Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 23 June 2021 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Assembly Room, Kendal Town Hall, Kendal

Contact: Adam Moffatt  Legal, Governance and Democracy Specialist

Items
No. Item

CEX/1

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder welcomed new Cabinet Members, Councillors Helen Chaffey and Phillip Dixon to the meeting, and further welcomed Councillor Kevin Holmes and Janette Jenkinson to the Shadow Bench. In addition, the Leader welcomed the Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor David Webster to the meeting.

CEX/2

Cabinet Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 300 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the Executive Decisions made by Cabinet on 23 March 2021 and 30 March 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No Member having raised concern when asked by the Chairman, it was

 

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the Executive Decisions made by Cabinet on 23 March 2021 and 30 March 2021.

CEX/3

Delegated Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 256 KB

To receive the Delegated Executive Decisions made by Portfolio Holders or Officers on 11 March 2021.

Minutes:

No Member having raised concern when asked by the Chairman, it was

 

RESOLVED – That the Delegated Executive Decisions made by Portfolio Holders or Officers on 11 March 2021 be received.

CEX/4

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/5

Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items

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

Minutes:

Members were informed that the item in Part II of the agenda had been withdrawn from the agenda.

 

There were no excluded items on the agenda.

CEX/6

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/7

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To note the contents of the latest Forward Plan published on 25 May 2021.

Minutes:

Members were informed that the Forward Plan (published 22 June 2021) superseded the Forward Plan attached to the agenda and that this had been circulated to all Members following its publication.

 

No Member having raised concern when asked by the Chairman, it was

 

RESOLVED – That the contents of the Forward Plan published on 22 June 2021, be noted.

CEX/8

Cabinet Portfolios and Scheme of Delegation pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To note for information, the allocation of Portfolios to Cabinet Member and Shadow Cabinet Members, together with the Scheme of Delegation for the discharge of the Executive functions of the Council, and to sign Cabinet Job Descriptions (documentation will be circulated at the meeting).

Minutes:

Further to the announcement made by the Leader at the Annual Meeting of the Council on 19 May 2021, Members had been provided with copies of documents outlining the allocation of Portfolios to Cabinet Members and the Scheme of Delegation for the discharge of the Executive Functions of the Council. Members were also provided with a copy of a document which highlighted the allocation of Shadow Portfolios to the Shadow Executive.

 

RESOLVED – That the allocation of Portfolios to Cabinet Members by the Leader be noted and the respective Cabinet Job Descriptions be signed by each Cabinet Member.

CEX/9

Council Plan Performance Monitoring Report Quarter 4 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 437 KB

To monitor progress against the measures of success as detailed within the Council Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder presented the fourth quarter Council Plan Performance Monitoring Report 2020/21 which set out the Council Plan Priorities and Measures of Success. The measures listed, details of which were set out within the report, were showing very good performance and demonstrated that South Lakeland was a very desirable place to live, work and explore.

 

The report also included the latest Strategic Risk Register. Out of a total number of 16 risks, eight were currently above the Council’s tolerance but were, however, being managed effectively.

 

In presenting the report, the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder informed Members that the Council remained committed to deliver 1,000 affordable homes to rent by 2025, with the provision to date of 529 affordable homes to rent. In closing he referred to the 13 empty homes which had been brought back into use in South Lakeland for Quarter Four and an additional 9 affordable homes for rent completed during Quarter Four.

 

Discussion took place on the impact of Covid-19 on domestic violence statistics, Members felt that it was important to monitor this in the coming months as there could be a spike in the statistics once they had been updated.

 

Further discussion raised the most prominent risk on the risk register which related to the Medium Term Financial Plan and providing a balanced budget. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder informed Members that the Council was in a slightly improved position than had previously been expected given the impact of Covid-19 on Local Authorities.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That the following be noted:-

 

(1)   the Summary of Performance as detailed in the report;

 

(2)   the detailed risks information contained within Appendix 1; and

 

(3)   the detailed Business and Economy Statistics in Appendix 2.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The report is directly linked to the following Council Plan commitment to ensure that the Council is equipped to provide the best, most cost effective services. Details regarding performance monitoring are published in line with the Council’s current Performance Management Framework.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None – The purpose of the report is to receive a performance update. The Council must note successes, monitor progress and take action where appropriate.

CEX/10

Revenue and Capital Outturn 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 182 KB

To consider the Council’s financial performance for 2020/21 and the impact on reserve balances.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder presented the Revenue and Capital Outturn 2020/21 report which set out the Council’s financial performance for 2020/21 and the impact on reserves. He highlighted the huge impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the hard work of the finance team in applying for and administering grants to local businesses. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder thanked the Finance Team for their work during a challenging period and added that despite the complex situation, the Council was in a better positon than had been expected earlier in the year.

 

Attention was drawn to the significant impact of Covid-19 on the Council’s finances with £134 million of additional support from the Government to the Council and South Lakeland area. He reminded Members of the additional budget of £2 million which had been funded by use of the General Reserve and approved by Cabinet and Council in June 2020 and explained that the expected net cost of Covid-19 to the Council had been reduced to £1.3 million in February 2021. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder informed Members that mainly due to additional grants and contributions received, the estimated cost was now £259,000.

 

The report was due to be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 9 July 2021.

 

Discussion raised a query relating to funds that had been made available to vulnerable people within South Lakeland. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder informed Members that the funding had taken the form of grants that had already been paid.

 

Members having raised concern relating to the impact of a potential unitary authority on the budget of the Council in the short-term, the Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder explained that in the event of that decision, there would be direct costs on the Council as consultants would be needed to work out how to move forwards. He added that in the event of that decision there would also be constraints placed on the outgoing authorities’ finances to prevent asset stripping within the organisation but highlighted that well documented decisions that had been made would most likely still be able to go ahead.

 

Further discussion raised a query relating to the performance of the Planning department, the Chief Executive Officer responded by informing Members that the Council had the right and sufficient amount of employees to undertake the planning services and that the department’s performance statistics had been improving greatly.

 

In seconding the report, the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder highlighted the ambitious program across the district and that it remained the Council’s plan to deliver these projects to residents. He echoed the earlier comments thanking the finance team for their hard work during a challenging period and thanked all officers of the council for their strong response to Covid-19.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

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

 

(2)   the carry forwards set out in Appendix 1d and 2 be  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/10

CEX/11

2020/21 Annual Treasury Management Report pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To consider the Treasury Management Annual Report 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The 2020/21 Annual Treasury Management Report was presented by the Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder. The report reviewed the treasury activities and the actual prudential and treasury indicators for the 2020/21 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 remained at £12.8 million, which was below the Capital Financing Requirement of £21.1 million, further repayment of debt was not recommended given that the current repayment premium would be high. Attention was drawn to the fact that the Council had not funded revenue activity through borrowing, which was a prudent strategy. The borrowing strategy was constantly under review so as to avoid incurring higher borrowing costs in the future.

 

The report would be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the meeting scheduled for Friday, 9 July 2021.

 

Discussion raised concern regarding the outcome of Local Government Reorganisation and the impact on the levels of debt currently held by the Council. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder informed Members that it was not as straight forward as just considering the debts of other authorities as assets can affect the balance. The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) agreed to provide further information on this in a written response. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder added that the bigger concern maybe debt at a county level and pension liabilities when considering the impact of a potential unitary authority on the Council’s current level of debt.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That Council be recommended to approve the 2020/21 Annual Treasury Management 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 2020/21.

CEX/12

Local Authority Delivery Scheme for the Green Homes Grant pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To consider the potential receipt of grant funding from BEIS via the North West Energy Hub for the Local Authority Delivery of the Green Homes Grant.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Housing Portfolio Holder introduced the Local Authority Delivery Scheme for the Green Homes Grant report.

 

The Specialist (Housing Standards) informed Members that the Scheme aimed to build on the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme (which ended in March 2021) and was to be delivered by a consortium of Cumbria District Councils, led by Eden District Council. He explained that the proposal would include the services of a Retro Fit Coordinator and some administration costs, and would establish expertise to apply for future grant funding. The Specialist (Housing Standards) highlighted that should the consortium bid be successful, there was the potential to provide £716,000 of energy saving measures for residents of South Lakeland.

 

Discussion took place on the impact of an income threshold on the residents of South Lakeland with the scheme, the time constraints placed on anyone applying for Green Homes Grants under the scheme and on the lack of skilled contractors who could apply the improvements offered by the scheme. The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder echoed Members concerns with the strain on the scheme and added that it was important to manage expectations of the scheme, particularly when considering the time constraints.

 

The Specialist (Housing Standards) informed Members that the scheme hoped to use EON as the main supplier who will source the contractors who are qualified for this work.

 

Further discussion raised a query relating to whether there had been any controls put in place to prevent people from using the scheme to improve their home for their own financial gain. The Specialist (Housing Standards) informed Members that there had not been any such controls put in place as the aim of the scheme was to improve homes with E, F and G energy efficiency ratings.

 

Members called for the government to improve the efficiency and reach of the Local Authority Delivery Scheme for the Green Homes Grant. Concern having being raised regarding the lack of local delivery options for the scheme, Members felt that local authorities could offer a great deal if powers were to be devolved to allow for local delivery of the scheme. In concluding the discussion, Members thanked officers for their hard work and commitment to the success of the scheme.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)   the proposal to participate in a consortium bid for grant funding from the Local Authority Delivery Scheme Phase 2 – Green Homes Grant (LAD2) North West Energy Hub via a consortium of Cumbria District Councils, in respect of the provision of energy efficiency measures be approved;

 

(2)   subject to a successful consortium bid by Cumbria District Councils (including SLDC), acceptance by SLDC of its allocation of the grant funding awarded by North West Energy Hub LAD2 scheme in the sum of £716,000 be authorised, provided that if the actual sum of grant awarded to SLDC is more or less than £716,000 the difference will be reported as part of the Quarterly Finance Update Reporting; and

 

(3)   subject to the award of  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/12

CEX/13

Cabinet Appointments/ Representations on Outside Bodies 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To consider appointments to/representation on outside bodies for 2021/22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

Consideration was given to proposed nominations for the appointments of representatives to serve on outside bodies for the forthcoming year 2021/22. Members were informed of an updated version of appendix 1 to the report which had been circulated prior to the meeting.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That the following appointments of representatives to serve on outside bodies for 2021/22 (or for terms as otherwise state) be made:-

 

Organisation

Representative

Notes

Appleby Fair Multi-Agency Co-ordinating Group

Suzie Pye

 

Arnside/ Silverdale Area of Outstanding  Natural of Beauty Executive Committee

Helen Chaffey

 

Bowness and Windermere Forward Board

Robin Ashcroft

 

Citizens’ Advice Bureau Trustee Board

Suzie Pye

Observer only

Community Safety Partnership

Suzie Pye

Health, Wellbeing and Poverty Alleviation Portfolio Holder

Council of Grizedale Arts

Robin Ashcroft

Observer only

County Council Local Committee for South Lakeland

Jonathan Brook

 

County Council Local Committee for South Lakeland

Andrew Jarvis

 

Cumbria Community Foundation

Phillip Dixon

 

Cumbria Housing Group

Helen Chaffey

 

Cumbria Joint Districts Board

Jonathan Brook

Leader Appointment

Cumbria Leadership Group

Jonathan Brook

Leader

Cumbria Pensions Forum

Andrew Jarvis

 

Cumbria Strategic Waste Partnership

Phillip Dixon

 

Cumbria Strategic Waste Partnership

Dyan Jones

Substitute

Cumbria Tourism

Robin Ashcroft

 

Duddon Estuary Partnership Consultative Committee

Tracy Coward

 

Duddon Estuary Partnership Consultative Committee

Gill Gardner

 

Furness Economic Development Forum

Robin Ashcroft

 

Gateway Group

Suzie Pye

 

George Moore Education Trust

Robin Ashcroft

Trustee Role

Kendal BID

Robin Ashcroft

 

Kendal Brewery Arts Centre

Robin Ashcroft

 

Kendal Futures Board

Robin Ashcroft

 

Lakes Line Rail User Group

Douglas Rathbone

 

Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership

Chris Hogg

 

Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership

Douglas Rathbone

 

Local Enterprise Partnership

Jonathan Brook

Leader on rotation with Leader of Barrow BC

Morecambe Bay Partnership

Robin Ashcroft

 

North West Housing Forum

Helen Chaffey

 

Parking and Traffic Regulation Outside London Joint Committee

Phillip Dixon

 

Public Health Alliance

Suzie Pye

 

Reserve Forces and Cadets Association

Roger Bingham

 

Safer Cumbria

Suzie Pye

 

South Lakes Business against Crime Partnership

Pete McSweeney

 

South Lakes Housing

Susanne Long

 

South Lakes Housing

TBC

 

SPARSE Rural

Peter Thornton

 

SPARSE Rural

Giles Archibald

 

Ulverston BID

Janette Jenkinson

Observer only

Cumbria Better Connected

Robin Ashcroft

 

Lake District National Park Business Task Force

Robin Ashcroft

 

Sedbergh Economic Partnership

Robin Ashcroft

 

Lancaster and South Cumbria Joint Committee

Jonathan Brook

Leader

Lancaster and South Cumbria Joint Committee

Robin Ashcroft

Cabinet Member

South Lakeland Health and Wellbeing Partnership

Suzie Pye

 

The Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) Places Strategy Group

Jonathan Brook

 

Cumbria Local Nature Partnership Board

Dyan Jones

 

Lake District National Park Partnership

Andrew Jarvis

 

 

Reasons for Decision

 

Appointments to Outside Bodies assist in the delivery of the Council Plan through partnership working: “across boundaries, with a range of other local authorities, organisations and businesses”.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Not to make appointments, which could affect the Council’s ability to influence partners on important strategic issues.

CEX/14

Sub-Lease at Kendal Leisure Centre

To consider a Sub-Lease at Kendal Leisure Centre (Report to follow).

Minutes:

Members were informed that this report had been withdrawn from the agenda.