Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Only decisions taken after 5th March 2012 will be included in this search

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

Decisions recommendations approved (subject to call-in)

17/07/2019 - Revenue and Capital Outturn 2018/19 ref: 4083    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 17/07/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/07/2019

Effective from: 27/07/2019

Decision:

Summary

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder presented the Revenue and Capital Outturn 2018/19 report which set out the Council’s financial performance for 2018/19 and the impact on reserves.  He thanked the Finance Team for their work and, in particular, for highlighting the challenges in the budgets for the remainder of the year, thereby enabling the Management Team to take corrective action.

 

The report had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 12 July 2019.

 

Attention was drawn to the net overspend of £131,000 relating Development Control and concern raised regarding the application of conditions attached to planning permissions.  The Director of Customer and Commercial Services extended an offer to discuss the matter of concern following the meeting and undertook, in addition, to provide the relevant information to all Cabinet and Shadow Executive Members.  The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder, with regard to the variance, explained that the shortfall was income-driven and suggested that additional information could be provided to Members.  In response to a further query, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) explained that, with regard to the areas of development control and building control, there were, for accounting purposes, two cost centres.

 

Discussion turned to Customer Connect and the transitional period and to interactions with the public, which were a key part of the project.  Details were sought on how Customer Connect was impacting on services, and particularly on Development Control.  The Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources explained that, in terms of design, staffing issues and process would be addressed.  Customer Connect was being used to improve processes and all activities which provided services, advice or guidance to the public would be built into the model.  This was a work in progress, with clear principles having been established.  Members would be kept briefed.

 

The Legal, Governance and Democracy Interim Lead Specialist informed Members of the discussion and comments raised on the report when considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 12 July.

 

Further concern was expressed around Development Control and where planning applications having been granted, developments were not moving forward.  In addition, the need for all Members to understand the planning process was raised and the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, in agreement, asked the Customer and Commercial Services and People to seek to arrange and appropriate session for all Members.

 

The Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder drew attention to the Reserves Summary at Appendix 5 to the report and to the Reserve relating to the Personal Financial Resilience Reserve of £25,000. This was a new reserve which had been created from unclaimed Members’ Allowances and earmarked to improve financial resilience.  The Portfolio Holder stressed that poverty was prevalent in South Lakeland.  She highlighted the fact that the use of foodbanks was on the increase, with extra pressure anticipated during the school summer holidays.  She commended the work being carried out by foodbanks and commented that it was disgraceful that foodbanks were even needed in 2019.  She urged Members to support local foodbanks and to promote donation points.

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder commended the work which had been carried out during 2018/19, pointing out what could be achieved together and with community groups, as well as a testament to the good work carried out by officers.  He asked for thanks to be passed on to all officers in writing.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the outturn figures and variance explanations set out in the report and appendices be noted;

 

(2)        Council be recommended to approve the following:-

 

(a)        the contributions to and from reserves detailed in Appendix 1a to the report; and

 

(b)       the revised Capital Programme in Appendix 3 to the report and the funding of the Capital Programme in Appendix 4 to the report.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

This decision forms a key part of the financial governance arrangements that support all Council priorities.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

No alternative options are proposed.  Not approving the proposed Capital Programme may challenge service delivery during 2019/20 and beyond.

Wards affected: (All Wards);


17/07/2019 - Medium Term Financial Plan 2020/21 to 2024/25 ref: 4085    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 17/07/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/07/2019

Effective from: 27/07/2019

Decision:

Summary

 

The draft Medium Term Financial Plan, incorporating the Financial Strategy and the Budget Strategy (referred to collectively as the MTFP) was presented by the Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder. The Plan would ensure that the Council had a sound basis for allocating resources and effective financial management over the medium term.

 

The Portfolio Holder informed Members that the numbers within the MTFP were identical to those approved by Council in February 2019.  The key reason behind this was due to the very high level of uncertainty over the Council’s funding, with the timing of Government decisions around Spending Review 2019 and the proposed new local government funding system.  Given this uncertainty, the Council continued to assume that the Local Government Financial Settlement based on “fairer funding” would be implemented.  As part of this, the pooling arrangement for non-domestic rates would be expected to end, along with the New Homes Bonus.  The continuation of the Business Rate Pool was, however, a possibility if changes to local government funding were delayed.  Any previous applications had required a rapid response from all authorities about whether to join or remain in a pool.  The decision to join a pool had been delegated in both 2017 and 2018 and it was, therefore, requested that the same delegations continue for the current year.

 

The Portfolio Holder stressed the fact that, despite the high level of uncertainty, the Council was in a strong position compared to most local authorities, with adequate General Fund balances and reserves, robust financial management practices and an excellent track record in achieving efficiency savings.  He believed that the Council’s decision to pursue the Customer Connect Programme would make a substantial contribution to reducing the deficit over the next five years, however, that there was, in addition, still considerable work to be done, and key risks remained.

 

The overall position would be constantly reviewed and reported over the rest of 2019 and early 2020 as part of the budget process and update reports.

 

The Portfolio Holder thanked officers for their work.

 

The Legal, Governance and Democracy Interim Lead Specialist informed Members of the discussion and comments raised on the report when considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 12 July.

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder informed Members that concerns had been raised at the recent Local Government Association Annual Conference with regard to the issue of Brexit and departure from the European Union.  His notes of the Conference were due to be circulated to all Members.

 

Attention was drawn to the Consumer Price Index graph shown at paragraph 5.1 of the MTFP and, in response to a query, the Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder explained that 2% was the Bank of England’s target rate for inflation.  He pointed out the many uncertainties which could arise from a disorderly Brexit, with the potential for a decline in sterling and a significant pick-up in inflation.  Some of the constraints around funding and thresholds would change as a result, and this would need to be well-managed.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the Draft Medium Term Financial Plan be noted; and

 

(2)        the Chief Executive and Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer), in consultation with the Leader and the Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder, be delegated to decide on membership of any Cumbria Business Rate pool; and

 

(3)        the comments made by Cabinet be taken forward as appropriate for consideration by Council.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The MTFP indicates the resources available to fund the Council Plan and how these resources will be allocated.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The assumptions forming the MTFP could be amended.  This is not recommended, as the proposals are regarded as the most appropriate option when considered against the need to secure financial resilience and deliver the Council Plan priorities.

Wards affected: (All Wards);


17/07/2019 - Annual Procurement Update 2018/19 ref: 4086    For Determination

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 17/07/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/07/2019

Effective from: 27/07/2019

Decision:

Summary

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder presented a report which provided an update on progress across the procurement function and against the Sustainable Procurement and Commissioning Strategy 2016-2019.

 

The Portfolio Holder highlighted the importance of the procurement function and drew attention to the small team which, at a time of significant transformation, had continued to deliver both programmes and advice to ensure that the Council achieved best value and was compliant with procurement rules.  He referred to the 2018/19 Procurement Schedule which had included 86 projects, highlighting the retendering of insurance contracts which had generated cash savings; numerous procurement projects associated with the Council’s investments in playgrounds; work around key capital investment projects, for example Grange Lido and Kendal Town Hall/South Lakeland House; and property-related procurement activity.  This work had allowed the Council either to directly reduce costs or to offset inflationary pressure.

 

An updated Procurement Schedule for 2019/20 was attached at Appendix 2 to the report which included some additional procurement exercises not approved in February 2019.

 

The Portfolio Holder further explained that the procurement function within the Council had also been working to improve processes.  The Council was now using the Bloom Procurement Services framework for certain projects, giving benefits in being a quicker and more flexible route to market.  Although the key objective of the procurement function was to deliver value for money, the Portfolio Holder was pleased to advise that discussions were ongoing around the introduction of a social value policy that would assist in being able to judge future procurement tenders for their socio, economic and environmental impacts, including that on the local supply chain.

 

The report had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 12 July 2019.

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder congratulated the Finance Team for their work on this important function of the Council.

 

Members echoed thanks and welcomed the report.

 

In response to a query, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) explained that “the Chest” was a mechanism by which the tender process was undertaken, used by the Council together with other authorities as a single point for the submission of electronic tenders.  She explained, however, that there were quicker framework routes through which to process smaller contracts, for example Bloom Procurement Services.  Decisions on which route to follow were taken on a contract by contract basis.

 

Reference was made to the updated Procurement Schedule 2019/20 at Appendix 2 to the report and to the item regarding disposal of green waste in Ulverston and the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder suggested that queries in relation to this matter should be put in writing.

 

A query was raised with regard to the efforts made by the Council to increase the number of contractors prepared to tender for works and as to whether the level of competition was satisfactory.  The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer), although unable to provide individual statistics, explained that there was a wide range in the number of bidders, depending on the contract.  She further advised on how the Council made efforts to encourage local businesses to bid for contracts.  Whilst unable to easily provide statistics with regard to the number of local bidders, she undertook to provide statistics on the full number of tenderers.  The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder suggested that the introduction of a social value policy as mentioned earlier in the item may be of assistance in this regard.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the progress across the procurement function over the past 12 months be noted; and

 

(2)        the updated Procurement Schedule at set out at Appendix 2 to the report be approved.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

Procurement is a key element of ensuring excellent, value for money services.  It also contributes to creating an environment for people to thrive, leadership and influencing others, empowering customers and communities and demonstrating that the Council is forward thinking and innovative through the design and specification of contracts and services.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

An annual update to Overview and Scrutiny or Cabinet does not take place.  However, falling under the Portfolio for Finance and Resources, it is vital that the procurement function continues to be driven and supported by Members and senior managers.  This will result in a more accountable and focussed function delivering positive outcomes financially and in the quality of Council services.

 

The Procurement Schedule is not updated.  This reduces the efficiency of the Council by requiring individual reports and decisions for tender exercises.  This also increases the time taken to let contracts.

Wards affected: (All Wards);


17/07/2019 - 2018 - 2019 Annual Treasury Management Report ref: 4084    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 17/07/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/07/2019

Effective from: 27/07/2019

Decision:

Summary

 

The Treasury Management Annual Report 2018/19 was presented by the Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder.  The report reviewed the treasury activities and the actual prudential and treasury indicators for the 2018/19 financial year, meeting the requirement of the Local Government Act 2003, the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management and the CIPFA Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities.

 

The level of external debt had not changed during the year, with borrowing remaining well below the Capital Financing Requirement.  Current debt stood at £12.8m.  Although at year end, the Council had cash and investments of £20.3m, further repayment of debt was not recommended given that current repayment premium would be circa 93%.  The Portfolio Holder highlighted the fact that the Council’s strong cash position was used to keep borrowing down and that it was currently £5.6m under-borrowed.  He drew attention to the significant fluctuations in the Council’s cash flow which emphasised the need for dynamic management of the portfolio, ensuring that cash that was temporarily surplus to requirements was invested for the benefit of South Lakeland.  He also informed Members that the Council’s cash investments had out-performed benchmark rates, generating £223,000 of income to support the core services of the Council.

 

The report had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 12 July 2019.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That Council be recommended to approve the 2018/19 Treasury Management Annual Report.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The Treasury Management Framework including Prudential Indicators forms part of the corporate governance arrangements that support all Council priorities.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

There are no alternative options.  The report presents historic data on treasury performance during 2018/19.

Wards affected: (All Wards);


17/07/2019 - Management of Kendal Markets ref: 4087    For Determination

To consider the outsourcing of the management of Kendal Indoor and Outdoor Markets

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 17/07/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/07/2019

Effective from: 27/07/2019

Decision:

Summary

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder reported that, at CEX/104 (2018/19), Cabinet had given approval for officers to invite Expressions of Interest (EOI) and preferred operating models from the private sector with regard to the running of Kendal Market.

 

A total of 13 interested parties had downloaded the EOI documents, however, only a limited number of companies had subsequently formally registered their interest.  Members were provided with a summary of the points made within the EOIs.  Importantly, those who had submitted EOIs had indicated the importance of retaining the feel of a traditional market whilst also adding quirky or niche offers in order to compete with the high street and internet.  Works to the indoor market were likely to be over a two to three year period and would look to include and consult with traders on their proposed vision.  The interested parties would want to work with the existing traders who would need to be willing to improve the look/offer of their stalls and merchandise in line with the new vision for the markets.

 

Once the terms and scope of the procurement had been agreed, an invitation to tender would be issued.  The process would be open, fair and transparent and would ensure that best outcomes and value for money were achieved in order to meet the Council’s objectives.  A further report would then be brought back to Cabinet.

 

In presenting the report, the Portfolio Holder highlighted the importance of a successful market as a major asset for the town, providing services to residents, opportunity for local business and an attraction for visitors.  He pointed out that Kendal Market, for which the Council held the Charter, was not currently fully exploiting its potential, with the number of people visiting the market having declined and the customer base aging.  Consultation with stakeholders had further confirmed the need for a new strategy with the rejuvenation of the market. It was stressed that stallholders were being kept informed of developments.

 

Attention was drawn to the fact that Kendal was a market town and that the market was key, bringing both social and economic benefits to the area.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That procurement exercise be approved and the terms and scope be delegated to the Director Customer and Commercial Services in consultation with the Portfolio holder for Finance and Resources and the Portfolio holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

To assist in the delivery of the Council Plan priorities, as follows:-

 

Economy and Culture

 

·        Engagement with the private sector and public sector partners will be central to our approach to helping grow and develop the economy.

·        We will when opportunities present themselves make best use of our property portfolio to support economic growth, through the use of our current and future asset base.

·        Using culture and built heritage to support our unique offer.

·        Developing town centres which are attractive and accessible for living, working, culture and leisure.

 

Health and Environment

 

·        We will encourage best use of our distinctive environment as a location for attracting cultural activities and events that strengthen the district’s visitor economy and the health and wellbeing of our residents.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

South Lakeland District Council to retain the management of the market and maintain the status quo.  This is not considered viable for the market or Town based on historic financial data which shows the market is in decline.

 

To close the market.  This has not been considered because of the potential the market has to offer Kendal, the economic driver a thriving market can be for the Town and the importance of the Market Charter for the Town.

Wards affected: Kendal East; Kendal North; Kendal Rural; Kendal South & Natland; Kendal Town; Kendal West;

Lead officer: Sion Thomas


17/07/2019 - Council property at Dowker Lane, Kendal ref: 4088    For Determination

To consider the boundary of the Council’s ownership at Dowker Lane, Kendal.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 17/07/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 19/07/2019

Effective from: 27/07/2019

Decision:

Summary

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder informed Cabinet that the food retailer and local business Booths, owned part of the car parking area on Dowkers Lane, Kendal.  South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) owned the larger part of the car park and managed all car parking on the site, including the areas owned by Booths for an agreed annual management fee.  In total there were 111 bays, with SLDC having 87 bays and Booths having ownership of the remaining 24 bays.  In addition to the 24 car parking bays owned by Booths, there was also a small garage on the site which was leased to Kendal Town Council.

 

Booths had indicated that they wished to dispose of their interest at Dowkers Lane and, through negotiations with the Council’s property advisors, had come to an agreement for the value noted in the business case within the Part II Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Details of current gross and net income generated from the car park together with the management charges of SLDC car park team, were provided within the report.  The management fee charged against the gross income from the car park areas was based on a pro-rata allocation of the gross income derived from the site.  The basis of the management fee charged was that of the agreed apportionment of Council overheads and charges relating to the management of Kendal car parks.  It was very unlikely that the management costs experienced by the Council car park team would decline should the acquisition of the Booths interest not happen.  Thus, in this scenario, the Council would be left with costs of over £10,000 per annum, and no corresponding income stream against which to allocate these charges.

 

There was not one prescribed method to assess the value of the car park to the Council.  The gross income was one option whilst valuation practice would usually seek to value the net or free cash flows.  This had, therefore, resulted in a range of values being considered for the car park interest.

 

The garage on the site was currently leased to Kendal Town Council at a rent of £2,600 per annum, which had been calculated as part of the overall valuation.

 

The asset was currently being advertised on the market by the agent for Booths.  If the asset was still on the market on approval of the budget to proceed, the next step would be to instruct Legal Services, and transfer the asset into the Council car park portfolio at the earliest possible date.  Subject to approval and acceptance, it as expected that completion could take place within eight weeks of the reaching exclusive agreement terms with the vendor.  Once within the portfolio, the management charges and income allocation would fall away, and the Council would obtain full rights to all income generated at the site on all 111 parking bays.

 

Note – The business case and site plan were shown at Appendix 1 to the report in Part ll of the Agenda which was excluded from inspection by members of the public in accordance with Section 100 (B) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, and, in all the circumstances of the case, it was considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing it.  Copies of the document were excluded, as it contained information as described in Schedule 12A of the Act as follows:-

 

- Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).  (Paragraph 3)

 

In concluding, the Portfolio Holder commended the opportunity presented by the proposal to bring a valuable asset into the ownership of the Council, protecting parking space for residents and providing a useful cash income.  He thanked officers and the Council’s property advisors for their work.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That authority be delegated to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services, in consultation with the Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder, to make a formal offer to acquire the car park and garage owned by Booths Ltd., located at Dowkers Lane, Kendal, and shown outlined in the Part II Appendix 1 to the report, subject to Council approving the update to the Capital Programme to incorporate the proposed purchase for the sum outlined in the business case outlined in that Appendix.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

To assist in the delivery of the Council Plan priorities, as follows:-

 

Economy and Culture

 

·        Developing town centres.  Having suitable and adequate car parking provision whilst not a statutory function of local government, is essential to the proper functioning of town centres.  The Dowkers Lane car park supports residents, businesses and visitors to Kendal and promotes the economic sustainability of the town.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

This is not a proposal which merits consideration of options other than that of acquisition or not.  In the case of the latter, the Council will then be subject to a new car park operator in the town, and this could act to disrupt the market economics of the car parking strategy developed by the Council.

Wards affected: Kendal Town;

Lead officer: Sion Thomas