Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 6th February, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Paul Mountford  Executive Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

93.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor J P Findlow declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 10 (Treasury Management Strategy) as a member of the Local Authorities Mutual Investment Trust.

 

All members present who were members of the Cheshire Fire Authority declared non-pecuniary interests in relation to Item 6 (Second Pump Crewe Fire Station).

 

94.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 3.33 of the Cabinet procedure rules, a period of 10 minutes is allocated for members of the public to address the meeting on any matter relevant to the work of the body in question.  Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes but the Chairman or person presiding will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned where there are a number of speakers. Members of the public are not required to give notice to use this facility. However, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours’ notice is encouraged.

 

Members of the public wishing to ask a question at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given.

 

 

Minutes:

Graham Goodwin referred to a statement made at the Council meeting in July 2017 by the then Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communities prior to the approval of £2.4M for the ANSA Environmental and asked why no Cabinet member present at the meeting had corrected the statement. The Leader responded that the matter had been discussed on a number of occasions and a full reply had been given.

 

Caroline O’Brien, Chief Executive, Community and Voluntary Services, referred to a six month gap between the ending of some early help and prevention service contracts at the end of March and the commencement of the proposed new framework for the commissioning of such services. She asked if the £1M New Homes Bonus funding for 2018/19 could be used to support the delivery of services until the new framework was established so that there was no gap in service delivery. She also asked for confirmation that it would be the Council’s intention to maintain funding at £550k for 2019/2020. The Leader indicated that the response to the questions would be given later in the meeting during consideration of the reports on the budget (MTFS) and the Early Help Framework.

 

Sue Helliwell referred to the occurrence of dog fouling in the Borough and suggested an innovative solution which involved the use of dog waste to light street lanterns. She provided details of the person behind the scheme to enable the Council to contact him. The Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Integration referred to the Public Spaces Protection Order which the Council would be rolling out from the middle of February to address dog fouling across the Borough. The Portfolio Holder thanked Sue Helliwell for her suggestion which would be investigated further and the Council would get back to her in due course.

 

Cllr David Kidd, Chairman of Disley Parish Council, thanked the Council for deciding not to close Disley Library following the recent consultation. He said that the Parish Council was eager to work with Cheshire East Council to ensure the continuation of the Library into the future.

 

Carol Jones thanked Councillor Paul Bates for his help with the bus service review in Crewe and Nantwich which had resulted in the main bus route, the 6E to Leighton Hospital, being retained. She then referred to increasing levels of homelessness and people living in filthy conditions, and asked if the Council would work with other agencies to provide social housing for people with mental health problems. The Leader and the Portfolio Holders for Housing, Planning and Regeneration, Adult Care and Integration, Children and Families, and Health all spoke at length on the various initiatives the Council was pursuing to address the issues referred to and they highlighted some of the significant achievements to date.

 

95.

Questions to Cabinet Members

A period of 20 minutes is allocated for questions to be put to Cabinet Members by members of the Council. Notice of questions need not be given in advance of the meeting. Questions must relate to the powers, duties or responsibilities of the Cabinet. Questions put to Cabinet Members must relate to their portfolio responsibilities.

 

The Leader will determine how Cabinet question time should be allocated where there are a number of Members wishing to ask questions. Where a question relates to a matter which appears on the agenda, the Leader may allow the question to be asked at the beginning of consideration of that item.

 

Minutes:

Councillor J Rhodes referred to Article 4 of the Local Plan which dealt with HMOs and other rented accommodation, and asked when these documents would be brought to Council. The Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Regeneration responded that there was impending legislation on the licensing of HMOs which should be coming into force in April, following which a report would be submitted to Cabinet. The Leader asked that members be informed when there was clarity on the legislation.

 

Councillor A Stott asked why it had taken so long for work to be undertaken on the Silk Road toucan crossing in Bollington. She also expressed concern about the quality of work on highways, specifically in relation to the filling of potholes. The Portfolio Holder for Environment undertook to respond on the Silk Road crossing issue in writing. With regard to potholes, these were dealt with in a systematic way, with safely being the main priority. He explained some of the practical issues involved in filling potholes, particularly in bad weather, which sometimes required a return visit within a relatively short time.

 

Councillor S Pochin asked the Portfolio Holder for Health to reconsider the decision to withdraw the refunding of parking fees for users of the Council’s leisure facilities. The Leader indicated that the Portfolio Holder would respond when the MTFS report was considered later in the meeting.

 

Councillor L Jeuda asked if the Council had any plans to follow the example of Halton Borough Council in taking over failing care homes to manage on a not for profit basis. The Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Integration responded that the Council had no such plans at the moment but did use the expertise of its staff to give advice and assistance to care homes. However, she did not rule out considering any options in the future.

 

Councillor M Warren asked if the Council was considering alternative methods of filling potholes to replace those techniques that appeared to be less successful at the moment. The Portfolio Holder for Environment responded that the consideration of alternative innovative techniques was an ongoing process.

 

Councillor J Bratherton referred to an inappropriate comment made by another member in relation to homelessness at a briefing on the subject last week. At the request of the Leader, the Acting Director of Legal Services advised that, without commenting on the particular case in question, member training sessions in general were private events. The Leader expressed concern that the matter had been raised in a public arena at the Cabinet meeting. The Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Regeneration added that the member concerned had expressed regret at the choice of words used at the training event.

 

At the invitation of the Leader, the Acting Chief Executive, in welcoming the outcome of the culture review by Sarah Messenger, and the Council’s commitment to moving forward on the recommendations, advised that one of the key findings of the review had been the conduct and tone of officers and members, which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.

96.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5th December 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 5th December 2017 be approved as a correct record.

 

97.

Second Pump Crewe Fire Station pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To consider a report summarising the deliberations of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee in relation to a proposal by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service to reduce the utilisation of the second pump (fire engine) at Crewe Fire station from whole time to “on-call” status.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee in relation to a proposal by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service to reduce the utilisation of the second pump (fire engine) at Crewe Fire station from whole time to “on-call” status.

 

Councillor M Simon, Chairman of the Committee, attended the Cabinet meeting and spoke on this matter.

 

RESOLVED

 

That resolution 2 of the resolutions of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee be supported and the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Fire Authority be informed that the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet cannot support a proposal for the 2nd pump at Crewe Fire Station to become on-call.

 

98.

Sydney Road Replacement Bridge - Project Implementation pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To consider a report on the steps required to implement the construction phase of the Sydney Road Replacement Bridge (Crewe) Project.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on the steps required to implement the construction phase of the Sydney Road Replacement Bridge (Crewe) Project.

 

The Chairman of the Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee had agreed that the decision on this matter should be treated as urgent and that the call-in process should not apply.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet

 

1.    authorises the Executive Director of Place, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment, to:

 

(a)  enter into an Implementation Agreement with Network Rail for them to deliver construction of the scheme through their design and build supply chain framework; and

 

(b)  approve acceptance of the newly-constructed bridge into Council ownership upon payment of an appropriate commuted sum by Network Rail and to enter into an Asset Transfer Agreement, a Two Party Bridge Agreement, Option Agreements and any Easement and other related agreements relating to use of and rights over Network Rail’s land, with Network Rail as necessary;

 

2.    authorises the Executive Director of Place, in consultation with the Director of Legal Services, to enter into discussions with land owners, utility companies, Network Rail and all third parties in relation to acquiring the necessary land and acquiring and granting rights to deliver the scheme and to delegate the negotiation and entering into of any necessary supporting legal agreements (including but not limited to option agreements, permanent land take, temporary land take/use of third party land, licences, easements (granting and acquiring), rights of support, rights to go onto land to do works, rights of access and rights for services, wayleaves and oversail agreements) and any variations required to those agreements during the course of the project;

 

3.    authorises the Executive Director Place, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment, to proceed with the scheme on the basis of the proposed funding arrangement as outlined in Section 7 of the report and approve the underwriting, in principle, of any necessary gap funding required to deliver the scheme due to timing of receipt of Section 106 contributions;

 

4.    further to the authorisation at Cabinet on 13th October 2015, authorises the Executive Director Place to proceed with the use of the Council’s Compulsory Purchase Powers (CPO) to acquire land to construct the scheme and to approve the following specific recommendations:

 

authorise the Executive Director of Place in consultation with the Director of Legal Services to take all appropriate actions to secure the confirmation of the contemplated orders including:

 

(a)  the making of an order (or orders) under Sections 239, 240, 246, 250 and 260 of the Highways Act 1980 and all other powers as appropriate for the compulsory purchase of land and rights required for the construction of the project;

 

(b)  taking all necessary action to secure the making, submission to the Secretary of State for confirmation and (if confirmed) implementation, of the CPO including the publication and service of all relevant notices and for the Director of Legal Services to secure the presentation of the Council’s case at any public inquiry and the subsequent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.

99.

Third Quarter Review of Performance 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To consider a report on the third quarter review of performance for 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on the third quarter review of performance for 2017/18.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communication reported the comments of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee as appended to these minutes.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet notes the third quarter review of 2017/18 performance, in relation to the following issues:

 

  • The summary of performance against the Council’s six Strategic Outcomes  (Section 1); 
  • The projected service revenue and capital outturn positions, overall financial stability of the Council, and the impact on the Council’s reserves position (Section 2);

§  The delivery of the overall capital programme (Section 2, paragraphs 156 to 165, Appendix 4 and Appendix 5);

§  Fully funded supplementary capital estimates up to £500,000 approved in accordance with Finance Procedure Rules (Appendix 6);

§  Capital virements up to £1,000,000 approved in accordance with Finance Procedure Rules (Appendix 6);

§  Changes to Capital Budgets made in accordance with the Finance Procedure Rules (Appendix 9);

§  Treasury management investments and performance (Appendix 10);

§  Supplementary revenue estimates to be funded by additional specific grant (Appendix 11).

§  Management of invoiced debt (Appendix 12);

§  Use of earmarked reserves (Appendix 13); and

§  Update on workforce development and staffing (Section 3).

 

100.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/21 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To consider a report on the Medium Term Financial Strategy for Cheshire East Council for the years 2018/19 to 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on the Medium Term Financial Strategy for Cheshire East Council for the years 2018/19 to 2020/21.

 

The Portfolio Holder referred to an error in the report at paragraph 1.6 in that the term ‘Band D’ should be deleted from the final sentence as this related to an average property. The increase per week for an average Band D property was £1.53.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communication reported the comments of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee as appended to these minutes. The Committee’s comments were considered by Cabinet.

 

Earlier in the meeting, Councillor S Pochin had asked the Portfolio Holder for Health to reconsider the decision to withdraw the refunding of parking fees for users of the Council’s leisure facilities. The Portfolio Holder for Health responded that the matter was under consideration and she was unable to comment further at this stage.

 

Caroline O’Brien had raised a question earlier in the meeting regarding the use of New Homes Bonus funding to support the delivery of early help and prevention services until the new framework was in operation. The Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Infrastructure envisaged the new framework becoming operational in April or May. Support mechanisms were in place to assist voluntary organisations whose contracts would be ending at the end of March. The Leader stressed the need to have the new model framework in relation to New Homes Bonus funding ready before the next Council meeting and asked the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communication to set up an urgent task and finish group in liaison with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee for this purpose.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet

 

1.    recommends to Council the items at Appendix A to the report; and

 

2.    notes:

 

(a)  the summary results of the Budget Consultation, attached at Appendix B and the Budget Engagement exercise undertaken by the Council, as set out in the attached (Appendix C, Annex 2);

 

(b)  the comments of the Council’s Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services (Section 151 Officer), contained within the MTFS Report, regarding the robustness of estimates and level of reserves held by the Council based on these budget proposals (Appendix C, Comment from the Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services);

 

(c)  the risk assessment detailed in the MTFS Report (Appendix C, Annex 5);

 

(d)  the development of a Capital Strategy as set out in the attached (Appendix C, Annex 10). This is linked to the Treasury Management and Investment Strategies and these will continue to be developed in accordance with the revised guidance for local authority investments during 2018/19.  The strategy contains the programme of capital investment for 2018/19 to 2020/21. The programme may vary to take advantage of external funding opportunities, maximise private sector investment, prudential borrowing considerations, operational capacity and to ensure optimal delivery of the overall programme;

 

(e)  that the Council’s Finance Procedure Rules will always apply should any changes in spending requirements be identified (Appendix C, Annex 10); and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 100.

101.

Treasury Management Strategy and MRP Statement 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 352 KB

To consider a report on the Treasury Management Strategy and MRP (Minimum Revenue Provision) Statement for 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on the Treasury Management Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2018/19.

 

RESOLVED

 

That

 

1.    Council be recommended to approve the Treasury Management Strategy Statement, including the MRP Statement for 2018/19 to 2020/21 (Appendix A to the report); and

 

2.    an Investment Strategy Board be established as set out in the report to develop an enhanced Capital Strategy and Investment Strategy for approval by Cabinet and Council as required by the CIPFA Prudential Code 2017 and statutory guidance on local authority investments.

 

102.

Update on Schools Funding and the Local Schools Funding Formula for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To consider a report providing an update on schools funding in Cheshire East.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report providing an update on schools funding in Cheshire East.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet

 

1.    approves the proposed schools funding formula for 2018/19 following a recommendation by Schools Forum;

 

2.    approves:

 

(a)  the use of the existing Cheshire East schools funding formula;

 

(b)  the allocation of the additional growth provided (£2.8m) using the basic per pupil element of the formula in the current ratios;

 

(c)  the use of -1.5% as the minimum funding guarantee. Meaning that no school can lose more than 1.5% per annum excluding pupil number changes; and

 

(d)  the transfer of 0.5% of funding from the schools block to the high needs block to address pressures in that area and fund projects to achieve sustainability; and

 

3.    approves that the current Cheshire East formula continue to be used as this will protect small and rural primary schools over the next two years. It is noted that the schools finance team will monitor and challenge the plans from maintained schools to ensure that they prepare for and manage the implications of change when NFF is introduced.

 

103.

Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools (SMOTS) Strategy pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To consider a report on progress with producing a new Sustainable Modes of Travel to School (SMOTS) strategy which will provide a framework to support schools when they are implementing their School Travel Plans.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on progress with producing a new Sustainable Modes of Travel to School Strategy which would provide a framework to support schools when they were implementing their School Travel Plans.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet

 

1.    approves the draft Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools strategy (Appendix 1 to the report);

 

2.    notes the costs associated with implementation of the strategy will be outlined in detail when the final strategy is presented to Cabinet for approval;

 

3.    agrees that a Borough-wide public consultation takes place seeking views on the draft SMOTS Strategy, with the decision on all final consultation materials being delegated to the Executive Director of Place in consultation with the Executive Director for People; and

 

4.    notes that the outcomes of the consultation and any resultant changes to the draft Strategy will be reported to, and approved by, Cabinet in due course.

 

104.

Early Help Framework pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To consider a report seeking approval for the setting up of an Early Help Framework across the People Directorate in order to streamline the procurement of early help services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report seeking approval for the setting up of an Early Help Framework across the Council’s People Directorate in order to streamline the procurement of early help services.

 

Having given further consideration, in the light of members’ comments, to the funding gap with some voluntary service contracts, the Leader made a commitment to address the utilisation of the New Homes Bonus funding in relation to the Early Help Framework and to work urgently with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communication on a task and finish group in collaboration with scrutiny members to establish a model framework in time for the next Council meeting.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet

 

1.    endorses the co-production of the early help framework with statutory partners, voluntary, community and faith sector organisations, and other providers;

 

2.    approves the procurement of a Dynamic Purchasing System in order to award contracts for services provided through the Early Help Framework; and

 

3.    delegates authority to award contracts to the Executive Director of People.

 

105.

Building an Investment Portfolio pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider a report on the development of a strategy to enable the Council to invest in commercial property.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on the development of a strategy to enable the Council to invest in commercial property.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet

 

1.    authorises the Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services to set (and amend from time to time)  the investment criteria in consultation with the Executive Director of Place, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communications, and the Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Regeneration;

 

2.    authorises the Executive Director of Place to commission commercial agents with the required skills and expertise to actively search for investment properties;

 

3.    authorises the Executive Director of Place to commission external commercial advisors with the required skills and expertise to prepare detailed business cases to support any future decision regarding the acquisition of investment properties that are identified;

 

4.    authorises the Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Regeneration in consultation with The Director of Legal Services, the Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services and the Executive Director of Place to take any action considered necessary or desirable to establish and/or utilise an alternative service delivery vehicle (or vehicles) to deliver the investment portfolio;

 

5.    authorises the Executive Director of Place in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Planning and Regeneration, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communications, the Director of Legal Services and the Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services to acquire the freehold or leasehold interest in commercial property identified in accordance with the investment criteria approved by virtue of 1 above and the advice received by virtue of 3 above; and

 

6.    authorises the Executive Director of Place in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Planning and Regeneration and the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communication to establish management arrangements for any newly acquired assets.

 

106.

Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS) pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider a report seeking approval for the introduction of a Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS) policy and guidance.

           

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report seeking approval for the introduction of a Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS) policy and guidance.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Policy and Legal Services advised that employees subject to disciplinary procedures would not be excluded from applying for the scheme but that if they were still subject to such procedures at the time the panel considered their application, the application would be declined.

 

The Portfolio Holder reported the receipt of two detailed letters from Unison, objecting to the scheme as they believed that there were more appropriate and robust methods of organisational change which could be used if necessary.

 

The Portfolio Holder stressed that the scheme was entirely voluntary and provided a greater degree of flexibility.

 

Councillor B Moran, Chairman of the Staffing Committee, reported that the Committee had supported the scheme and had made three specific recommendations to the Portfolio Holder which had been taken on board in the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

That

 

1.    the Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS) policy, guidance and payment schedule (Appendices 1 and 2 to the report) be approved;

 

2.    the scheme be offered to Council employees from April 2018 for a specific period of time as required; and

 

3.    it be noted that the Pay Policy Statement (PPS) 2018/19 progressing to Council on 22nd February 2018  will be amended to include the MARS Policy subject to approval.

 

107.

A 'Patient Passport' - Delivering Access to Health and Care Records pdf icon PDF 122 KB

The Chairman has agreed to this item being considered as an item of urgent business as the decision cannot wait until the next meeting

 

To consider a report on the ‘Patient Passport’ project

Minutes:

The Chairman had agreed that this matter be considered as an urgent item of business as a decision could not wait until the next meeting.

 

Cabinet considered a report on the Patient Passport project which proposed that the Council act as delivery partner.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet

 

1.    authorises the Executive Director People (in consultation with the Director of Legal Services) to agree the terms of and enter into an agreement under Section 75 of the National Health Act 2006 to document delivery partner arrangements with the Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group including the receipt of £2.665m Estates and Technology Transformation Fund monies;

 

2.    recommends to Council the approval of a Supplementary Revenue Estimate of £2.665m for 2018/19, fully funded from the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund monies; and

 

3.    notes that thereafter officers will take all necessary actions to deliver the electronic care passport scheme.