Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 23rd July, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764626

Items
No. Item

12.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 18 June 2019 (copy enclosed). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 18 June 2019 were signed by the Leader as a correct record.

13.

Declarations of Interest.

(Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest to the meeting and leave the room without participating in any discussion or making a statement on the item, except where a Councillor is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of dispensation.)

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

14.

Questions raised by the public under the Council's Constitution (Standing Orders).

Minutes:

No questions were raised under the Council’s Constitution (Standing Orders).

15.

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

Minutes:

There were no matters subject to call-in.

16.

Matters arising from the Policy Development and Performance Monitoring Panels

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the Policy Development and Performance Monitoring Panels.

17.

Recycling Review pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To review the recycling materials collection in a trial area of South Holland (report of the Portfolio Holder Place and Executive Director Place enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Place and the Executive Director Place, which requested consideration of a review of the recycling materials collection in a trial area of South Holland.

 

Members were advised that the trial would now only be undertaken on one route, rather than two as detailed within the report, and as a result would only affect around 1800 residents.

 

The following points were raised by the Leader:

 

·         SHDC would only undertake the trial if Lincolnshire County Council funded it;

·         Any evaluation should include a comparison of costs (capital and ongoing) for collection of sacks as opposed to wheelie bins;

·         A customer satisfaction survey should be undertaken of the street scene after collection, and that updates be provided on a quarterly basis;

·         Communication of the recycling trial, and briefing of Portfolio Holders was required.

 

DECISION:

 

a)    That agreement be given to commence a one year trial of a two stream collection of recycling in the areas listed.

b)    That agreement be given to issue section 46 notice of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to those in the trial area to define what can be placed in the waste receptacles.

(Other options considered:

  • To do nothing, to not be part of the trial, and to not test SHDC’s methodology for collections prior to possible full County roll out.

Reasons for decision:

  • To enable SHDC to work closely with its partners in the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership to consider and establish an evidenced way forward for the recycling material in Lincolnshire
  • That by being part of the trial throughout its inception and delivery, and understanding the learnings of the trial, SHDC could help to shape it and ensure that the most appropriate methods are proposed going forward for the district’s residents, based on the evidence gathered throughout the trial and through best practice
  • That, as the trial was a partnership of the Waste Collection (districts) and Waste Disposal (county) Authorities, it would provide an opportunity to ensure that all were working together to establish the most practical, environmentally sustainable and economical way of delivering a two stream service that suited the needs of residents.)

 

(The Environmental Services Manager left the meeting following consideration of the above item).

18.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2020/21 - Consultation pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider options for the local Council Tax Support scheme for 2020/21 (report of the Portfolio Holder, Finance enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance which requested consideration of options for the local Council Tax Support scheme for 2020/21.

 

Some concern was raised regarding the tolerance rule for Universal Credit customer change in earnings, suggested at £15 per week.  It was felt that this low level would mean that some individuals could find themselves moving in and out of the benefit system, as a result of changes in earnings, and that this could result in frequent changes to their eligibility for Council Tax Support and therefore amounts of Council Tax to be paid.  Also, it was likely that administration of these changes would cost more than any increase in Council Tax gained by the Authority.  Officers responded that once the results of the consultation were known, further information would be provided on tolerance and modelling.  It was important to model in the fairest way, in as straightforward a way as possible for Council Tax payers, and of the least cost to the Authority.

 

DECISION:

 

That Cabinet approves consultation on the following options: -

 

a)    Uprating and harmonisation of the scheme as appropriate to the DWP welfare reforms in Housing Benefit and the prescribed scheme for pensioners for 2020/21 and future years;

 

b)    Introduce a link to the award of Universal Credit, removing the need for customers to make a separate application for Council Tax Support; and

 

c)    Introduce a tolerance rule for Universal Credit customer change in earnings, suggested £15 per week with the final amount determined through consultation and analysis.

(Other options considered:

  • To approve some, but not all of the options detailed in section 3 of the report; or
  • To do nothing, and retain the same scheme, unchanged for 2020/21 – the current scheme would continue into 2020/21 however, the benefits of the changes outlined in Section 3 of the report would not be achieved.

Reasons for decision:

  • To continue to align the Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme and uprating for working age customers with Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provisions for Housing Benefit and the CTS scheme for pensioners – this has been consistent each year since the introduction of local CTS schemes. By determining this for 2020/21 and future years, the need for this decision to be taken each year would be removed however, it would not prevent a different decision in future years if desired;
  • The recommendation to link CTS with the award for Universal Credit (UC) would make it simpler and more timely for customers to access CTS, preventing delay and potential loss in support; and
  • The recommendation to introduce a tolerance for earnings changes would reduce the number of notifications customers receive to amend their Council Tax payments, and provide stability for customer repayments, whilst at the same time reducing customer contact.)

19.

Q4 2018-19 Performance Overview Report pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To provide an update on how the Council is performing for the period 1st January 2019 to 31 March 2019 (report of the Portfolio Holder Governance and Customer enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Governance and Customer which provided an update on how the Council was performing, for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019.

 

The Leader commented that officers of the Authority should be congratulated on the good performance figures, in particular with regard to much improved performance in the areas of staff turnover and sickness levels. 

 

Housing re-let performance continued to improve however, it was noted that further improvement was still required.

 

DECISION:

 

That the content of the report be noted.

 

(Other options considered:

·         To do nothing.

Reasons for decision:

·         To ensure that the Council’s performance is properly scrutinised.)

 

(The Corporate Innovation, Change and Performance Manager left the meeting following discussion of the above item).

20.

Welland Homes Business Plan Update incorporating Bentley Court pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To present to the Council, as sole shareholder for Welland Homes Ltd, an updated Welland Homes Business Plan and a proposal from the company to purchase five houses for the purposes of market rental investment at Bentley Court, Spalding, and to put in place the necessary arrangements to enable the company to move into contract on the proposed acquisition, subject to the necessary shareholder approvals (report of the Portfolio Holder Housing and Executive Director Commercialisation (S151) enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and the Executive Director Commercialisation (S151), which presented to the Council, as sole shareholder for Welland Homes Ltd, an updated Welland Homes Business Plan and a proposal from the company to purchase five houses for the purposes of market rental investment at Bentley Court, Spalding, and to put in place the necessary arrangements to enable the company to move into contract on the proposed acquisition, subject  to the necessary shareholder approvals.

 

Members noted that the report contained information within the appendices that were not for publication by virtue of Paragraph 3 (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

Members agreed that only the principles of the report would be discussed and there was therefore no need for the meeting to go into private session.

 

DECISION:

 

a)    To approve the business case for the acquisition by Welland Homes Ltd of five houses at Bentley Court, Spalding, for the purposes of a market rental investment.

 

b)    That subject to the refreshed business plan and the budget being approved, that delegated authority be granted to the Executive Director - Commercialisation (the S151 Officer), to approve the terms of any loan agreements required and the value of any periodic cash flow payments to be made to the company, as required to support the company in the acquisition of the proposed investment properties.

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL:

 

c)    That the updated Welland Homes Business Plan be approved, and included as an amendment in the SHDC quarterly finance report to members for quarter 1 2019/20. The original Capital Program was, included as Appendix E to the Budget, Medium Term Plan and Capital Strategy Report to Council on 27th February 2019, as Item 11 on the agenda.

 

d)    To reaffirm the delegated authority, granted by Council on 25th March 2015, to the Executive Director – Commercialisation (the S151 Officer), to approve the final mix of use of reserves and borrowing in line with the business plan and Council Treasury Management Strategy.

 

(Other options considered:

·         To do nothing.  Without the approval of the shareholder, Welland Homes would be unable to proceed with the proposed investment.  This in turn would limit the delivery of housing from Welland Homes under the existing business plan and leave the company unable to deliver forecast returns.

Reasons for decision:

·         The acquisition of five homes would support the delivery of the wider Welland Homes Business Plan, which would in turn support the delivery of savings targets set out in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan.)

21.

Any other items which the Leader decides are urgent.

 

 

Note:         (i)      No other business is permitted unless by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the Minutes, the Leader is of the opinion that the item(s) should be considered as a matter of urgency. 

 

(ii)     Any urgent item of business that is a key decision must be dealt with in accordance with the Constitution’s Access to Information Procedure Rules.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

22.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

DECISION:

 

That, under section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, 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 Paragraphs 3 of part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

23.

Restricted minute

To sign as a correct record restricted minute number 11 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 18 June 2019 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the restricted minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 18 June 2019.

 

DECISION:

 

That the minutes be signed as a correct record.