Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 2nd September 2014 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

Contact: Liz Bateson, Democratic Services - telephone (01524) 582047 or email  ebateson@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

29.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 29th July 2014 were approved as a correct record.

 

30.

Items of Urgent Business Authorised by the Leader

To consider any such items authorised by the Leader and to consider where in the agenda the item(s) are to be considered. 

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that there were no items of urgent business.

 

 

31.

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 Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary 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). 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Members should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting. 

In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Members are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Barry declared a personal interest with regard to the Storey Update Report in view of his involvement with the Friends of the Storey Gardens.

 

32.

Public Speaking

To consider any such requests received in accordance with the approved procedure. 

 

Minutes:

Members were advised that there had been four requests to speak at the meeting from members of the public in accordance with Cabinet’s agreed procedure, as set out in Cabinet Procedure Rule 2.7, one with regard to the Assembly Rooms (Minute 33 refers) and three with regard to the Storey Update Report (Minute 34).

 

33.

Assembly Rooms pdf icon PDF 113 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Barry)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Environmental)

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Barry)

 

Ms Fiona Gordon who had registered to speak in accordance with the City Council’s agreed procedure and Cabinet Procedure Rule 2.7 addressed the meeting on this item and responded to questions raised by Cabinet Members.

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Environment) to enable Cabinet to consider an option for a future use of the Assembly Rooms.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

 

 

Option 1: To agree to develop the business model outlined above in greater detail.

Option 2: To maintain the status quo until a range of options can be brought forward

 

Advantages

Consistent with Cairn report and previous decision of Cabinet

 

Provides a sense of direction

 

Provides a mandate to explore other options e.g. HLF bid

Maintains the status quo but allows more time for other options to be brought forward

 

Disadvantages

Creates further uncertainty for existing traders and further destabilises the existing Assembly Room operation.

 

The Fig Tree is not well known by Officers or Elected Members so difficult to establish at this stage what a partnership would entail and whether it would actually be advantageous.

 

 

 

Requires further officer time and resource.

 

Risks

The Council / Fig Tree may decide in developing the business case that it isn’t in their interests so it will come to nothing.

 

 

Unmanaged decline

 

No guarantee that any of the other options will be without significant risks

 

The Officer preferred option is option 1. However, it should be made clear that for the reasons outlined in the report there is no certainty that this option could be implemented.

 

Councillor Barry proposed:-

 

“(1)      That the Council is committed to keeping on as many existing traders as possible and for the Assembly Rooms to be a tourist and resident attraction.

(2)       That it be agreed in principle for officers to proceed with actions in 2.17.

(3)       That management details be requested when further reports are brought back.”

 

However, it was noted that there was no seconder to the proposition, and therefore, the proposition was deemed to have fallen.

 

It was then moved by Councillor Hanson and seconded by Councillor David Smith:

 

“That Option 2, to maintain the status quo, as set out in the report be approved with officers requested to bring a further report back in conjunction with existing traders to propose how current arrangements can be improved including marketing.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved:

 

(5 Members (Councillors Blamire, Bryning, Hanson, Leytham and David Smith) voted in favour, and 1 Member (Councillor Barry) abstained.)

 

(1)          That Option 2, to maintain the status quo, as set out in the report be approved with officers requested to bring a further report back in conjunction with existing traders to propose how current arrangements can be improved including marketing.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Officer (Environment)

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The decision is consistent with the Corporate Plan priority - Sustainable Economic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

The Storey: Update Report pdf icon PDF 124 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Resources)

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Annie Watson, Chair of Friends of Storey Gardens, Rachel-Ann Powers and Sue Widdon who had registered to speak in accordance with the City Council’s agreed procedure and Cabinet Procedure Rule 2.7 addressed the meeting on this item and responded to questions from Cabinet Members.

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Resources) to provide a general update on the operation of the Storey and seek direction on the future of the remaining Storey Gardens artwork.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

 

 

Option 1: Seek to restore the artwork

Option 2: Remove / no longer recognise the art work in its physical form in the garden, supporting a master planning approach.

Advantages

If the artwork was restored and resources provided to market it and maintain it an installation by an artist of international repute may attract additional tourism to the area.

 

It may be possible to secure funding to restore the art work. As an example The Henry Moore Foundation may be interested.

 

(If restored it would be possible to recast the sculptures in resin which would deter thieves, but not vandals).

 

The removal of the artwork would free up the second garden for wider development.  Suggestions are on the line of a secret garden where people can meet, eat lunch, show temporary artworks, nature areas, etc. 

 

This is a sustainable option with no additional cost to the council.  It is not envisioned there would be any additional cost charged direct to the Council for removing the artwork. The healthy trees will remain.

 

Consistent with the overall vision for the Storey.

 

Whilst initial consultation has shown an interest in artwork within the garden, this could be addressed with temporary / seasonal pieces to work.  (which is preferred by some on the consultation responses)

Disadvantages

Requires one -off funding to refurbish the artwork, which would need to be considered during the budget. The cost is estimated at between £30,000 – £50,000.  Could impact therefore on other arts support.

 

All restoration and alterations would need to be in agreement with the artist for it to remain as his work. 

 

A reduced artwork would not be acceptable.

 

It is estimated an additional £250 per annum would be required to maintain the restored artwork, excluding any required tree work.  (The Friends group have already indicated that they would not be interested in maintaining the artwork on the Council’s behalf as they have little interest in it remaining).

 

It takes up most of the garden area, only leaving the border to be developed.  There is limited development opportunity in the other garden.

 

The existence of artwork is not widely known or promoted.

Final end of an already defunct / dilapidated piece of artwork.

 

 

Risks

 

Funding is not secured.

 

Restoration conflicts with the majority of the Friends group who then may lose ownership become disinterested and disband – this will have an impact on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Morecambe Area Action Plan – Delivering Transportation Improvements and Public Realm Projects (previously agreed) pdf icon PDF 139 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) to report on implementing the Morecambe Area Action Plan MAAP) and decide on specific expenditures by the City Council towards this from the established MAAP Implementation Reserve.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

 

 

Option 1:Authorise use of the Implementation Reserve as set out in this report

Option 2:Decline to authorise use of the Reserve as set out.

Advantages

Consistent with the MAAP and so assists regeneration.

Makes clear what the council can and cannot do towards MAAP implementation up to March 2016 and so giving certainty to others. Specifically, the new bus and coach parking facilities should be in place for the 2015 season.

None.

Disadvantages

None

Does not assist timely and joined up MAAP implementation.

Shows no leadership and gives no certainty.

Will not assist in securing external funding for further regeneration and increasing private sector investments into the future.

Risks

Risks are as for MAAP implementation generally. This includes the residual risk that improving conditions for the private sector will not be matched by subsequent investment, however, this is unavoidable.

The MAAP is an integrated spatial plan with many dependencies. There is a risk that unless sufficient activity is undertaken, the full benefits will not be achieved and other regeneration activity will be impaired.

Furthermore, clearly there is funding risk attached to the actions planned post 2016.

Will likely prejudice wider partnership working and impair regeneration.

 

Option 1 is preferred as consistent with the needs for MAAP implementation and regeneration.

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor David Smith:-

 

“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

(1)             That the MAAP implementation activities as set out in the report be approved.

(2)             That delegated authority be given to the Chief Officer (Resources) to allocate £110K from the MAAP Implementation Reserve and update the General Fund Revenue Budget and Capital Programme once profiling of expenditure is known between the 2014/15 and 2015/16 financial years.

(3)             That officers be requested to seek to secure additional contributions for the MAAP implementation Reserve from external funding sources towards further implementation of the MAAP.

Note: Having left the meeting during discussion of this issue Councillor Barry did not vote on this item.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

Chief Officer (Resources)

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The MAAP is part of the Local Plan which is part of the policy framework.  The decision enables the use of limited Council financial resources and capacities to further the regeneration of central Morecambe and particularly its town centre, fitting to the MAAP.

 

36.

Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID) - Feasibility Proposal pdf icon PDF 246 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Resources)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) to consider the proposal for reinstatement of Morecambe BID feasibility funding on the basis of a proposal from Lancaster District Chamber.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

 

 

Advantages

Disadvantages

Risks

Option 1: Do nothing

No advantages.

 

 

 

 

Loss of credibility with business community. 

No contribution to council’s Corporate objectives.

Council may be in breach of statutory duties to support BID proposer as defined in BID legislation. 

 

Option 2: Reinstate £40K feasibility study budget for Morecambe BID and award via funding agreement  to Lancaster Chamber

Successful BID should have benefits for the local authority as well as the business community.

Clear and credible leadership for the business community to identify with.

Potential for more effective use of council resources and innovation in town centre service delivery.

Should engender a closer relationship between business community and statutory service providers.

Fosters improved and clearer communication and genuine partnership with business

Effective opportunity for local businesses to have a voice on subjects relating to the environment in which they trade.

No guarantee that Morecambe BID ballot would ultimately be successful or voted in.

Allocated resource for the Chamber as BID proposer to move to ‘BID readiness’ will need to be supplemented by council officer resources. 

Relatively long lead in period to ensure best possible chance of success.

Council and officer resources required pre and post ballot.

Implications for council and other statutory services of committing to ‘baseline’ service provision over BID lifetime may reduce flexibility. 

Option 3: Explore alternative routes for funding (for example Portas Pilot funds), reduce funding or secure an alternative BID Proposer

 

Could have same advantages as Option 2.

Could reduce impact on council budgets.

Could give certainty that Portas Pilot resources will be used by the target end date. 

 

 

 

As Option 2 but with the following considerations:

No alternative partnership/route to BID implementation that has current credibility with local stakeholders and the local business community.

Town Team is working to allocate remaining Portas Pilot resources to projects.  The Portas money is also focused on Victoria Street and the BID will inevitably be wider than this focus. 

Issue of equity between town centres where Lancaster has previously received full £40K allocation from the City Council.

As Option 2 but more difficult and time consuming to reach ballot stage  

 

 

There is a clear way forward for investigating the feasibility and progression of a Morecambe BID.  The Lancaster District Chamber have confirmed that £40K resources agreed for the Lancaster BID are sufficient for the purposes of BID Proposal development.  This follows the experience of successfully progressing the Lancaster BID through both proposal and implementation stages.  The preferred option is therefore Option 2 – to reinstate the £40K feasibility study budget and award via funding agreement to Lancaster District Chamber.    Members should be aware that the £40K is not currently included in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Arts Commissioning pdf icon PDF 151 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Sands)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Sands)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) which advised on the proposed means of managing the Council’s funding for Arts in the district, in line with Corporate Plan priorities.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

 

 

Option 1: Move to a commissioning approach for investment in the Arts by April 2017

Option 2: Introduce a grants scheme

Advantages

Agreed outcomes provide clarity on what the City Council wishes to achieve as a result of investment in the Arts

 

Improved information on need/ demand and impact as a result of assessment and analysis

 

A  fair and transparent framework for investment decisions

 

Competitive process provides assurance of Value for Money

 

Generation of new ideas as a result of creative input from Arts providers

 

A three year commissioning cycle provides an opportunity to plan and develop Arts provision more strategically

 

Potential opportunity to work strategically with other funders.

Some assurance of Value for Money

 

Fairness and transparency provided as part of a competitive process

 

Potentially requires less officer time than commissioning to establish, although overall work will be dependent on numbers of applicants for bidding rounds

Disadvantages

Creates uncertainty over future investment for existing SLA partners

 

Significant officer time required and it is likely there will be competing priorities

 

 

The City Council’s strategic approach to investment in Arts in the district would not be developed

 

No opportunity for research and engagement to inform the development of strategic outcomes

 

Potential gaps in service provision

 

Impact limited to projects coming forward

 

 

Risks

Potential short term risk to Arts funding coming in to the district, as a result of uncertainty.  Can be mitigated by clear communications with funding partners.

 

Management of expectations is a key risk with most grant schemes.  Some mitigation can be achieved by clear scheme communications.

 

The Officer Preferred Option is Option 1 as this provides a more strategic, long term approach to arts investment with the potential for improved outcomes that are clearly linked to the Council’s priorities.  Engagement with arts providers as part of the commissioning process is more likely to lead to the development of quality services that are informed by the needs and preferences of audiences.

 

The Council has invested in Arts in the district for many years and as a result of this and additional investment by, in particular, Lancashire County Council and the Arts Council, the district has a strong and growing creative arts economy.  This offer is of great value to visitors, both local and from further afield, but also makes an important contribution to quality of life for local communities.  In economic terms, quality of life is also a key component of the offer to potential inward investors, companies wishing to locate and invest in the district. 

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Blamire:-

 

“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)                    That  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Provision of Additional Funding to The Dukes Theatre to Prepare for Arts Council Bidding Rounds pdf icon PDF 98 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) to obtain authority to make approved funding available to the Dukes Theatre.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

 

 

Option 1: That the City Council attaches conditions to the grant awarded to the Dukes

Option 2: That the City Council awards the grant to the Dukes without conditions to spend as they see fit.

Advantages

The City Council can ensure the scope of the work is specified but leave influence over delivery to the Dukes

None

Disadvantages

This would require some officer time to manage and monitor the process, e.g. grant eligibility, output evidence, etc.

That the funds could be spent without delivering the project they were allocated for, or the project brief becomes wider.

Risks

That the Dukes introduce influencing factors in delivery that are outside the scope of the commission

That request for further funding are submitted

 

The officer preferred option is option 1.  

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Smith:-

 

“That the recommendation, as set out in the report, be approved.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)          That the agreed funding be provided to the Dukes Theatre on the basis of the conditions highlighted in paragraphs 2.3 and 2.4 of the report.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

Chief Officer (Resources)

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The development of the district’s arts offer is highlighted as a key economic development objective in the Council’s Cultural Heritage Strategy.  This form of economic development activity aligns with the corporate priority for economic growth in the Corporate Plan.  The decision enables the Council to retain an element of control over how the grant is used by the Dukes and that it is spent for its intended purpose.

 

 

39.

Corporate Performance Monitoring 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibility Councillors Blamire & Bryning)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Resources)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Blamire)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Resources) to present the corporate financial monitoring report and other supporting statements for Quarter 1 of the 2014/15 performance monitoring cycle.  No corporate performance report was presented although it was noted that reporting would restart for Quarter 2.

 

The Corporate Financial Monitoring report included sections on General Fund Revenue Monitoring, General Fund Capital Programme, Revenue Collection Performance, Housing Revenue Account (HRA), Provisions and Reserves and Contract Procedure Rules and Other Exceptions to Tender. The latest position with regard to Treasury Management activities was included as well as a quarterly update regarding the property portfolio. 

 

The report was for noting and comments.

 

Councillor Bryning proposed, seconded by Councillor Blamire:-

 

“That the report be noted”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Officer (Resources)

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The Council’s Performance Management Framework requires the regular reporting of operational, as well as financial performance.

 

40.

Budget and Planning Process 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 224 KB

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibility Councillors Blamire & Bryning)

 

Joint Report of Chief Executive and Chief Officer (Resources)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibility Councillors Blamire and Bryning)

 

Cabinet received a joint report from the Chief Executive and Chief Officer (Resources) to agree a process for reviewing the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework for 2015/16 and to update Cabinet on various policy and planning matters.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

 

Thefollowingoptionsareavailable to Cabinet.

 

(1)                Approvetheproposalsandtimetablesetoutinthereportforreviewingand revisingthe Council’sBudgetandPolicyFramework.

 

(2)                Approve an amended version of theproposals, drawingonanyspecific issues thatCabinet have.

 

AssumingthatCabinethasnootherspecificissuestoaddress,Option1 isthe Officerpreferred option, as it setsouta structuredapproach forCabinettoreview the existingBudgetandPolicyFramework,toidentifysavings/efficiencyoptions,andfor it to bring forwardits budget  andpolicy framework proposals for2015/16andbeyond, within statu  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.