Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 25 March 2020 10.00 a.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal

Contact: Inge Booth  Senior Committee Services Officer

Items
No. Item

CEX/101

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 no declarations of interest were raised.

CEX/102

Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That, should discussion be necessary, the appendices in Part II of the agenda be dealt with following the exclusion of press and public.

CEX/103

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:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no questions, representations, deputations or petitions have been received in respect of this meeting.

CEX/104

Emergency Executive Decision-Making pdf icon PDF 354 KB

To consider arrangements for the taking of Emergency Executive Decisions (report to follow).

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder asked Cabinet to support his decision to delegate to the Chief Executive any decision which was related to the COVID 19 Global pandemic emergency, or that was urgent or that would be necessary or expedient, or which would otherwise protect the Council’s interests.  This delegation of powers would be in consultation with the Leader of the Council and relevant Portfolio Holder.

 

Note – All Executive powers vests in the Leader as the “Senior Executive Member” under Section 9E of the Local Government Act 2000, and the Leader can authorise any executive member or officer to take decisions at any time.

 

In relation to Resolution (5) below, 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 Constitution, the Head of Paid Service 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 Leader of the Labour Group expressed strong support for the measures being taken.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        Cabinet supports the Leader’s decision to delegate to the Chief Executive any executive decision in this COVID 19 Global pandemic emergency or that is urgent or that would be necessary or expedient, or which would otherwise protect the Council’s interests, including key decisions (this would be in consultation with the Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder);

 

(2)        Cabinet notes the Leader’s decision and agrees that in the event that the Chief Executive is not available that this responsibility will be delegated to such persons whom the Chief Executive has authorised in writing;

 

(3)        Cabinet notes the Leader’s decision and agrees that in the event that the Leader is not available that this responsibility to be consulted will be delegated to the Deputy Leader or such other Portfolio Holder whom the Leader has authorised in writing;

 

(4)        Cabinet agrees that the relevant Director (or appointed Deputy) has the authority to award contract awards up to the value of £100,000 following consultation with relevant Portfolio Holder, Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer (all other contract awards will be addressed by the delegation at Resolution (1) above); and

 

(5)        Cabinet agrees to the establishment of a COVID 19 grant scheme with an allocated budget of £95,000 for those assisting with supporting the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Cabinet delegates the criteria and process for administering the fund to the Chief Executive.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The decision will ensure that the Council continues to be flexible with decision-making and continue to deliver the Council’s priorities at an unprecedented time.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Retain Leader and Cabinet decision-making without providing further options to delegate decision-making with the potential for Members to attend  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/104

CEX/105

Non Attendance at Council meetings - Approval of reason for non-attendance pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To consider approval of a reason for non-attendance by Members at Council meeting during the declared COVID-19 pandemic.

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Council’s Monitoring Officer introduced the report.  Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 provided that councillors who had not attended a meeting in any six-month period since their last attendance automatically ceased to be a Member of the Council.  The Act provided that this automatically applied, unless the failure to attend was a reason approved by Council.

 

The reason was updated to add the wording “, or who could not meet the attendance requirements due to the Council’s decision to follow Government advice by deferring or cancelling meetings.”

 

Cabinet was, therefore, being asked to approve the updated reasons for non-attendance during the declared pandemic.  For the health reason to apply and for it to be recorded, councillors would be requested to contact the Monitoring Officer.  In the event that councillors did not contact the Monitoring Officer providing this reason, normal rules would continue to apply.  For the reason of cancellation or deferral of meetings to apply, this would be a matter of record and apply automatically.

 

The Monitoring Officer explained that an emergency non-executive decision process was also being put into place.

 

It was clarified that the report had been sent to all Party Leaders and no comments had been made.  Consultation had been after publication of the report.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the updated reasons for non-attendance at meetings in any six month period during the declared pandemic outlined at paragraph 3.2 to the report be approved, namely, during the declared pandemic, any councillors who are unable to attend Council meetings having followed Government, Public Health England and NHS advice relating to COVID-19, or who could not meet the attendance requirements due to the Council’s decision to follow Government advice by deferring or cancelling meetings, will have an approved reason for non-attendance at Council meetings; and

 

(2)        all Members who find themselves in this situation and who are unable to attend Council meetings having followed Government, Public Health England and NHS advice relating to COVID-19 be requested to inform the Monitoring Officer as and when this occurs (for the reason of cancellation or deferral of meeting to apply, this will be a matter of record and apply automatically).

 

Reasons for Decision

 

Those councillors who have not attended a meeting in any six month period since the last attendance at a meeting will have an approved Council reason for non-attendance and will not automatically cease to be a Member of the Council.

 

Councillors assist the Council in the discharge of its functions and in decision-making.  The Council’s decision-making processes help it to achieve the aims and objectives of the Council’s priorities.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

To continue to apply Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972.  However, non-attendance may be on receipt of professional advice, or due to cancellation or deferral of meetings, and it would seem unfair in these circumstances for the rules of non-attendance to apply with automatic cessation of the role of councillor.

CEX/106

Parking subsidy agreement for Buxton Place Car Park, Ulverston pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To consider entering into agreement with Ulverston Business Improvement District (BID) and Ulverston Town Council to enable subsidised parking in Buxton Place Car Park, Ulverston, over a two year period.

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder presented the report informing Members that the Council had been approached in November 2019 by Ulverston Town Council and Ulverston BID, and asked to consider a subsidised parking scheme where the Town Council and BID would jointly subsidise the parking within Buxton Place Car Park.  The principle behind this was that they wanted to encourage dwell time of visitors and shoppers to the town.

 

The proposed subsidised parking scheme comprised of new parking rates of £0.50 for one hour and £1.00 for two hours, with Ulverston Town Council and Ulverston BID paying the difference between the new rate and original rate (‘the Scheme’).  Therefore, Ulverston Town Council and Ulverston BID would subsidise the reduced parking rates at a cost of £0.70 for one hour and £1.20 for two hours.

 

The Council currently had a reduced rate car parking tariff in Stockbridge Lane Car Park within Ulverston which offered parking all day for £1.00.  The proposed Scheme for Buxton Place was to encourage shoppers to come into Ulverston following the opening of a new Marks and Spencer’s store and an Aldi store.

 

Following a review of the car parking tickets sold in Buxton Place Car Park in the 2018/2019 financial year, it was reasonable to assume the number of ticket sales as an accurate base data to agree the subsidy required.  In 2018/2019, there had been 28,828 one hour duration tickets sold and 12,701 two hour duration tickets sold.  An annual subsidy payment of £35,420.80 from Ulverston Town Council and Ulverston BID would be made and fixed payment for the first 12 months proposed. 

 

There was potential that users from other car parks would move to Buxton Place Car Park from those at Brewery Street or Theatre Street.  This was, therefore, a risk to the Council, with a fixed payment to be agreed for the first 12 months but, equally, this scheme would hopefully bring additional cars to the Town and, therefore, compensating for any potential loss in revenue.

 

There would also be an option within the legal Agreement for both parties to review the Agreement after 12 months, with a break clause and possibility to renegotiate the subsidy.  This ensured that the Agreement continued only where the Scheme was deemed to be a success for the first 12 months.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the proposal for subsidised parking at Buxton Place Car Park, Ulverston, be approved; and

 

(2)        authority be delegated to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services and the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer) to prepare and enter into an appropriate agreement for subsidised parking at Buxton Place Car Park, Ulverston, and to prepare the required Traffic Regulation Order.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

To assist in the delivery of the Council Plan – Economy and Culture – Developing town centres which are attractive and accessible for living, working, culture and leisure.  This project is a pilot project to determine if cheaper parking in Ulverston will protect Town Centre  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/106

CEX/107

Reconfiguration of South Lakeland House and Kendal Town Hall pdf icon PDF 259 KB

To consider the award of the contract for construction works to reconfigure and refurbish South Lakeland House and Kendal Town Hall.

 

Note – In accordance with Section 100B(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, copies of Appendix 1 to the report are excluded from inspection by members of the public as it contains information as described in Schedule 12A of the Act, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, as follows:-

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder reported that South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) was currently going through a major programme of change and transformation through the Customer Connect Programme, recognising the need to adopt different ways of working to engage with its many customers and residents.  Underpinning the transformation would be the adoption of changes in technology, allowing both staff and customers the ability to engage in ways not currently possible.  The Customer Connect Programme would result in changes to the way the Council engaged with its customers, with more activities being moved to self-help and online channels.  It was felt that a new refurbished, agile and flexible working space would benefit the Council and support the Customer Connect Programme.

 

In 2016-2018 SLDC had undertaken a joint feasibility study with Cumbria County Council and the Lake District National Park Authority to investigate the potential of a new Public Sector Hub on the County Hall site in Kendal.  Alongside this study, SLDC had undertaken a high level assessment of the potential to invest in the renovation of South Lakeland House (SLH) and Kendal Town Hall (KTH).  With a smaller floor space requirement for SLDC than currently used, the assessment included the potential to create renovated office space which could be attractive to the market and which could generate an income for the Council.  The assessment had also been also based on the idea of creating a new customer service reception area in the Town Hall, with the Town Hall being a major asset for the Town and more readily accessible for the public.  The findings of this study indicated that there was scope to improve the space utilisation at both SLH and KTH, with subsequent opportunities to lease out vacated space to third party tenants, or increase the range of function rooms for events within the Town Hall.  This study had determined that with appropriate design, it would be possible to accommodate the full SLDC requirements for workstations on the first floor of SLH, which would be more directly linked to the main KTH ground floor, which would provide the new main reception and customer meeting space.  After receiving detailed financial information (including possible costs associated for occupation) for, and completing the initial feasibility of the Public Sector Hub, and taking into account the residual liabilities associated with the South Lakeland House site, SLDC had withdrawn from further feasibility work on the Public Sector Hub to concentrate on a detailed feasibility study for SLH and KTH, building on the high level assessment undertaken.

 

In April 2018, SLDC had commissioned Lambert Smith Hampton and Blue-Sky Interior Designers Ltd to produce concept and developed design options, up to RIBA Stage 3 (Concept design), for SLH and KTH, with the aim of creating a scheme which was fit for purpose and maximised the use of the available space - to undertake an assessment of potential demand for the refurbished surplus space which was likely to arise from the investment in SLH and KTH  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/107

CEX/108

Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12 A of the Act as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 by virtue of the Paragraph indicated.

CEX/109

Reconfiguration of South Lakeland House and Kendal Town Hall - Appendix 1

Minutes:

Discussion took place in relation to Appendix 1 to the report which included exempt information in relation to the tender evaluation.

 

Note - Members voted to move back into Part I.

CEX/110

Re-admission of Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the press and public be re-admitted to the meeting.

CEX/111

Reconfiguration of South Lakeland House and Kendal Town Hall

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder raised the issue of the Coronavirus emergency which clearly had the potential to disrupt the implementation of the project, however, still urged that the recommendation be approved.  The Council would need to work closely with the successful contractor regarding Government advice on health and safety at work, as well as any constraints imposed upon them and in the light of constraints.

 

The Leader thanked the Operational Lead for Delivery and Commercial Services and all officers who had worked on the Scheme.  He was delighted that the projected was moving ahead.

 

The Labour Group Leader supported the proposal and, in addition to points already raised, drew attention to the resulting benefits for residents.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the contract for construction works to reconfigure and refurbish South Lakeland House and Kendal Town Hall be awarded to the recommended contractor as identified in the Part II Appendix 1 to the report;

 

(2)        authority be delegated to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services and to the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer) to enter into, on behalf of the Council, an appropriate contract with the successful tenderer for the construction works; and

 

(3)        the appointment of Lambert Smith Hampton and sub-consultants through the Bloom procurement framework to project manage the scheme within the agreed budget be approved and authority delegated to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services and to the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer) to enter into the appropriate contracts.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

Investment in South Lakeland House and Kendal Town Hall will:-

 

·         provide office space to support the Council’s Customer Connect Programme;

·         create new modern town centre offices for other businesses;

·         provide a MintWorks2 for new Small and Medium sized Enterprises;

·         deliver much needed refurbishment of Kendal Town Hall;

·         provide much improved working facilities for all employees, both SLDC and KTC;

·         provide disabled access to all areas of SLDC offices;

·         enable a joint reception area in the front of the Town Hall;

·         open up more meeting room space for community groups; and

·         generate income and reduce ongoing maintenance costs for the Council.

 

In addition, the decision will assist in the delivery of the Council Plan priorities, as follows:-

 

Economy –

 

·         Engagement with the private sector and public sector partners will be central to the Council’s 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.

·         Through our economic development strategy we will continue to build on our traditional strengths, and pioneer new industries that make the most of our place. We will promote new ways of working so that businesses can compete and reach their potential whilst enjoying everything that is special about living in South Lakeland.

 

Environment –

 

·         We will reduce the Council’s carbon emissions by reducing our energy use through the efficient management of our land and buildings and  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/111

CEX/112

Award of Lease for Braithwaite Fold Caravan Park pdf icon PDF 474 KB

To consider the award of the contract for Braithwaite Fold Caravan Site, Bowness-on-Windermere.

 

Note – In accordance with Section 100B(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, copies of Appendices 2 and 3 to the report are excluded from inspection by members of the public as they contain information as described in Schedule 12A of the Act, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, as follows:-

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder introduced the report.  Braithwaite Fold Caravan Site at Bowness-on-Windermere had been managed on behalf of the Council by the Camping and Caravan Club Ltd.  The contract had commenced in 2012, initially for a five year period, with a three year extension having been agreed in 2017, ending in January 2020.

 

On 7 October 2019, the Council had re-tendered the contract.  The tender had been issued with a fully drafted management agreement in order to remove any uncertainty during the tender period and to reduce the risk of any challenge following award of contract, including a number of key performance indicators to ensure a high level of service was maintained by the management company.  No formal tenders had been received, although two well established caravan site operators had, as part of the tender process, expressed an interest to enter into a long term lease for the site with the Council instead of the management agreement proposed.

 

Following approval by Cabinet on 20 December 2019, the site had been tendered for a long term lease (initially 25 years) in order to secure a well-established operator for the site. This would ensure that the site would continue as a caravan park which was stipulated in the Heads of Terms, would remove any uncertainty for the Council longer term and move risk away to the operators with specific points inserted into the Heads of Terms to protect the Council, such as minimum number of pitches and minimum occupancy rates payable to the Council during any period.  Tenders had been submitted by the two well-established caravan park operators who had initially expressed an interest when the management agreement had originally been put out to tender.

 

Note - Members voted to move into Part II to discuss Appendix 2 to the report which contained exempt information in relation to the tender results.

CEX/113

Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12 A of the Act as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 by virtue of the Paragraph indicated.

CEX/114

Award of Lease for Braithwaite Fold Caravan Park - Appendix 2

Minutes:

Discussion took place in relation to Appendix 2 to the report which included exempt information in relation to the tender results.

 

Note - Members voted to move back into Part I.

CEX/115

Re-admission of Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the press and public be re-admitted to the meeting.

CEX/116

Award of Lease for Braithwaite Fold Caravan Park

Minutes:

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the heads of terms of lease be approved, initially for 25 years, for the future operation of the Braithwaite Fold Caravan site;

 

(2)        the contract be awarded to the successful bidder as identified in the Part II Appendix 2 to the report; and

 

(3)        the terms of the lease be delegated to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services in conjunction with the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) and the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer).

 

Reasons for Decision

 

To assist in the delivery of the Council Plan – Economy and Culture – Encouraging a sustainable environment and inclusive economy.  The current operator has helped grow the site, attracting more visitors to the area, in turn encouraging secondary spend with neighbouring stakeholders.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

To re-tender the management agreement to see if other suppliers would be interested in running the site on behalf of the Council. This has been discounted as it is felt that the current tendering portal covers a wide area and therefore it is unlikely to bring about a different result.

 

For the Council to run the site in house. Due to the required recruitment process, it is not felt that this is an appropriate alternative option.

 

To dispose of the land. This is not felt to be a suitable option due to the lost revenue the Council would incur through sale of the land.

CEX/117

Urgent Decisions

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Councils Monitoring Officer reported a number of urgent executive decisions required in light of the Government’s announcements on 23 March 2020.

 

In moves to protect residents in line with latest national Government advice and direction, South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) had announced further measures designed to limit the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

 

(a)        From 24 March, the front counter reception at the Council’s main offices at South Lakeland House in Kendal would be closed to face-to-face enquiries, as would Kendal Town Hall.

 

(b)        The Council has also announced the closure of the public jetty, public slipway and public toilets at Ferry Nab, Bowness.  All council managed play areas were to close, although parks would remain open for fresh air and exercise in line with Government advice.

 

(c)        The indoor market in Kendal would be closed, although the outdoor market would continue, but only for stalls selling food produce.

 

(d)        The Council’s leisure provider, GLL, had confirmed that all its facilities, including the leisure centres in Kendal and Ulverston, would be closed.

 

(e)        The Council was also suspending all bulky waste collection services provided by Right2Work and no more bookings would be accepted.

 

All closures and suspensions would remain in place until guidance was received that it was appropriate to re-open and resume.

 

Council staff would continue to work to deliver essential services and as part of the co-ordinated Coronavirus response.

 

The Leader further proposed that car parks operated by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) be made free of charge from today to ensure key workers and volunteers involved in the Coronavirus response could access parking and to minimise the risk of virus transmission.  The Leader outlined that all of the Council’s off-street car parks would remain open but charges would not be enforced.  The Westmorland Shopping Centre multi-storey car park would, however, be closed to vehicles.  The Council wanted to ensure that key workers and volunteers could go about their vital work as easily as possible, and temporarily removing Council parking charges was one way in which the Council could help.  It would also mean that anyone using the car parks would not need to use the pay-and-display machines, which it was hoped would help to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.  It was stressed, however, that this was a measure designed to support key workers and that people should not be tempted to use the car parks unnecessarily.  The Government’s advice about social distancing and staying at home during this three week period was supported.  The Leader further recommended that parking charge arrangement will be subject to review in mid-April.

 

Note – The decisions met the definition of a key decision in the Council’s Constitution.  Due to COVID-19 and Government announcements, it had not been possible for the proposals to be included in a Forward Plan at least 28 clear days before the decisions were to be made.  In accordance with paragraph 16 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 of  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/117