee.  At that meeting, the scrutiny committee had recommended that the Cabinet reconsider its decision for the reasons cited by the committee, noting in particular that the allocation of the land for a women’s refuge was required for the Borough as identified in the Housing Strategy 2013-16, and the increase in the Home Group’s financial offer for the land.  The decision before Cabinet in relation to Home Group’s revised offer was of an urgent nature because Home Group would lose funding secured to support its proposed development as a women’s refuge if they were unable to meet the grant funding deadlines of the Homes and Communities Agency.  In introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder for Harbours, Assets, Coast and Flood Protection, Councillor Cockerill reminded the meeting that the Cabinet’s original decision in July not only helped protect the finances of the Council, but also did not preclude any potential future development on the site.  He also referred to Home Group’s initial offer for the site of £50k which was significantly below the market value.  Despite some negative comments he and others had received about the Cabinet’s original decision, he believed that Home Group’s substantially increased revised offer, had in effect vindicated the Cabinet’s stance to hold out on the market value.  Councillor Cockerill also referred to the recent legal action which had overturned the national planning policy changes in respect of affordable housing introduced by the Government in November 2014, thus negating the previous independent valuation of the site.  Councillor Cockerill had however consulted with officers who had advised that the current valuation was still in the ball park of the original value.  His view therefore was that Home Group’s new offer was a realistic one.  He advised against marketing the site since this would incur further costs to the Council, may not result in an improved offer, and would delay a decision to the detriment of the current offer.  Accordingly, Councillor Cockerill proposed that (i) the Cabinet accept the fiscal basis of Home Group’s revised offer as stated in the letter from Home Group dated 16 September 2015, and (ii) freehold vacant possession is available.  For clarification, the qualification in the offer letter regarding the RICS valuation formed no part of his proposal, since if there had been any doubt about the valuation, then in his view, the offer should not have been submitted.  Members then discussed the report.  Most welcomed this positive development from Home Group, referring to the evidenced need for this new facility in the Borough, and the difficulty of the Cabinet’s decision made in July.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

(i)            note  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Performance Management Framework - Quarter 1 Report - 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To consider a report by the Director (LD) (reference 15/282) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the latest report by the Director (LD) (Reference 15/282) in respect of the Council’s performance.  Members were advised that only a small number of performance indicators met the criteria for ‘at risk’, but for each the risk was not deemed significant enough to warrant a referral to scrutiny.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

(i)            Note the results of the Performance Indicators for Quarter 1 2015/16

 

(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 a rolling 12 month period to the end of the first quarter of 2015/16, including monitoring of Performance Indicators. 

 

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.

 

8.

Annual Report and Improvement Plan 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To consider a report by the Director (LD) (reference 15/277) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 15/277) in respect of the Council’s Annual Report and Improvement Plan 2015/16.  Members welcomed the achievements highlighted in the report.  Questioned about the reduction in household waste recycling target from 45% to 40%, the Senior Performance and Governance Officer explained that 45% was a target included within a county wide recycling strategy.  However, in light of the Council’s performance in recent years, and without any new initiatives to try and achieve a significant increase in recycling, 40% was felt to be a more realistic target for the authority.  Councillor Chatt commented further that contamination of recycled materials was a key issue which needed to be addressed through greater enforcement.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet approve:

(i)            the publication of the Annual Report and Improvement Plan 2015/16

(ii)          the publication and distribution arrangements.

 

Reasons  

Current best practice and rules on Data Transparency require the Council to publish its performance information and to make the details available to the public and partners in as many formats as possible.

 

9.

Policy for Managing Unauthorised Encampments on Borough Council Land pdf icon PDF 395 KB

To consider a report by the Director (TW) (reference 15/280) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (TW) (Reference 15/280) which proposed a new policy for managing unauthorised encampments on Borough Council land.  Members were advised that the new policy provided a framework for the Council to act quickly, effectively but also proportionately in close cooperation with North Yorkshire Police.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet recommend that full Council:

(i)    Approve the proposed policy and procedure for responding to unauthorised encampments.

 

(ii)  Give delegated authority for the Director (TW) to amend the procedure as required, for example in light of experience and any changes in legislation.

 

Reasons

Having a clear policy and procedure for responding to unauthorised encampments will help ensure that the Council adopts a consistent and proportionate response. It shall also ensure that the Council acts lawfully and that the needs of the Council and community are balanced with the rights of the individuals concerned.

 

10.

Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document - November 2015 Update pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To consider a report by the Director (TW) (reference 15/237) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (TW) (Reference 15/237) which sought approval to update the Council’s Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document following the recent overturning of national planning policy changes introduced by the Ministerial Statement of November 2014.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet recommends that the Borough Council resolves to adopt the revised Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document incorporating the changes referred to in this report.

 

Reasons

Since the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was updated and adopted in July 2015, a recent High Court judgement has quashed the national planning policy changes introduced by the Ministerial Statement of November 2014. The relevant parts of the online Planning Practice Guidance have been immediately updated by Government, with the thresholds for the provision of affordable housing and the ‘vacant building credit’ rule both removed. As a consequence the Borough Council’s recently adopted Affordable Housing SPD is not in accordance with current national planning policy.

 

11.

The Publication of the Proposed Submission of the Scarborough Borough Local Plan and, Subject to any Minor Amendments Resulting from the Representations Received, its Submission to the Secretary of Statement for Independent Examination pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To consider a report by the Director (TW) (reference 15/238) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (TW) (Reference 15/238) which sought approval of the publication of the Proposed Submission Scarborough Borough Local Plan.  Members were reminded of the long, evolving journey in the preparation of the Local Plan which was now in a form ready for the last six week consultation stage prior to submission, and of the wider consultation process behind the preparation, including with all Borough councillors through various sessions and meetings.  The Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning and Transformation paid tribute to the hard work of both officers and members on this long journey.  The Forward Planning Manager then outlined the key elements of the Plan, the next stages in the process of the Plan’s approval, and tabled minor amendments to two of the development areas in the Plan: Scarborough Road, Filey and Lady Edith’s Drive, Scarborough.  It was also noted that on page 189 of the report under the Action Plan, the Examination in Public should read Summer 2016, not Summer 2015.  The Chair of the Planning and Development Committee then addressed the Cabinet, thanking all the members of the committee for their contributions and commending the Local Plan to the Cabinet for publication.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet recommends approval

(a)       of the publication of the Proposed Submission Scarborough Borough Local Plan for the six week representation stage under Regulation 19 of The Town & Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012;

 

(b)       that subject to any minor amendments agreed by the Chair/Vice Chair of Planning & Development Committee and the Planning Portfolio Holder, the Scarborough Borough Local Plan be submitted to the Secretary of State in accordance with Regulation 22 of The Town & Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012;

 

(c)       that the Borough Council formally request that the appointed Planning Inspector make any modifications to the Local Plan considered necessary to make the Local Plan sound, under Section 20(7c) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended);

 

(d)       subject to any modifications made under (c) by the Planning Inspector, that officers are granted delegated authority to consult on such modifications;

 

(e)       that following the receipt of the Inspectors Report upon conclusion of the Independent Examination (Regulation 24 of The Town & Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012) the Local Plan be brought back to Members for formal adoption; and

 

(f)        of the drawing down of circa £100,000 from the budget set aside for the Local Plan Examination in Public at the required time as requested by the Planning Inspectorate (2016/17).

 

Reasons

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004) and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) require local planning authorities to prepare local plan (formerly local development framework) documents that form part of the statutory development plan and are the basis for land use decisions, allocations and the determination of planning applications.

 

A fundamental requirement (Regulation 18 of the Town & Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012) of the overall local plan preparation process is widespread community and stakeholder engagement. Consequently over recent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Houses in Multiple Occupation Supplementary Planning Document - Adoption pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To consider a report by the Director (TW) (reference 15/264) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (TW) (Reference 15/264) which sought adoption of the new Houses in Multiple Occupation Supplementary Planning Document following consultation on the draft document over the summer.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet recommends that the Borough Council resolves to adopt the Houses in Multiple Occupation Supplementary Planning Document incorporating the changes referred to in the report.

 

Reasons

Since the feedback on the Draft Local Plan in summer 2014 which highlighted concern over the proliferation of Houses in Multiple Occupation, the Borough Council has sought to explore in detail the issues in relation to this form of housing. This Supplementary Planning Document provides a policy background that will allow the informed consideration of such proposals and provide adopted planning policy that is up to date and  of material weight to the consideration of planning applications involving the creation of additional  Houses in Multiple Occupation across the Borough.

 

13.

Modernising the Council - Update on Digital Implementation Plan (SWITCH Programme) and ICT Infrastructure Replacement Programme pdf icon PDF 364 KB

To consider a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (reference 15/287) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Deputy Chief Executive (Reference 15/287) which provided an update on the Digital Implementation Plan and sought approval of the procurement of two further technologies to facilitate remote working by officers.  Members were reminded of the work over the last two years to renew and update the Council’s ICT infrastructure providing the foundation for high quality services into the future.  The Plan centred on using technology to develop new ways of working that gave customers a better experience of contact with the Council, and provided staff with modern effective tools to increase productivity and help reduce the cost of delivering services.  Reference was made to paragraph 5 in the report and Appendix 1 which showed some of the benefits already being achieved both in terms of customers choosing to use the web and self-service and service areas utilising the technology -  in particular field officers being able to adopt mobile working.  Further, a multi-agency Digital Inclusion Partnership had been established to target those excluded from the social and economic benefits of these new and emerging technologies.  The action plan of the DIP was commended for its ambition in not only tackling digital exclusion, but also supporting people in using digital technology to improve every area of their lives.  Members were very enthusiastic about these developments and thanked the officers concerned for their efforts.  The Deputy Chief Executive assured the Cabinet that ongoing staff training was recognised as essential to the success of the programme.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

  1. Note the contents of the report and the progress made in modernising the Council through the Switch Programme and ICT infrastructure replacement programme. 

 

  1. Approve the procurement of two further technologies that will enable officers using Council provided laptops to work from anywhere that has a Wi-Fi connection, namely:

 

                      i.        Corporate virtual private network (VPN) access; and

                    ii.        ‘On network’ Wi-Fi.

 

  1. Note that the capital cost for securing these technologies is identified within the ICT Capital Development Fund and approved Financial Strategy.

 

  1. There is a revenue growth of up to a maximum of £6,000 per annum to increase the internet bandwidth and enable Wi-Fi access from all key Council buildings.  This will be achieved from the revenue savings identified in the corporate ICT budget for 2016/17 as part of the current budget setting process.

 

  1. Delegate authority to the Director (LD) to enter into the contracts for the corporate VPN access and on network Wi-Fi subject to the costs not exceeding the funding as identified in the financial implications (paragraph 6).

 

  1. Endorse the approach to digitising the Council and the development of a programme of continuous business improvement to realise the full benefits and efficiencies that can be achieved by embedding and utilising the new technology and Firmstep service delivery platform across all Council services.

 

Reasons

This report is to update members on progress made with the Council’s ICT infrastructure replacement programme and the Digital Implementation Plan (SWITCH programme); both previously approved by Cabinet at the following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Review of the Public Convenience Service - Report of the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee (SCR/15/03) pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider a report by the Director (NE) (reference 15/286) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 15/286) which presented the findings and recommendations of the recent scrutiny review of the Public Convenience Service (Phase 1).  In the absence of the Chair of the Task Group, Councillor Allanson, the report was introduced by the relevant Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Tourism and Culture, Councillor Backhouse.  The Portfolio Holder commended the work of the Task Group, particularly their initial work with parish councils to test the appetite to transfer facilities, and the principles for managing the Council’s facilities which were now accepted.  However, this discretionary service in its current form was simply not sustainable, and in light of the fiscal challenges facing the Council, a more comprehensive plan encompassing every facility in the Borough was required, and this needed to be developed and agreed soon.  He therefore proposed that officers in conjunction with himself, the Chair and other members of the Task Group undertake this work with a view to reporting back in early 2016.  Other Members commented on the report.  There was some frustration with the slow progress in this area, and recognition of the need to make some firm decisions soon, whilst adhering to the principles set out in the report.  One member of the Task Group, Councillor Mortimer noted that the review had examined all public conveniences in the Borough, even though a lasting solution had not been found for all of them.  Councillor Plant cited the example of the replacement of the Khyber Pass facility in Whitby which still had not been secured.  Councillor Cockerill responded that officers were currently exploring the potential of relocating public conveniences to the area of the Fish Quay and West Pier.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

(i)            thanks the Task Group for its work in undertaking this review; and

(ii)          tasks officers with the relevant Portfolio Holder to build upon the work of the Task Group and undertake a Borough wide review of public conveniences in consultation with the Chair of the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee and other remaining members of the Task Group.

 

Reasons

To deliver an improved and sustainable Public Convenience Service.

 

15.

Garden Waste Collection Strategy pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To consider a report by the Director (NE) (reference 15/285) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 15/285) seeking approval of a new Garden Waste Collection Strategy.  Members were advised that the proposals in the report to start charging for the collection of garden waste had been prompted by the ongoing significant financial pressures faced by the Council, the increasing cost of recycling, and the limited scope for further efficiencies in the waste collection service.  Furthermore, this was a popular, non-statutory service.  In introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Housing, Councillor Chatt proposed that the annual charge in recommendation (b) in the report be increased from £35 to £38, and obtain until April 2018.  Members then commented on the report and asked questions.  The Operations, Transport and Countryside Manager confirmed that there would be a grace period to enable residents to use up existing stocks of sacks.  Some Members were concerned at the risks in the proposals: the contamination of residual waste with grass cuttings, and the increase in fly-tipping.  To some, the £38 charge seemed excessive for 50 compostable sacks.  Others felt that the Council’s financial circumstances demanded this change in approach, and this would be the first of a series of difficult decisions to balance the Council’s budget.  Besides, charging had been introduced across other councils in North Yorkshire and officers had looked carefully at these other authorities.  Councillor Cluer addressed the Cabinet, on behalf of the Sustainability Working Group, reiterating some of these concerns, and adding the likely negative impact on the Council’s recycling rates, and increase in bonfires.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet approve the implementation of charging for garden waste collections from 1 March 2016 on a voluntary subscription basis with:

a)    detailed promotional literature to all households explaining the scheme and their options;

b)    an annual charge of £38 per licensed bin or £38 for 50 compostable sacks;

c)    a £20 discount in year one for residents who have previously purchased a brown bin from the Council

 

Reasons

Garden waste collection is a non-statutory service. To protect the service and ensure its continued provision, the recommendation proposes to introduce a subscription (opt-in) charge to offset the cost of providing the service.

 

16.

The Living Wage - Annual Review pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Executive (reference 15/196) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Chief Executive (Reference 15/196) which provided a review of the Council’s Living Wage pay supplement.  Members were advised of the various factors which needed to be taken into account when determining whether to continue with the pay supplement and at what rate: the increasing Living Wage supplement and its impact on the Council’s budget, the new National Living Wage to be introduced in April 2016, the impact on employee relations and the Council’s own pay and grading structure and pay differentials, and the position nationally in local government and across other authorities.  Members were uncomfortable with reducing the current level of the pay supplement, and felt it should be retained, but not increased.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet approves that:

(i) the Living Wage pay supplement be continued, and

(ii) the current rate of £7.65 per hour be retained noting the issues raised in this report.

 

Reasons

The report provided an update on the implementation of the Living Wage and invited Members to consider a number of issues as part of the annual review that was required to be undertaken in relation to the continued payment of the Living Wage and the payment of the increased hourly rate.

  

17.

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).

 

18.

Routine Property Transaction - Unit 2, Cholmley Way, Whitby

To consider a report by the Director (NE) (reference 15/256) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 15/256) seeking Members’ approval of the renewal of a lease.  The Portfolio Holder for Harbours, Assets, Coast and Flood Protection referred the issue of the financial threshold for the lease of land and property which dictated that such leases be decided by the Cabinet to the Governance Working Group to consider if it should be increased in line with other financial thresholds in the Constitution.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet approve the property transaction detailed in this report.

 

Reasons

To finalise the transaction in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

 

19.

Disposal of Land at Whitby Business Park

To consider a report by the Director (NE) (reference 15/291) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 15/291) seeking Members’ approval to dispose in principle four parcels of land at Whitby Business Park.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

(i)            approve the in principle disposal of the four parcels of land at the Whitby Business and Industrial Park as identified in the attached plan (Appendix 1);

 

(ii)          authorise Officers to market the parcels of land as appropriate, noting that Site 3 gives rise to the potential for Special Purchaser provision;

 

(iii)         authorise any marketing and sales costs exceeding those currently available, up to a budget of £10,000 to be funded from the capital receipts;

 

(iv)         note that further reports seeking final approval will be presented to the relevant authoriser dependant on the level of receipt in accordance with the Constitution.

 

Reasons

·         To utilise vacant plots of land, as outlined in Appendix 1, to support  the growth of businesses and employment in Whitby.

·         To obtain capital receipt for each site

·         To comply with the Council’s Constitution