Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 27 November 2019 10.00 a.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal

Contact: Inge Booth  Senior Committee Services Officer

Items
No. Item

CEX/59

Cabinet Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 309 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the Executive Decisions made by Cabinet on 30 October 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the Executive Decisions made by Cabinet on 30 October 2019.

CEX/60

Delegated Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To receive the Delegated Executive Decisions made by Portfolio Holders or Officers on 7 November 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Delegated Executive Decisions made by Portfolio Holders or Officers on 7 November 2019 be received.

CEX/61

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/62

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/63

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/64

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To note the contents of the Forward Plan published on 13 November 2019.

Minutes:

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder drew attention to the fact that a new Forward Plan had been published on 21 November 2019, including notification of an additional Key Decision due to be taken by Cabinet on 20 December 2019 with regard to Pension Contributions 2020-2023, copies of which had been made available prior to the commencement of the meeting.

 

RESOLVED – That the contents of the Forward Plan published on 21 November 2019 be noted.

CEX/65

Corporate Financial Update Quarter 2 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 382 KB

To note the projected year end position based on performance to the end of Quarter 2 2019/20 and officers’ planned actions to ensure a balanced budget by the end of the financial year and to consider the updated Capital Programme and the updated Procurement Schedule 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder introduced the Corporate Financial Monitoring Update for Quarter 2 2019/20.

 

Appendix 1 to the report set out the revenue variances to date. The approved net revenue budget for 2019/20 set by Council in February 2019 had been £14m which had included a Customer Connect savings target of £740,000 and a vacancy factor savings target of £593,000.  Additionally, carry forward requests of £510,000 had been approved by Cabinet on 24 April 2019.  Expenditure budgets had been increased in accordance with those approved carry forwards along with the matching funding from reserves.  Overall, at the end of Quarter 2, budget monitoring had identified a forecast year-end overspend of £422,000; this included the saving target for Phase 2 of Customer Connect, which was to be identified later in the financial year.  At the same time in 2018/19 a total of £612,000 in overspends and outstanding savings target had been reported. The Council had then gone on to achieve an underspend of £9,000 at outturn. Excluding savings targets, the overspend in year was estimated to be £264,000 against an overspend of £251,000 in 2018/19.  Trends identified in these budget monitoring results would be fed into the 2020/21 budget setting process.

 

Appendix 2 to the report set out the position on the Capital Programme.  The capital budget for 2019/20 approved by Council in July 2019 had been £16.4m.  Table 4 in the report summarised requests to update the Capital Programme, including the £325,000 purchase of land at Dowker Lane, Kendal, the re-profiling from 2018/19 of Ulverston Town Hall grant and various minor adjustments.  Expenditure against the Programme to the end of Quarter 2 was £2.292m.  Following the review of the Capital Programme with leads and portfolio holders, £10.6m of re-profiling had been identified and was included in the revised Capital Programme at Appendix 4 to the report for Council to approve.

 

Appendix 3 to the report provided an update on Treasury Management for the quarter.  Investments had performed better than the relevant benchmarks.  No repayment of existing borrowing or new borrowing was anticipated up to the end of the financial year.

 

Since April 2016, the Council’s Constitution had permitted officers to conduct and conclude the contracting processes without further approval, providing it was in line with the Procurement Schedule, to be approved by Council at least annually. Where a procurement process was over budget then approval would still be required in accordance with the Financial Procedure Rules.  Where an officer sought approval for a waiver or exemption under the Contract Procedure Rules, this was also included in the Procurement Schedule.  An updated Procurement Schedule for 2019/20 was attached at Appendix 5 to the report which included some additional procurement exercises not approved in July 2019.

 

A budget update was included in the report on the impact of the Government spending review on the Council’s budget for 2020/21 and the proposed timetable for preparing and approving the budgets for 2020/21 – 2024/25 was included at Appendix 6.

 

The Finance  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/65

CEX/66

Council Plan and Biodiversity Policy pdf icon PDF 319 KB

To consider the draft Council Plan which has been revised and updated to run from 2020 to 2025 and a Biodiversity Policy for the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder presented a report proposing an update to the current Council Plan for the period 2019 to 2024.  The revised Plan which would run from 2020 to 2025 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  A number of minor changes were outlined, the most important being additional updated text on working across boundaries reflecting progress on the Lancaster and South Cumbria Economic Region and additional emphasis on the Climate Change emergency and the Council’s response in this regard.

 

The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder turned to the issue of Biodiversity and referred to the motion carried by Council on 23 July 2019 (Minute No.C/36 (2019/20) refers).  The scope of the Green Team had subsequently been widened to address this and, as a starting point, a corporate policy on Biodiversity had been drafted, which was attached at Appendix 4 to the report.  The policy sought to maximise the ways in which the Council could use its direct and indirect influence to ensure that the impact of human activity within South Lakeland on Biodiversity was as positive as it could be.

 

The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder drew attention to the suggestion raised by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 25 October 2019 when considering the document with regard to the need for reference to transport, advising that this request had been implemented.

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder thanked all involved for their work.

 

Discussion took place on the need for the publication of information on steps being taken by the Council to address Climate Change and Biodiversity loss, particularly around tree planting, as well as how communities could become involved and including details on who to contact at the Council in this regard.  The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder undertook to ensure that this was addressed and the information provided to Members and parishes.  The Strategy Lead Specialist informed Members about the Biodiversity Net Gain requirement in national and local planning policy whereby new developments had to deliver an overall increase in biodiversity, also advising that, under current policies, developers were required to submit landscape schemes and to safeguard tress and areas of biodiversity importance whilst work was in progress.

 

Also raised were the importance of localism and partnership working and the need to address inequality and poverty.  Attention was drawn to the issue of the severe decrease in insect life caused by, for example, habitat loss and invasive species such as Himalayan Balsam, was raised.  It was felt that consideration should be given to how to tackle this issue; this was not something that could be undertaken by volunteers alone.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the updated Council Plan 2020 to 2025 be approved for recommendation to Council for adoption as part of the Council’s Policy Framework;

 

(2)        Council be recommended to authorise the Strategy Lead Specialist, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/66

CEX/67

Annual Health and Safety Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 265 KB

To consider the Annual Health and Safety Report 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Operational Lead for Delivery and Commercial Services introduced the Council’s Annual Health and Safety Report 2018/19 which demonstrated that the Council was moving steadily in improving health and safety performance.  The Council had set ambitious targets for 2018/19 and a detailed summary of the action taken to meet those targets was provided.  The report had also been presented to the Health and Safety Committee, the Joint Consultative Committee and the Human Resources Committee.

 

The Operational Lead for Delivery and Commercial Services highlighted a number of specific areas of the report and drew attention to the priorities which had been identified to drive staff safety and health during 2019.

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder commended the critical work being carried out in relation to Health and Safety.

 

The importance of the health and wellbeing of staff, both physically and mentally, was stressed and reference made to the fact that the Council was now working towards the silver level of the Better Health at Work Award, having achieved bronze in December 2018.

 

In response to concern raised with regard to the Council’s lane end policy to minimise the risk from vehicle manoeuvres, the Operational Lead for Delivery and Commercial Services explained that, currently, where larger refuse vehicles were unable to gain safe access, using smaller vehicles to make collections was considered as part of the assessment process.  Risks were to be reviewed and consideration given to any necessary action on a case by case basis, for example through the employment of contractors or through discussion with individual householders about suitable collection points.  In response to an additional query in this regard, the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder undertook to provide written details to all councillors on Council initiatives in relation to waste collection from elderly or disabled householders in properties at lane ends.  The Operational Lead for Delivery and Commercial added that the Council offered an assisted service.

 

A further concern having been raised in relation to vehicles exiting the middle floor of South Lakeland Housing Car Park and the detrimental impact on drivers’ line of sight due to cars parked on the double yellow lines to the left of the exit, the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder acknowledged that this was a valid point and undertook to investigate the matter.

 

The need to ensure that the forthcoming building works in South Lakeland House and Kendal Town Hall were carried out in a safe manner having been raised, the Operational Lead for Delivery and Commercial Services confirmed that the work would be carried out in accordance with health and safety regulations and by competent people.

 

It was confirmed that the Council’s Health and Safety policies extended to Members, as part of the Organisation.

 

The Chief Executive closed the discussion referring to his short introduction on the report, pointing out that everyone had a responsibility for health and safety.  He stressed the fact that, in years gone by, the Council had been reactive in  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/67