Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Note – The proposal met the definition of a key decision in the Council’s Constitution as the financial implications for the Council of entering into the agreement were potentially in excess of £100,000. Due to the negotiations between parties, it had not been possible for the proposal to be included in a Forward Plan at least 28 clear days before the decision was to be made. In accordance with paragraph 15 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 of the Constitution, the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s had been informed that the taking of the decision was urgent and could not reasonably be deferred because of the need to secure the funding and the risk of re-allocation.
In addition, the Constitution stated that the call-in procedure should not apply where a decision being taken by the Cabinet was urgent and any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would, for example, seriously prejudice the Council’s or the public’s interests. In accordance with paragraph 16(j) of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules within Part 4 of the Constitution, the Chairman of the Council had been consulted and had agreed that the decision proposed was reasonable in all the circumstances and for it to be treated as a matter of urgency and that the call-in process should be waived.
The meeting has been called at short notice and in accordance with paragraph 4.3 of the Access to Information Rules of the Council’s Constitution. The meeting was being held in private for the following reasons:
Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
Paragraph 5 - Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.
The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder presented a report that sought approval to enable the Growth Deal funding from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership for the A590 Cross-a-Moor Junction Improvement scheme to be secured and the relevant legal agreement completed so that the scheme was able to proceed. The report highlighted a number of legal and financial implications. The report also highlighted ongoing negotiations with Highways England and Cumbria County Council and the other legal agreements required for the scheme to progress. The Portfolio Holder thanked Officers for their hard work which had ensured the progress of the project.
Members expressed their support for the project and raised questions relating to aspects of the scheme’s design and delivery.
In seconding the Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder expressed his support for the proposals and emphasised the importance of the Cross-a-Moor project to the district and to Ulverston. The Portfolio Holder echoed thanks for the hard work of Officers and expressed his gratitude to Councillor Jarvis for the clear explanation of a complex project.
The Leader asked the meeting if the motion was agreed. There was no dissent.
RESOLVED – That:-
(1) the Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources to enter into the Growth Deal Funding Agreement following consideration of the Legal, and Financial advice and draw down the £925,000 Growth Deal Fund Grant;
(2) the progress on the s274 agreement, Forward Funding Agreement and the Underwriting arrangement be noted;
(3) Cabinet confirms that should the continuing negotiations enable the Council to conclude further agreements in line with resolutions of Cabinet, and Council in September and October 2020, that the delegations provided by those resolutions can be exercised; and
(4) In the alternative to (3), a further report on the outcome of negotiations with Cumbria County Council, CLEP and Highways England and seek approval for the entering of agreements be received.
Reasons for Decision
The A590 Cross-a-Moor Junction Improvement would ensure delivery of over 1,000 dwellings in south Ulverston on sites allocated in the adopted Local Plan. It would therefore play a key role in the Council’s priority for delivering housing, particularly affordable housing. The scheme is highly significant for the housing priority in the Council Plan, and for the delivery of around 20% of planned housing provision in the Local Plan to 2025.
The scheme is also central to future economic growth in South Lakeland. The lack of people, particularly of working age, has been identified as a significant challenge to business growth in the area. The increased housing this project will facilitate will allow more people to live and work in the area, increasing the supply of labourfor all sizes and sectors.
If SLDC does not take a proactive role in the project and does not proceed with the recommended approach, it is highly likely that the scheme will not take place. This would reduce both the amount of housing that can be delivered in the south of Ulverston and the growth potential in the area in the next Local Plan Review. Reduced housing development will also reduce affordable housing provision, reduce wider benefits for economic growth and reduce income from Council Tax and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Publication date: 31/03/2021
Date of decision: 30/03/2021
Decided at meeting: 30/03/2021 - Cabinet