Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 10.00 a.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal

Contact: Inge Booth  Senior Committee Services Officer

Items
No. Item

CEX/53

Cabinet Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 240 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the Executive Decisions made by Cabinet on 31 October 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the Executive Decisions made by Cabinet on 31 October 2018.

CEX/54

Delegated Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To receive the Delegated Executive Decisions made by Portfolio Holders or Officers on 8 November 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Delegated Executive Decisions made by Portfolio Holders or Officers on 8 November 2018 be received.

CEX/55

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests.  (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)

 

Members may, however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.

 

If a Member requires advice on any item involving a possible declaration of interest which could affect his/her ability to speak and/or vote, he/she is advised to contact the Monitoring Officer at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that Councillor John Holmes declared an interest in Minute No. CEX/60 below.

CEX/56

Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items

To consider whether the items, if any, in Part II of the Agenda should be considered in the presence of the press and public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no excluded items on the Agenda.

CEX/57

Public Participation

Any member of the public who wishes to ask a question, make representations or present a deputation or petition at this meeting should apply to do so by no later than 0:01am (one minute past midnight) two working days before the meeting.  Information on how to make the application can be obtained by viewing the Council’s Website www.southlakeland.gov.uk or by contacting the Committee Services Team on 01539 733333.

 

(1)        Questions and Representations

 

            To receive any questions or representations which have been received from members of the public.

 

(2)        Deputations and Petitions

 

            To receive any deputations or petitions which have been received from members of the public.

Minutes:

Gordon Watson, Chief Executive Officer of Lakeland Arts, addressed Cabinet with regard to Agenda Item No. 9 (Abbot Hall Capital Redevelopment), Minute No. CEX/5 below.  He thanked Cabinet for the opportunity to speak about Lakeland Arts’ request for a capital contribution from the Council for the Abbot Hall redevelopment.

 

Mr Watson felt that what was of real importance was what could be achieved following completion of the works.  The physical changes were a means to an end and would help Lakeland Arts to develop and become more sustainable, inclusive and outward looking.  One of Lakeland Arts’ aims was to support the development of local communities.

 

Mr Watson reiterated that what was key was the outcome and change which the redevelopment of Abbot Hall could bring.  He referred to programmes which had been developed in recent years that had been held back by the inadequate facilities at Abbot Hall, for example the “In the Moment” Programme for people living with dementia, partnerships with Space 2 Create and Manna House, and regular sessions with under fives and their carers.  Much of the activity was carried out off site, the facilities at Abbot Hall being unsuitable.  Likewise, it was not possible to develop “Art Lovers in Summer” to its full potential for the same reason.

 

Lakeland Arts intended to set up a community user group as part of a project to inform and develop the programme, as well as a young people user group to inform the learning programme.  It was also hoped to attract a more diverse range of volunteers.  Other aspirations were to offer more support for local artists and to become more involved with festivals, schools and colleges; to achieve a dedicated learning space linked with the gallery and park; to improve the environment by making it carbon neutral; and to make the gallery attractive and more welcoming.

 

The Leader thanked Mr Watson for his representation and for the work carried out by Lakeland Arts.

CEX/58

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To note the contents of the latest Forward Plan published on 13 November 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the contents of the Forward Plan published on 13 November 2018 be noted.

CEX/59

Abbot Hall Capital Redevelopment pdf icon PDF 187 KB

To consider a commitment of £100,000 capital funding towards Lakeland Arts’ redevelopment of the Abbot Hall site.

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder expressed thanks to Gordon Watson and his Team for their excellent work – Lakeland Arts had achieved a great deal during Gordon’s time as Chief Executive Officer.

 

The Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder reported that Lakeland Arts Trust had ambitious plans to carry out a £8.5 million redevelopment of the Abbot Hall site. The proposed redevelopment would bring improvements that were wide-ranging and transformative and create a world-class cultural destination in the heart of South Lakeland.

 

In rejuvenating this landmark site, the Trust intended to create a social hub for local communities, with a broad cultural programme and an exciting range of activities for local and district-wide communities to engage with.  Redevelopment of Abbot Hall would enable the Trust to work with communities in new and innovative ways, to grow and sustain important partnerships and develop new ones in a way that was not currently possible due to inadequate facilities.  The project would improve the sustainability of Abbot Hall and care of the buildings and site, which Lakeland Arts had leased from the Council since the Trust was formed in 1957.

 

Lakeland Arts had been successful in a competitive first round of Arts Council England’s (ACE) Large Scale Capital Grants in June 2017 with development funding to progress the initial development stages of the scheme and had secured progress to the next stage to submit a Stage 2 application to ACE by December 2018.

 

For the £8.5 million project to go ahead, Lakeland Arts had to secure the £5m investment from ACE and £3.5 million match funding.  ACE investment was predicated on £3.5m match funding. Lakeland Arts had 22% of the match funding secured, including £495,000 from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund supported by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.  Lakeland Arts Trust had a funding plan in place to secure the remainder of the match funding.

 

To secure a pledge of £5m from ACE, it is critical the Trust could demonstrate the support of the Council before submitting the full Stage 2 application. Lakeland Arts had submitted a request to the Council to consider making a funding contribution of £125,000 towards the redevelopment project as a commitment towards the redevelopment scheme and demonstration to ACE of the Council’s strategic support for the project at Stage 2 and acting as a catalyst to attract further investment from other funding sources. Officers had considered the proposed scheme and were recommending support of £100,000 towards the project.

 

Throughout its history, Abbot Hall had built a reputation nationally for curating major new exhibitions and showing art and artists of the highest quality and range, and bringing great art to South Lakeland.  Today, Abbot Hall’s collection was one of the largest and most significant of its kind in the region.  Whilst the site was one of the foremost cultural drivers in the region, it had not been subject to significant refurbishments since opening in 1962.  The Trust’s ability to display works was constrained and the character of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/59

CEX/60

Housing Loans Scheme Update pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To consider the principles of the South Lakeland Affordable Housing Loan Scheme.

Minutes:

Note – Councillor John Holmes declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item of business by virtue of the fact that he was a Director on the Board of South Lakes Housing.  He remained in the meeting during the discussion and voting on the item, although with no voting rights as a Member of the Shadow Cabinet.

 

Summary

 

The Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder referred to Minute CEX/93 of the Cabinet meeting held on 13 December 2017, when it had been resolved, “to approve in principle and recommend to Council that the Council develop a loan facility, initially of a maximum £6m, to be made available to South Lakes Housing and other housing associations to support proposals delivering new affordable housing with detailed arrangements to be reported to a future Cabinet for approval.”

 

Cumulative receipts to 2017/18 (in the order of £3m) and future year receipts (dependent on right to buy sales but normally in the order of £600K-£1m) formed part of a £6m loan facility available for housing associations to draw down on a scheme by scheme basis. The scheme would facilitate delivery, generate revenue for the Council through repayments and ensure that resource put into housing enabling could be recycled to promote further delivery.

 

The December 2017 report stated that, subject to approval in principle, the detail of the scheme’s operation would be developed and reported to Cabinet for approval. At that time, the loans facility had not been specific to any particular housing association.  Despite publication of the loans facility, the only housing association or social housing provider that has contacted the Council seeking to enter into discussions regarding the terms for such a loan was South Lakes Housing.

 

Since December 2017, South Lakes Housing had, in discussion with the Council, been developing a programme for delivering housing in more constrained areas such as the Lake District National Park. The proposed programme had been submitted to the Council for consideration and, in principle, the Council was content that the proposals would assist in boosting the supply of affordable housing in areas where there was an identified need. The Council had also supported the allocation of a number of potential housing sites through the Lake District Local Plan process. It was seeking to promote the delivery of these through its housing enabling role. The loans scheme was an important tool to help to bring this about.

 

Discussions with South Lakes Housing had included dialogue regarding draft Heads of Terms which provided security and comfort to both parties.  Although they had not yet been agreed, discussions were reasonably advanced, and there were just a small number of points where agreement remained outstanding.

 

The Portfolio Holder outlined the proposal from South Lakes Housing.

 

To deliver the full programme proposed by South Lakes Housing, the initial facility of £6m would require additional funding of £9m (total of £15m). Further funding would depend on the success of early pilot schemes. If Members wished to support further lending over and above the £6m,  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/60

CEX/61

2019/20 to 2023/24 Draft Budget pdf icon PDF 196 KB

To consider the draft budget proposals for the financial years 2019/20 to 2023/24.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Finance Portfolio Holder presented a first draft Budget for 2019/20 to 2023/24.  The budget projections had been updated to reflect the ending of the Second Homes Agreement with the County Council, which reduced income across all years from 2019/20 by approximately £700,000.  A number of additional budget pressures, growth bids and savings proposals had been identified that were outlined in the Appendices to the report.  The Capital Programme had been adjusted to reflect projects where there was a well-developed business case, where work was unavoidable or where a degree of outline approval had already been indicated or was shortly expected.  There were, additionally, a number of schemes where the business cases were not yet sufficiently advanced to include within the Medium Term Financial Plan capital budget.  There was one change to the 2018/19 capital budget as, due to high demand, it was necessary to increase the Disabled Facilities Grant funding budget through the transfer of £192,000 of unallocated budget from the Affordable Homes budget.  The resulting revised Capital Programme was presented in detail at Appendix 6 to the report.  The report presented a draft position and work would continue to incorporate further changes into subsequent budget reports, such as the government grant position which was not yet known.  The position set out in the report formed the basis of consultation that would ensue subject to approval by the Council at its meeting on 18 December 2018.  The final Draft Budget Report would incorporate the consideration of the internal and external consultation and be presented to Cabinet on 23 January 2019, prior to final recommendations being made to Council on 26 February 2019.

 

In response to a query raised, the Finance Portfolio Holder informed Members that the current plan was for an increase in Council Tax of £5 per annum which was below the maximum of 3% set by Government.

 

The Leader thanked the Finance Portfolio Holder and officers for their work in managing the Council’s finances during times of uncertainty and austerity.  He emphasised the importance of the Customer Connect Programme which would assist in fulfilling the Council’s promises to the community.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        it be noted that the development of the Budget is an iterative process between now and Council on 26 February 2019.  The assumptions, proposals and calculations included within it will be subject to change as more information from internal and external sources is provided and decisions around the final proposals can be made;

 

(2)        the proposals contained in the report to achieve a balanced budget in 2019/20 be noted;

 

(3)        the projected deficit position of circa £610,000 in 2020/21 rising to circa £2.6m by 2023/24 (this is after the Customer Connect savings have been included) be noted; and

 

(4)        Council be requested to approve the amended 2018/19 Capital Programme as presented in Appendix 6 to the report, noting that the future years Programme is still under development.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The report sets out the first draft Budget to enable the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/61

CEX/62

Property and Land Management Strategy 2019- 2024 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To consider adoption of the draft Property and Land Management Strategy 2018-2024, including the creation of a Strategic Asset Management Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder introduced the report.  The current corporate property strategy needed updating in line with the Council Plan and the overall Customer Connect Strategy. Lambert Smith Hampton, the Council’s current property service provider, had completed the asset review of the Council’s building and land estate in December 2017. The asset review was a summary of each asset setting out what options there might be for future change and recommending a mechanism whereby future plans and programmes of work/investment could be informed and viewed collectively across the portfolio and help identify and avoid conflicts between budget expenditure.

 

The new strategy would help guide the Council on a more holistic, inclusive approach to the management of its property and land estate following on from the asset review. The overall aim was to ensure that investment was prioritised in the right areas given the increasing financial pressure on local authorities and to ensure that the Council had a balanced estate having regard to its medium and long term commitments, to ensure that there was an appropriate governance structure in place to allow the estate to flex with ease and consistency and that decisions were balanced between the need for capital receipts, investment and revenue income generation.

 

It was being proposed that a Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) board be set up which would be made up of a variety of officers across finance, procurement and assets alongside Members to give a corporate view on decisions to be taken.

 

Members gave detailed consideration to the draft Strategy which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The draft Strategy had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 26 October 2018.

 

In response to a query raised with regard to consultation with local members in relation to assets within their wards, the Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder explained that this Strategy provided an appropriate, formalised and comprehensive means of dealing with assets.

 

Whilst the proposal for a SAMP board was welcomed, attention was drawn to the fact that the membership did not include a councillor from the opposition.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That the Property and Land Management Strategy 2019-2024, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be adopted, including the creation of a Strategic Asset Management Plan Board as detailed within the report.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The proposed Property and Land Management Strategy itself focuses heavily on the Council Plan and its priorities and this is key in aligning the Council Plan with any decisions made on investment, acquisition or disposals for our property and land estate.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Continue to use the existing Asset Management Strategy – it is felt that the existing approach to asset management does not provide a sufficiently corporate approach, whether that be disposal, investment or acquisition, and is not in line with the new Customer Connect Strategy approved by Council in July 2018.

CEX/63

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To consider the draft South Lakeland District Council Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019-22 for recommendation to Council for adoption.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder introduced the report, stressing the importance for all to be treated equally, with fairness and respect.

 

The draft South Lakeland District Council Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 2019-22 attached as Appendix 1 to the report set out how the Council was meeting the requirements of the public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010. This included setting out specific equality objectives, as well as containing useful statistics about the Council’s communities to illustrate the different needs of people in South Lakeland.

 

The draft EDI Strategy included definitions of the terms Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.  It was being recommended to adopt this updated terminology into the title of the new document, and for this document to supersede the current Equality Scheme 2016-19 which sat within the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

It was also being proposed that the draft EDI Strategy would have its performance reviewed annually by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. This would make it a dynamic document allowing responses to emerging needs, such as changing population or rates of digital inclusion.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had given to consideration to the report at its meeting on 26 October 2018.  Members had acknowledged the need to embed equality and diversity, not only within the organisation but throughout the community, as well as the need to seek potential ways of passing on its message.  They had welcomed the new Strategy and in particular the opportunity for its annual review by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That Council be recommended to adopt the draft South Lakeland District Council Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019-2022 to replace the existing Equality Scheme within the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

This policy update is a Policy Framework Decision that supports good performance with the Council Plan.

 

The draft Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019-22 links to the health and wellbeing section of the Council Plan.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

There is no credible alternative to publishing new equality objectives to comply with the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011.  The consequences of not approving new objectives would be the increased risk of legal challenge.

CEX/64

Arnside and Silverdale AONB Management Plan Review Consultation pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To consider the Council’s draft response to the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Draft Management Plan 2019-24 public consultation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder reported that the current Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Management Plan covered the period 2014-19 and had to be reviewed and a new plan adopted by 31 March 2019.  The new Plan would cover the period 2019-24.

 

The Arnside and Silverdale AONB Partnership had committed to undertake the review on behalf of the four principal local authorities in the AONB area – Cumbria County Council, Lancashire County Council, Lancaster City Council and South Lakeland District Council.  The Partnership aimed to conserve and enhance the AONB and was made up of the local authorities, statutory agencies, landowners, conservation organisations, local communities and interest groups, working together.

 

The AONB Management Plan was a statutory plan which set out a shared vision for the next 20 years.  It described the broad range of issues and challenges faced in the AONB, and explained how the Partnership would manage them to conserve and enhance the area for future generations.  It highlighted the special qualities of the AONB, provided a long term vision for the area, and identified the principal issues and challenges affecting the area.  It defined the outcomes that the Partnership would seek to deliver and set out how decisions, land management activity and project delivery in the AONB would help achieve them.  The Plan formed a key part of the strategic framework for action by the many organisations working in partnership around the AONB, including the local authorities that were jointly responsible for the area.  The Council and the AONB team had worked closely to ensure that both the management and the AONB Development Plan Document (DPD), which was now nearing adoption and would soon form part of the Council’s Local Plan, were complementary and mutually beneficial.

 

Details of the preparation and consultation processes were detailed within the report.  The review had now progressed to a formal six week consultation (22 October to 3 December 2018) on a draft Management Plan which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The responses to the consultation would be considered by the AONB Partnership and used to inform the final version of the Plan which would then be subject to a final public consultation period in early 2019.  Following the final consultation, the Plan would be finalised and presented to the local authorities for adoption.

 

Members were asked to consider a proposed response which welcomed the draft Management Plan and acknowledged the engagement that had taken place to date with a broad range of stakeholders. The proposed response also welcomed the alignment between the management plan and the AONB Local Plan and noted that, for the first time, there would be a development plan with the explicit objective of conserving the special character of the AONB and a suite of policies which would ensure a consistent approach to achieving this across the whole AONB. The proposed response supported the vision and objectives of the management plan and the actions that had been identified  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/64

CEX/65

Review of the Local Delivery of the Property Level Flood Resilience Grant Scheme pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To reflect on the flood grant project and provide recommendations on any future roll outs.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Environment Portfolio Holder introduced the report, which informed Members that, in December 2015, the Prime Minster had announced the roll out of the flood resilience grant up to the value of £5,000 to all householders flooded by Storm Desmond.  This had later been opened up to businesses. With limited guidance, clarity and any resources from central government, South Lakeland District Council had had to roll out a grant project, which had continued to evolve and had had the potential value of £12m.

 

Previous schemes had been administered by South Lakeland District Council, so there was expertise and knowledge lying with those officers who had formed the flood grant team.

 

The flood grant project had operated over two years, with 1,397 applications having been made, resulting in a total of £3.4m in flood resilience works having been carried out.

 

Members were being provided an opportunity to comment on the report which reflected on the flood grant project and provided recommendations to Central Government on any future roll outs.

 

Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, at its meeting on 26 October 2018, had welcomed the report, acknowledged the lessons learnt and commended the work which had been carried out to date in relation to the flood resilience grant process.

 

The Leader reiterated thanks to those officers involved in the administration of the Flood Resilience Grant Scheme - Councillor Chris Hogg who had been the Mayor of Kendal at the time; former district councillor Sue Sanderson, then Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Environment and People; and the Waste Management Team and Councillor Peter Thornton, then Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, who took the decision to collect the flood waste.

 

The Leader drew attention to the issue of climate change, the damage being caused to the world by greenhouse gases and a recent Met Office report highlighting increasing rainfall.  He stressed the need for the Council to be aware of its responsibility to help in mitigating the devastating effects.

 

Councillor Chris Hogg reflected on the devastation caused by Storm Desmond and again commended the exceptional work carried out by officers, above and beyond the call of duty.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That the report be received and circulated to key organisations to highlight the Council’s learning from this process and to help influence future delivery of such grants.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

To assist in the delivery of the Council Plan, making South Lakeland the best place to work and live.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Not to receive the report or make recommendations.  The recommendation set out ensures that the learning is shared to help influence future delivery of such grants.