Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 19th June, 2012 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Amanda Taylor  01775 764837

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 3 April 2012 (copy enclosed). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 3 April 2012 were signed by the Leader as a correct record.

2.

Declarations of Interest.

Minutes:

There were none.

3.

Questions raised by the public under Cabinet Procedure Rule 2.4.

Minutes:

No questions were raised by the public 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.

To consider matters arising from the Policy Development and Performance Monitoring Panels in accordance with the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure or the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules.

Minutes:

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

6.

Appointment to Panels and Working Parties pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To consider 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; no alterations be made to its composition and substitutions 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, S Keeble, R M Rudkin and D J Wilkinson.)

 

a)     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).)

 

b)     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).)

 

c)      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.)

 

d)     Internal Drainage Board (IDB)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Q4 2011/12 Performance Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 30 KB

For Information and Scrutiny.  (Joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development and the Assistant Director of Democratic Services enclosed.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development and the Assistant Director Democratic Services which provided information on the fourth quarterly performance monitoring report covering the period 1 January to 31 March 2012, a copy of which was attached as Appendix A within the report.

 

Councillor G J Taylor advised that Breckland District Council were taking on the same format as South Holland District Council regarding performance monitoring. 

 

The Chief Executive stated that, in terms of monitoring performance, when the present Government came into power a lot of the national indicators were stripped.  However, the Council was still continuing to use them and he has discussed with managers the possibility of reviewing them.  He suggested that the Portfolio Holders may wish to liaise with their managers to review their performance indicators to ensure they remained meaningful. 

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That the report be received;

 

a)     That Portfolio Holders and managers liaise and review their performance indicators;

 

b)     That it be noted that performance monitoring would be reported on by portfolio from now on; and

 

c)      That future reports would be by exception only, to cover:

  • Projects that were not on track;
  • Performance indicators that were consistently below target;
  • High risks; and
  • Audit recommendations that had not been actioned.

 

(Other options considered:

  • To continue to report at the in-depth level provided in Appendix A within the report;
  • To we report by exception, which would also include commentary on any actions/plans put in place by the Programme Board in regard to any areas of concern and include, within the body of the report, ‘Good News’ on key positive outcomes; and
  • To identify a third format for implementation from Q1 2012/13.

Reason for decision:

  • As performance was managed:

§         At appropriate intervals by the owners of each project/PI/Risk/Audit Recommendation;

§         Monthly at Service/Portfolio Level by Managers/Executive Members; and

§         Quarterly through the Programme Board.

  • Reporting to Overview and Scrutiny, Audit and Cabinet could focus on exceptions in order to allow the most efficient use of the time available in committee meetings.)

8.

Quarterly Finance Monitoring report covering the period 1st January to 31st March 2012 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

For information and to approve recommendations.  (Joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) enclosed.)

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 on the forth quarterly financial monitoring report covering the period 1 January to 31 March 2012.

 

DECISION:

 

That the report be received;

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL:

 

a)     That the draft year end position on the 2011/12 revenue budget be noted and approved;

 

b)     That the recommendations and note the year end position on the 2011/12 Housing Account be approved;

 

c)      That the recommendations be approved and the 2011/12 year end position for the Council’s specific reserves be noted;

 

d)     That the year end position for the Council’s 2011/12 Treasury outturn be noted;

 

e)     That the Capital recommendations shown for the Capital programme Outturn 2011/12 and Capital Programme 2012/13 be approved; and

 

f)        That the Spalding Special Expenses draft outturn and the transfer of the draft proposed underspend to the Spalding Special Reserve be approved.

 

(Other options considered:

  • To approve the recommendations with amendments; and
  • Not to approve the recommendations.

Reason for decision:

  • Retrospective report for financial year 2011/12.)

9.

Write Offs pdf icon PDF 30 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 attached to this report are not for publication by virtue of paragraph 1 in part 1 of schedule 12a of the local government act 1972.)

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 sought approval to write off irrecoverable debts.

 

Members considered that the decision be delegated, and the report should be discussed fully and in confidential session, during the meeting of full Council on 27 June 2012.  Legal advice was sought on the reason why write-offs could not be discussed openly.

 

DECISION:

 

That legal advice be sought, explaining the reason why write-offs could not be discussed openly.

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL:

 

That the following debts be approved for write-off:

 

  • Council Tax - £8,085.21
  • Non Domestic Rates - £6,643.22
  • Sundry Debtors - £19,100.25
  • Former Tenant Arrears - £17,762.47
  • Housing Benefit Overpayment - £2,886.21
  • Total - £54,477.36

 

(Other options considered:

  • To approve the recommendations; and
  • To approve the recommendations with amendments.

Reason for decision:

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

10.

To consider resolving 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 Paragraph 3 of part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

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 involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Act.

11.

Gypsy and Traveller Site

To consider options available for providing a site as a replacement for the existing unauthorised site at Broad Drove, Gosberton Clough. (Joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord and the Interim Housing Manager enclosed.)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord and the Interim Housing Manager which sought consideration of the available options for providing a site as a replacement for the existing unauthorised site at Broad Drove, Gosberton Clough.

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That officers investigate an alternative parcel of land to the north of the site proposed but served by the same highway and, if such land was available, to pursue as detailed within the report;

 

b)     That delegated authority be granted to the Asset and Property Manager to enter into an Option Agreement for the conditional purchase of the site, and for any matters arising, following discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Commercial Assets and Strategic Planning, subject to the conditions stated in Appendix B within the report, and the Option Agreement to be conditional upon Planning Permission for the site being granted;

 

c)      That delegated authority be granted to the Housing Manager, following discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord, to submit a planning application for the site and for any matters arising;

 

d)     That subject to planning permission being granted for the site, delegated authority be granted to the Asset and Property Manager to exercise the Option Agreement and to complete the purchase of the site, and for any matters arising, following discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Commercial Assets and Strategic Planning, subject to the conditions stated in Appendix B within the report;

 

e)     That, subject to planning permission being granted for the site, delegated authority be granted to the Housing Manager, following discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord, to award a works contract for the development and construction of the new site and for any matters arising, subject to the following:

 

·        A compliant and robust procurement process being followed for the award of the contract;

·        The accepted price for the work being within budget; and

·        The development of the site to be on a “like for like” basis, as set out in the “Development Options” section within the report.

 

f)        That the development proposals, as detailed within Option 2 within the report, be adopted; and

 

g)     That upon completion of the new site the land be conveyed to the Travellers currently living on the unauthorised site at Broad Drove, Gosberton Clough, and/or with a legal interest in it, in exchange for the land they currently occupy and/or have a legal interest in at Broad Drove, Gosberton Clough.  The relocation of residents to be conditional upon the legal exchange having taken place.  The relocation of residents to take place on one day.  Final arrangements to be delegated to the Housing Manager through discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord.

 

(Other options considered:

  • To approve the recommendations with amendments; and
  • Not to approve the recommendations.

Reason for decision:

  • To enable the Council to acquire land suitable for the development of a Gypsy and Traveller site to replace the existing unauthorised site at Broad Drove, Gosberton  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Council House Building

To consider options available for a programme of building new homes.  (Joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord and the Interim Housing Manager enclosed.)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord and Interim Housing Manager which sought consideration of options available for a programme of building new homes. 

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That delegated authority be granted to the Property Asset Manager (HRA), following discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord, to make compensation payments to existing tenants for the removal of an area of their garden land from their tenancy, provided that:

·                   It had been established that the land had development potential;

·                   The tenancy agreement was amended to reflect the reduced area of garden land;

·                   That in the case of compensation payable to tenants with rent arrears, the compensation be credited to the rent account, with only the remaining funds being paid to the tenant;

·                   The payment of such compensation would not exceed the allocated budget for land acquisition; and

·                   Compensation payments be set at, the rate detailed within the report plus RPI, regardless of the size of land being acquired.

 

b)     That the provisional 5 year programme of “new build” contained within the report be approved, subject to the levels of surpluses predicted being available and subject to Full Council approving the HRA Capital budgets;

 

c)      That the HRA Capital budgets, as detailed within the report,  be approved and recommended for approval by full Council;

 

d)     That officers explore the possibility of bringing forward some of the expenditure into the current financial year;

 

e)     That the dwellings to be developed in 2012/13 and 2013/14 be constructed to meet current Building Regulations only;

 

f)        That build standards for dwellings to be developed after 2013/14 be delegated to the Housing Manager in discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord and the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services;

 

g)     That delegated authority be granted to the Housing Manager in discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord to procure contracts for the construction work for each site for 2012/13 to 2013/14 through advertisement on suitable web-based publications, subject to the scheme costs being within budget, and within Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) threshold limits to enable a list of contractors to be developed to be invited to tender for future schemes, and the Housing Manager be authorised to deal with any matters arising;

 

h)      That contractors, with whom the Council has had previous positive experience for new build properties, be alerted to such advertisements;

                                                                                                      

i)        That delegated authority be granted to the Housing Manager in discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Landlord to review and amend the annual programme of new build, provided that the schemes each year remained within budget;

 

j)        That prior to inviting tenders for construction work, a ground investigation be carried out to establish what type of foundations were required for each site;

 

k)      That officers explore opportunities to work closely with Parish Councils and other partners;

 

l)        That officers explore opportunities to work in partnership with private sector developers for Council owned sites  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.