Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 11th June, 2013 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber,

Contact: Christine Morgan  01775 764454

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 7 May 2013 (copy enclosed). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 May 2013 were signed by the Leader as a correct record.

2.

Declarations of Interest.

(Members are no longer required to declare personal of prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included in their Register of Interests.

 

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest.  In the interests of transparency, members may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item, that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.)   

 

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

3.

Questions raised by the public under Cabinet Procedure Rule 2.4.

Minutes:

No questions were raised under Cabinet Procedure Rule 2.4.

4.

To consider any matters which have been subject to call-in.

Minutes:

There were no matters subject to call-in.

5.

Final Report of the Vehicle Leasing Task Group (reconvened) pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To present the Final Report of the Vehicle Leasing Task Group (reconvened)  (report of the Vehicle Leasing Task Group enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the final report of the Vehicle Leasing Task Group (reconvened), containing recommendations which had been approved by the Policy Development Panel. 

 

The original Task Group had reported to the Cabinet on 14 June 2011 and as part of its recommendations within that report, it was proposed that the Task Group be reconvened in the autumn of 2011 to review the work carried out in respect of the replacement refuse fleet, scheduled for replacement in 2014.  The reconvened Task Group had commenced its work on 17 September 2012, and its scope had been as follows:

 

To give consideration to the following areas with a view to identifying areas where savings could be made:

 

·        Current arrangements for refuse vehicles – should the Council lease or buy its next fleet?;

·        Environmental specifications of the next fleet;

·        Progress on exploring the possibilities of working with other authorities (as agreed by Cabinet on 14 June 2011); and

·        The current arrangements for the staff casual/essential car user scheme and whether using pool cars would be a more cost effective alternative.

 

Councillor A Harrison, who had been a member of the Task Group, presented the recommendations to the Cabinet. 

 

Members stated that recommendations (c) and (d) were not Cabinet functions, as they related to Terms and Conditions of Service, and agreed that the Chief Executive should undertake any action on those two points.

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That the following recommendations of the Task Group be approved:

 

·        That the planned purchase of the Dennis Eagle refuse vehicles using the Weekly Collection Support Scheme funding received be supported; and

 

·        That investigations on alternative fuel vehicles not proceed any further as the technology was not advanced enough and experts had said that they were not viable.

 

b)     That the following recommendations of the Task Group be investigated further by the Chief Executive, as they related to Terms and Conditions of Service:

 

·        That as there were clear savings to be made, a review of the essential car user scheme be undertaken including:

 

o       The lump sum payment;

o       The pence per mile payment; and

o       The qualifying amount of mileage to become an essential car user.

 

·        That a pool car scheme be investigated which could work in conjunction with an essential car user scheme.

 

(Options:

  • Approve the Task Group’s Final Report and recommendations without amendments;
  • Do nothing

Reasons for Recommendations:

  • The Weekly Collection Support Bid had been successful and would be funding the new Refuse Collection Vehicles, there had been no clear indication that alternative fuel vehicles had proven technology to progress with further investigation.  Looking at alternative options for payments to essential/casual car users, for the use of their vehicles, in conjunction with a pool car scheme would prove to make significant savings and warrants further investigation.)

6.

Appointment of Panels and Working Parties pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Council in respect of the appointment of Panels and Working Parties (report of the Assistant Director, Democratic Services enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director Democratic Services on the recent recommendations of the Council in respect of the appointment of Panels and Working Parties etc.  The Cabinet was invited to determine whether such Panels or Working Parties falling under the delegated authority of the Cabinet should be re-established and, if so, to determine their terms of reference and composition.  Full details of the Panels and Working Parties referred to Cabinet by full Council together with their existing terms of reference and composition were set out within the report.

 

DECISION:

 

a)     Sustainable Communities Steering Group

 

That the Sustainable Communities Steering Group be re-established for the municipal year without amendment to its terms of reference or composition; and substitutions to be permitted where members form part of a political group subject to (i) substitutions applying for individual meetings only and (ii) the group leader or nominated representative submitting details to the Assistant Director, Democratic Services by noon on the day of the meeting, or at least 3 hours before the meeting, whichever is the sooner.  (Composition to be Councillors B Alcock, G R Aley, F Biggadike, C J T H Brewis, A Casson, R J H Creese, R Gambba-Jones, M Howard, H R Johnson, C Lawton, R M Rudkin and D J Wilkinson.)

 

b)     Housing Allocations Appeal Panel

 

That the Housing Allocations Appeal Panel be re-established for the municipal year without amendment to its terms of reference or composition; and no substitution arrangements be permitted other than those already detailed in the composition.  (Composition to be the Housing Strategic Lead Portfolio Holder, the Leader of the Opposition and one other councillor selected by the appropriate officer (currently the Housing Manager).)

 

c)      Discretionary Housing Payments Review Board

 

That the Discretionary Housing Payments Review Board be re-established for the municipal year without amendment to its terms of reference or composition; and no substitution arrangements be permitted other than those already detailed in the composition.  (Composition to be the Housing Strategic Lead Portfolio Holder, the Leader of the Opposition and one other councillor selected by the appropriate officer (currently the Assistant Director Democratic Services).)

 

d)     ICT Member Working Group

 

That the ICT Member Working Group be re-established for the municipal year without amendment to the terms of reference and without amendment to the composition; that substitution arrangements apply (including for the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services Performance and Business Development) where members form part of a political group subject to (i) substitutions applying for individual meetings only and (ii) the group leader or nominated representative submitting details to the Assistant Director Democratic Services by noon on the day of the meeting, or at least 3 hours before the meeting, whichever is the sooner.  (Composition to be Councillors G R Aley, M G Chandler, A Puttick, Portfolio Holder for Internal Services Performance and Business Development, S M Booth, R Perkins and S Wilkinson.)

 

e)     Internal Drainage Board (IDB) Liaison Arrangements Sub-Group

 

That the IDB Liaison Arrangements Sub-Group not be re-established as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Quarter 4 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 27 KB

To provide Members with a report on the Performance of the Council and the Priorities set out in the Corporate Plan 2011-2015 (joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development and the Assistant Director Democratic Services enclosed).

 



 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services Performance and Business Development and the Assistant Director Democratic Services, which provided members with a report on the Performance of the Council and the Priorities set out in the Corporate Plan 2011 – 2015.

 

Members did not find the current format of the Performance Report useful or user friendly, and questioned whether it had to be produced in the way that it was. The document needed to be a useful corporate document, to be used to assist both the Council and the Public.  It was agreed that the Leader and the Chief Executive meet to consider how to produce a document that was not resource intensive and that was easier for all users to understand.  

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That the report and appendices be noted; and

 

b)     That the Leader and the Chief Executive meet to consider the format of the Performance Report.

 

(Other options considered:

·        To continue to report at the level provided in Appendix A

·        Do nothing

Reasons for decision:

·        To provide a flexible platform for the monitoring and management of corporate priorities.

·         To ensure that the format of the performance report was user friendly and easy to understand).

8.

Financial Performance Quarter 4 2012-2013 pdf icon PDF 32 KB

To provide information on the draft year end financial position of the Council, as at  31 March 2013, and to approve recommendations (joint report of the  Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) enclosed.)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) which provided information on the draft year end financial position of the Council, as at 31 March 2013

 

The covering report indicated a number of recommendations, with some decisions to be made by the Cabinet and some to be referred to Council.

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That the report and Appendix 1 be noted.

 

b)     That the draft year end position on the 2012-13 revenue budget be noted;

 

c)      That the expenditure which had been drawn down from reserves, in line with actual spend in year, be noted;

 

d)     That the draft outturn on Spalding Special Expenses for 2012-13 be noted;

 

e)     That the year end position on the 2012-13 Housing Revenue Account be noted;

 

f)        That the 2012-13 Capital Programme outturn be noted; and

 

g)     That the year end position for the Council’s 2012-13 Treasury outturn be noted.

 

RECOMMENDED TO FULL COUNCIL:

 

a)     That the following movements to specific reserves be agreed:

 

·        A transfer to reserve of £10,750 for the Holbeach Regeneration project;

·        An amount of £10,000 to be earmarked for a shared South Holland and Breckland District Council Environmental Health Civica development project;

·        An amount of £14,806 to be transferred to reserve for the DWP Implementing Welfare Reform grant;

·        50% of underspent Delegated members budget to be transferred to reserve of £27,936, for use in the next financial year;

·        The Waste Incentive grant £355,214 received not yet spent, to be transferred to reserve;

·        £2,000 for the Energy Advice Officer to be transferred to reserve to extend the energy advice work into 2013-14;

·        An amount of £8,600 for Phase Two of the South Holland Centre Feasibility Study;

·        A contribution from reserves for £8,320 for Pedals Cycling Group from the S106 revenue reserve

·        A contribution to the Planning reserve for £6,500 for Ocella modules as part of ongoing planning Service Improvements;

·        The balance of the unspent £84,000 Council Tax Reform grant (£24,174) to be transferred to the Council Tax reserve;

·        To transfer £250,000 to the Council Tax reserve; and

·        To transfer £400,000 to the Capital reserve

 

b)     That the transfer of £35,460 to the Spalding Special Reserve be approved;

 

c)      That the financing of the 2012-13 Capital Programme be approved;

 

d)     That the Capital Programme for 2013-14 and associated financing be amended to reflect the schemes requested to be carried forward from 2012-13;

 

e)     That the Disabled Facilities Grant Budget for 2013/14 be increased by £4,717 to reflect the actual grant received

 

(Other options considered:

  • Not to approve the recommendations detailed in appendix 1
  • To approve the recommendations with amendments

Reasons for decision:

  • To provide timely information to councillors on the overall finances of the Council and to make the best use of resources available.)

9.

Write Offs pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To recommend writing off irrecoverable debts.  (Joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) enclosed.)  (Please note that the appendices associated with this report are not for publication by virtue of Paragraphs 1 (Information relating to any individual) and 3 (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) in Part 1 of Schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972, and are therefore attached to this agenda as item 13.)

 

 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) which sought approval to write off irrecoverable debts.

 

Members noted that the appendices were not for publication by virtue of Paragraphs 1 (Information relating to any individual) and 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) in Part 1 of Schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972.  The appendices were therefore attached as agenda item 13, for members to consider in more depth if they wished.

 

The Monitoring Officer advised that she was continuing to seek legal advice regarding what information detailed within the Write-Off reports could be published and what information should be considered as confidential.  She reported that she had been advised that the Data Protection Act did not relate to companies and that information relating to them could therefore be potentially placed in the public domain. 

 

Members commented that there was an issue with regard to public perception of write-offs, and that it should be made clear that the Authority rigorously pursued non payers.  In addition, where information was available within the public domain, the reason for non payment should be clarified, as there were sometimes genuine reasons for the debt occurring.

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That the following debts be written off:

 

Council Tax                                              £ 6,115.75                

Non Domestic Rates                              £ 2,236.55

Sundry Debtors                                       £12,553.29

Former Tenant Arrears                           £16,022.09

Housing Benefit Overpayment               £ 5,856.84

Total                                                         £42,784.52

 

b)     That the Authority make it clear that it rigorously pursued non payment of sums due; and

 

c)   That where information was available within the public domain, the reason for non payment be clarified, as there were sometimes genuine reasons for the debt occurring.

 

(Other options considered:

·        To approve the recommendation with amendments; or

·        Do nothing.

Reasons for decision:

All recovery methods available had been considered and where appropriate pursued before making the decision to write off).

10.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

DECISION:

 

To consider resolving that, under 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 Paragraphs 1 and 3 of part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

11.

Write Offs

Appendix (Enclosed)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the appendices relating to the joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) which sought approval to write off irrecoverable debts.

 

This item had been dealt with earlier in the meeting, under agenda item 10.

 

Members commented that some of the amounts detailed were sizeable and questioned how quickly debts were pursued from the outset.  The Assistant Director Finance (S151) advised that he would provide members with information on the recovery procedures and provide additional detail on the sundry debtor case.

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That the Assistant Director Finance (S151) provide a report detailing how some of the larger amounts detailed within the write-off report had arisen; and

 

b)     That the Assistant Director Finance (S151) provide members with details of the recovery procedure.

 

(Other options considered:

  • Do nothing.

Reasons for decision:

  • To provide a more detailed level of information for Portfolio Holders to consider before any decision be made to write off.)