Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 17th February 2009 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

Contact: Debbie Chambers, Democratic Services, telephone 01524 582057 or email  dchambers@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

135.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Tuesday, 20th January, 2009 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20th January 2009 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

136.

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.

137.

Declarations of Interest

To consider any such declarations. 

Minutes:

Councillor Gilbert declared a personal and prejudicial interest with regard to the Financial Support to External Organisations report, in view of his role as a member of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) (Minute 151 refers).

 

Councillor Fletcher declared a personal and prejudicial interest in the Financial Support to External Organisations report, report  item as far as it related to the Arnside and Silverdale AONB in view of her involvement with Arnside and Silverdale AONB (Minute 151 refers). 

 

Councillor Archer declared a personal and prejudicial interest with regard to the Revenue and Capital Programme report, should the Winter Gardens be discussed, in view of her involvement with the Winter Gardens, Morecambe (Minute 150 refers).

138.

Public Speaking

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

 

Minutes:

Members were advised that there had been a request to speak at the meeting from a member of the public in accordance with Cabinet’s agreed procedure, as set out in Cabinet Procedure Rule 2.7, with regard to West End Housing Exemplar Project – Chatsworth Gardens (Minute 139 refers). However, the request had subsequently been withdrawn.

 

The Chairman advised that he had also agreed to two Ward Members speaking at the meeting upon the report regarding West End Housing Exemplar Project - Chatsworth Gardens  (Minute 139 refers). Councillors Hanson and Robinson both addressed the meeting in support of the project.

139.

West End Housing Exemplar Project - Chatsworth Gardens pdf icon PDF 38 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Archer)

 

Report of the Corporate Director (Regeneration).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibility Councillors Archer and Kerr)

 

The Corporate Director (Regeneration) submitted a report to provide Cabinet with an update regarding the delivery of the Chatsworth Gardens West End Housing Exemplar Project.

 

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

Taking all the information to hand, and following a further officer meeting with HCA, a request has been received advising that HCA are prepared to consider possible funding options for the “new build” scheme, on the proviso that Member support is sought in principle to the scheme (see email Appendix C).  This, therefore, provides for the following options:-

 

Option 1

 

That Members support, in principle, the future delivery of a “new-build” Exemplar scheme at Chatsworth Gardens, in line with the development process that the City Council has been party to, on the proviso that HCA provide sufficient funding to secure the developer, Places for People, signing a Development Agreement which will contribute £1,239,300 to acquisition costs, and that HCA also provide interim support for the £1,379,000 capital receipts monies which will result from the City Council undertaking its best endeavours “to dispose of assets currently held by the City Council, which are “outside” of the Exemplar Scheme”.

 

Table 1 – Financial Costs

 

The projected financial cost of this option will remain largely as reported to Cabinet on the 11th November, with the main differences being:

 

·         The transfer of £62,200 contingency from the Surveyors / Valuations & Contingency, into Property Holding costs.  This does not alter the total cost of the project, and

 

·         The funding allocation between Capital and Revenue as shown in Table 2. The shortfall in the Capital funding would be met from a contribution from the revenue allocation, with the overall project cost being contained within the total available funding.

 

A summary of the indicative costs and funding are set out in the tables below.

 

Capital Costs

(£)

Remaining property acquisitions including Compensation and Disturbance

4,810,000

Less Developer Bid – Places for People

 (1,239,300)

Net Cost of Property Acquisition

3,570,700

Contingency

209,000

Surveyors/ Valuations & Conveyancing Costs.

33,600

Total Capital

3,813,300

 

 

Revenue Costs

 

CPO Legal Advice

49,200

Property Holding Costs

148,200

Delivery Team

150,600

Total Revenue Costs

348,000

Grand Total

4,161,300

 

                       

Table 2 - Funding

 

Capital Funding

(£)

EP Deed of Variation

2,200,200

Resale of Existing Property

1,379,500

Illuminations Depot Receipt

200,000

Total Capital

3,779,700

 

 

Revenue Funding

 

EP Deed of Variation

242,600

Rental Income

139,000

Total Revenue Funding

381,600

Total

4,161,300

 

 

Operational Risk

Financial Risk

Legal Risk

Benefits

The City Council must ensure the effective property management of all the properties currently acquired as part of the Exemplar scheme, and as soon as contracts are in place, must ensure a robust management plan is in place to manage the said properties up until all the properties have been acquired (either by agreement or compulsory purchase order).

 Subject to all appropriate funding being in place to acquire the remaining properties, a robust financial plan will need to be in place to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 139.

140.

Public Toilet Review pdf icon PDF 44 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Barry)

 

Report of the Corporate Director (Community Services).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Barry)

 

The Corporate Director (Community Services) submitted a report to provide options for toilet provision in 2009/10. In order to provide options that would have a budgetary impact in 2009/10 the report listed 14 toilets where there was immediate scope for review:-

 

West End (Regent Road) Morecambe

Toilets adjacent to the Dome- Morecambe

Heysham Village

Sunderland point

Glasson Dock

Cockerham

Silverdale

Warton

Red bank shore

Carnforth

Bolton Le Sands

Hest Bank

Bull Beck

Victoria Institute- Caton (cleaned by Council)

 

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

 

 

 

Option

Pros

Cons

 

1- status quo

Retains existing levels of toilet provision.

·         Does nothing to meet requirements of MTFS.

·         Many of the toilets where City Council are in need of major repair, suffer from ongoing vandalism and are in exposed locations.

2- Mothball 14 toilets as listed in para 2.2 -from April 1 2009, with capital changes in para 2.4

·         Provides a £100,000 per year saving to revenue budget.

·         Provides a £100,000 general capital budget, for future works (including any demolition).

·         Mothballing toilets allows for medium term / long term consideration of their future.

·         Allows other bodies the opportunity to consider taking over the ongoing running of the facility.

·         Many of these toilets are in need of major repair, suffer from ongoing vandalism and are in exposed locations.

·         Represents a significant service reduction and will be unpopular with many.

·         Mothballed public buildings are unsightly and can attract vandalism.

·         Although the facility is mothballed it will still incur some service / maintenance charges.

·         If at a future date the decision is taken to reopen or demolish the mothballed toilets there will obviously be further financial implications to consider, and these might not be fully covered by the £100K capital provision.

3- Mothball some toilets of the toilets in the list in para 2.2- from April 1 2009, with capital changes in para 2.4

·         Would provide some savings to revenue budget.

·         As above.

·         Reduced service reduction.

·         The mothballing proposal of 14 toilets has been designed to generate the maximum saving from the resources that are used (eg staff, transport etc). Leaving some open would greatly reduce the saving as it would not be as efficient (ie. staff and a vehicle still have to be allocated to cleaning a reduced amount of toilets).

·         If at a future date the decision is taken to reopen or demolish the mothballed toilets again there will obviously be further financial implications to consider.

4- Community Toilet Pilot - from April 2009

·         Retains levels of service provision.

·         Cheaper to run (Pilot, but assume £20,000 per annum).

·         Provides toilets that are clean, safe, located within managed buildings and available when people need them.

·         Will impact positively on the businesses that participate through an annual contribution, publicity and signage.

·         Using 2009/2010 as pilot year allows for time to assess effectiveness and then make recommendations for 2010/2011

·         Businesses may not be willing to participate.

 

Because of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 140.

141.

Lancaster Town Hall Centenary pdf icon PDF 32 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Burns)

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Burns)

 

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report advising Cabinet of options for marking the centenary of the opening of Lancaster Town Hall in 1909.

 

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

 

Officers in Cultural Services, Democratic Services, Economic Development and Tourism and Property Services have worked together to develop the following options which can be delivered within existing resources as indicated:

 

Town Hall Tours

 

It is suggested that a series of enhanced tours of the Town Hall are arranged as part of the Heritage Open Day Tours on 12th/13th September and over the weekend of 25th/26th/27th September 2009 to coincide with the Lancaster Unlocked promotion being organised by the Heritage Group where events at museums and places of interest in the town are specially marketed and promoted for a particular weekend.

 

The intention is to widen the scope of the tours of this weekend to introduce an historical interpretation using an actor to play the role of Lord Ashton who will lead the tours as if he is showing members of the public around his new building, culminating in refreshments in the Mayors Parlour with the Mayor.  A second actor playing the role of Mr Belcher, the Ashton Memorial Architect could also be used to tie in the celebration of 100 years of the Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park.

 

Charges are made for Town Hall Tours which cover the cost of opening the building.  Funding for the additional costs of hiring a ‘Lord Ashton’ would need to be identified and refreshments could be provided from the Mayoral Functions budget.  Savings can be made on events within the Civic programme to provide additional funding for this purpose, eg. reductions in numbers invited to the Annual Council Mayor Making Lunch.

 

Guided Walks

 

A local blue badge guide could also be employed to lead Edwardian Lancaster (or  'Lord Ashton’s Lancaster') themed guided walks on at least some of the Heritage open days & Lancaster Unlocked days referred to above.

 

Funding for the cost of these would also need to be identified.

 

Mayoral At Homes

 

The Mayoral At Homes event have previously taken place in May each year.  However this year they have been moved for the first time and are due to be held in March 2009.  If during 2009/10, these are held in January 2010 instead the At Home in Lancaster can be promoted to the public as replicating the open days held in January 1910 and a similar acted scenario using a Lord Ashton and Mr Belcher could be included.

 

Funding for the additional costs of staging the scenario would need to be identified.  There would be no additional costs for refreshments other than those budgeted for on an annual basis.

 

Lancaster Fireworks Festival

 

It is suggested that the Fireworks in November 2009 be arranged around an Edwardian Theme, both during the day and in respect  ...  view the full minutes text for item 141.

142.

Pay Inflation and Early Termination of Employment Policies pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Bryning)

 

The Chief Executive submitted a report at the request of Councillor Mace, seeking Cabinet’s views on pay inflation for 2009/10 and the application of Redeployment and Early Termination of Employment Policies. The Policies and the comments made by the North West Employers Organisation (NWEO) during its review of the Policies were attached to the report.

 

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

 

Pay Inflation

 

(a)        Option 1 – Take no further action.  The risk is that, at this stage, we do not know whether the National Agreement on pay inflation will match budget provision.  However, it is not possible at this stage to estimate the outcome of national pay inflation.

 

(b)       Option 2 – Adjust the amount included in the budget.  The City Council is already at the lower end of pay inflation assumptions, however, when compared with other authorities, and coupled with this, the Council is facing greater financial risks generally in terms of its budget proposals for next year, than has been the case in recent years.

 

(c)        Option 3 – Lobby National Employers to introduce a zero pay inflation increase across the Local Government workforce.

 

(d)        Option 4 – Begin negotiations to remove Lancaster City Council from the National Pay Agreement and instead agree an approach through local pay bargaining.  This is a complex process and it is not possible to identify timescales.  There is a high risk of industrial relations problems.

 

There is no specific preferred officer option, but Officers would not recommend Option 2, given the financial risks outlined above.  Furthermore, Officers would not recommend Option 4 as being realistic within the timescales required for setting the 2009/10 revenue budget. Clearly, whilst the financial and budgetary aspects of pay are a matter for Cabinet, the terms and conditions on which staff are employed are a matter for the Personnel Committee, and if options 3 or 4 were to be pursued, then Personnel Committee should be involved.

 

Voluntary Redundancy

 

(a)        Option 1- Offer voluntary redundancy as an approach to people in posts “affected”.

 

(b)        Option 2 – Offer voluntary redundancy to people in those Service areas “affected”.

 

(c)        Option 3 – Offer the opportunity to apply for voluntary redundancy to all post holders apart from those in areas already identified as priorities.  For example, refuse collection and street cleansing.

 

(d)        Option 4 – Offer the opportunity to apply for voluntary redundancy to all post holders.

 

The officer preferred options are 1 or 2.  These approaches fall within the scope of the Council’s Early Termination of Employment Policy, and represent least risk (including financial risk) to the Council, of all the options outlined.  On the other hand, options 3 or 4 would require a review of the general approach set out in the Policy, and this would need to be considered by Personnel Committee as part of any review of the Policy.

 

Review of HR Policies

 

To  ...  view the full minutes text for item 142.

143.

Civic Programme 2009/10 pdf icon PDF 19 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Burns)

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Burns)

 

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report advising Cabinet of options for reducing expenditure on the Civic Programme in 2009/10.

 

The budgets for Civic Receptions and Mayoral Functions and for floral decorations at Civic Events were detailed in the report, with options for reducing expenditure. The options, options analysis, including risk assessment, were set out in the report as follows:

 

Visit by Civic Heads of Lancashire

 

Option 1 –  not to hold the event at all, producing a saving of at least £500.  The content of the event is personal to each Mayor and the event in 2008 cost over £900 due to the requirement to hire a coach.

 

Option 2 -   to hold a small scale event based in Lancaster Town Hall comprising an afternoon reception with tea and coffee and a tour of the building.  This could be run on similar lines to the reception for overseas students held in 2008, tying in a tourism presentation to publicise the district.

 

Annual Council

 

Option 1 –  Not to hold a celebratory reception at the end of the Annual Council meeting.  This would produce a saving in excess of £3,000.

 

Option 2 –  To reduce the number of guests being invited to a reception on the same basis as in previous years, eg a three course lunch.  Reducing the number of invitees by half would produce a saving of over £1,500.  A separate report on the Lancaster Town Hall Centenary celebrations for 2009 has already identified that a reduction in the number of guests would produce a saving which could then be utilised to enhance the Heritage and Lancaster Unlocked weekends.

 

Option 3 – To set a total budget allocation for this event, say £1,000 or £2,000 and with the agreement of the Mayor choose a reduced level of catering, e.g  a buffet rather than a served meal.  Numbers would be invited according to the budget allocation.

 

Attendance at the Royal Garden Party in London

 

The City Council applies annually for the full allocation of four places to attend the Royal Garden Parties in London in July.  The City Council at present pays for a short break to London for the four guests, usually the Mayor and Mayoress/Consort and the Deputy Mayor and their Mayoress/Escort.  The cost of the break includes hotel accommodation and rail travel and in 2008 cost the City Council £683.03.  The Council then also covers the cost of food and travel (eg taxi fares) whilst in London, raising the cost of this to approximately £840.

 

Option 1 – that the City Council applies for the allocation of 4 tickets to enable attendance at the Royal Garden Party in London, but that the cost of attending is covered by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor from within their allocated Mayoral Allowances should they wish to attend.

 

Option 2 -   that the City Council does not apply for the allocation of tickets and is not represented at  the Royal Garden  ...  view the full minutes text for item 143.

144.

Review of Cabinet Appointments to Outside Bodies, Partnerships and Boards pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Report of the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive submitted a report asking Members to review Cabinet appointments to Outside Bodies, Partnerships and Boards following the appointment of a new Leader of the Council and the consequential changes to Cabinet portfolios.

 

The current appointments were set out in the report and it was noted that Councillors no longer sit on the Governing Body of Lancaster and Morecambe College Corporation or on Groundwork Trust, Lancashire West.

 

It was moved by Councillor Bryning and seconded by Councillor Blamire:-

 

“(1)      That the Cabinet appointments to outside bodies, as set out in the report, remain in place until the end of the 2008/9 municipal year.”

 

Members then voted as follows:-

 

Resolved:

 

(6 Members (Councillors Barry, Blamire, Bryning, Charles, Gilbert and Mace) voted in favour, 2 Members (Councillors Archer and Kerr) voted against and 1 Member (Councillor Fletcher) abstained.)

 

(1)        That the Cabinet appointments to outside bodies, as set out in the report, remain in place until the end of the 2008/9 municipal year.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Executive

 

Reason for making the decision:

 

Representation on outside bodies is part of the City Council’s Community Leadership role. The most appropriate time to align appointments as closely as possible to individual Cabinet Member’s portfolios was considered to be the start of the new Municipal Year.

145.

Revised Structures for Programmes and External Funds, Project Delivery Teams, and the future of Strategic Housing Role (Major Projects Delivery) pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Regeneration).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director (Regeneration) submitted a report proposing a new corporate approach, including the establishment of a central, corporate team, for the management of programmes and external funding and project delivery.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment, were set out in the report as follows:-

 

Option 1

The proposal is to create three new teams with specific responsibilities for (i) programme management and external funds, (ii) regeneration project delivery, and (iii) worklessness, with effect from 1st April 2009.

(i)    Programme management and external funds

The proposal suggests a core, established team, which can provide the capacity guarantees that will be required and can deal with the level of work that is known at this time.  It assumes further development of close working relationships with other corporate services and an exchange of expertise with those services.  It specifically suggests the transfer of the Projects and Performance Officer into the team to ensure that the approach to project management (LAMP) is integrated with project monitoring and vice versa and also reinforce the link with performance monitoring for all projects.  In the case of other specific officers, where there are clear overlapping interests, it may be useful to arrange part-time secondments into the team to work jointly on key developments. This can be flexible and short term or ongoing, depending on the requirements.   The way in which the proposed new team works with existing services has been developed in consultation and is flexible, adaptable and focused on achieving results.

This approach also offers the opportunity to capture the Council’s contribution to the overall model and identify this as match funding, offering value for money to external funders whilst not incurring additional costs for the Council. 

The philosophy behind this approach is very much about enabling strong delivery and achievements, supported by good management and sound processes.  There is a very clear focus on end results and the presentation of the approach is centred on facilitation, improvement and cooperation.

(ii)   Regeneration Projects Team

With regards to the actual delivery of major projects, the Council currently has officers who operate out of several different services, and provides for a mixture of core funded staff on permanent contracts, and externally funded staff on temporary, short term contracts.

The proposal is to organise officers into a core team within Planning Services.  This would ensure that a consistent, corporate approach is taken to the delivery methodologies of all major projects.  It will also provide for a strong core team who can facilitate working up the detail of regeneration projects, and provide capacity for delivery, whilst at the same time ensuring full conformity with the LDF.  This team should also include two posts currently allocated into Strategic Housing, which deliver housing capital projects in the Poulton and West End renewal projects.  It is anticipated that this team would ensure a strong corporate direction is taken in delivering the requirements of the Council’s approved Local Development Framework document, and will provide strong  ...  view the full minutes text for item 145.

146.

Salt Ayre/Community Pools Savings Options pdf icon PDF 37 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Fletcher)

 

Report of the Corporate Director (Regeneration) to follow.

 

 

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Fletcher)

 

The Corporate Director (Regeneration) submitted a report asking Members to consider savings options in respect of Salt Ayre Sports Centre and the three community swimming pools in Carnforth, Heysham and Hornby. The report was in two parts; the first dealt with Salt Ayre Sports Centre (SASC) and the second with the proposals regarding savings in respect of the three community swimming pools in Carnforth, Heysham and Hornby.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment for SASC, were set out in the report as follows:

 

Option 1

 

Officers enter into early negotiations with CAPITA regarding the facilities management issues and seek to address where, and if possible, savings that can be made.

 

Operational Risk

Financial Risk

Legal Risk

Benefits

In re-allocating the facilities management function, care needs to be taken that the building operates in accordance with the Service needs and a strong Service Level Agreement will need to be in place.

 

 

Clarity around fixed cost budgets should provide clarity around monitoring of budgets and future financial management.

 

It would also mitigate future increasing costs such as utilities.

The City Council has substantial health and safety, and corporate liabilities.  A more focussed approach to facilities management should reduce the risk associated with this area.

The City Council is currently setting itself challenging targets following recommendations made in the recent Carbon Trust report and a more proactive approach to facilities Management will assist this. 

 

Mitigate increasing unknown costs associated with utilities.

 

Option 2

 

Cabinet resolve to request a financial saving of 10%, which equates to £119,000 from the Service Delivery budgets, and request that a further report be brought back to Cabinet advising which areas of Service delivery have been affected by the proposal.

 

Operational Risk

Financial Risk

Legal Risk

Benefits

Any cut in service costs will have an issue on the level of service provided.  Officers will need to carry out a full options analysis and consultation process to identify where a revised capped budget can best achieve maximum service delivery, whilst minimising any effect on income.

The above option will include the opportunity for officers to consider the possible closure of the SASC for 1 or 2 days.

 

Providing a set budget will provide clarity around monitoring of budgets and future financial management.

 

 

The service provision is discretionary.  However, there may be employment and other contractual arrangements in place, which may be affected by redefining the services.  However, these will be addressed as part of the options analysis that officers will undertake.

Setting a revised fixed budget will offer up the necessary contribution to the 2009/10 Budget Process, and by allowing officers the flexibility and time to carry out a full options appraisal on future services delivery, will ensure that minimum service disruption within budget is achieved.

 

Option 3

 

With regard to the revenue income (£956,600), Cabinet request officers look to explore possibilities of increasing additional income generation, and maximise such income, bearing in mind possible service delivery cuts,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 146.

147.

Memorial Safety Programme pdf icon PDF 67 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Kerr)

 

Report of the Corporate Director (Community Services).

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Kerr)

 

The Corporate Director (Community Services) submitted a report informing Members about the options for the future of the Council’s Memorial Safety Programme, as requested by Cabinet at its meeting on 20th January 2009.

 

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


 

 

Options

Advantages

Disadvantages

Risk Assessment

Financial

1

To make the Memorial Safety Team (reduced to 2 posts), full time.

Retains expertise to allow:

§      Implementation of rolling testing programme.

§      Ability to repair unsafe and vandalised memorials.

§      Ability to monitor work of private masons to ensure future compliance with standards.

§      Provide the necessary operational resources to deliver essential services required at the time of burial.

§      To carry out permanent repair to previously staked and banded memorials.

§      Provides extra resilience for business continuity in the event of a major incident.

 

§      Ongoing revenue costs as outlined in financial implications section.

§      One post made redundant

§      Noticeable reduction in GM standards, especially grass cutting.

 

Ensures Council is complying with legal responsibilities and cemeteries good management.

§      2-man team including equipment, tools and vehicle approximately £55k/year.

§      In 2009/2010 up to £6,000 redundancy costs required

§      In 2010/2011 onwards memorial safety programme would be fully funded from within existing cemeteries grounds maintenance budgets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options

Advantages

Disadvantages

Risk Assessment

Financial

2

Laying flat memorials.

§      Cost saving on materials that would be used to make a permanent repair.

§      Would interfere with grass cutting operation leading to increased costs.

§      Would affect neat and tidy appearance of lawn sections leading to increased complaints.

§      Increased officer time in dealing with complaints and distress caused to relatives and public by laying flat large numbers of headstones.

 

§      Large scale laying down of memorials may be deemed to be maladministration should a complaint be made to the Ombudsman.

§      Potential trip and slip hazard.

§      Potential for damage to headstone by grass cutting operation.

§      Could lead to bad PR for Service and Council.

§      By not carrying out a repair, approximate annual saving would be £3,000 on materials.

 


 

 

Options

Advantages

Disadvantages

Risk Assessment

Financial

3

Carry out a repair to staked and banded memorials to ensure compliance with NAMM standards.

§      Makes memorial safe.

§      Preserves lawn section layout and allows for cost effective grass cutting and maintenance.

§      Increased material costs when compared with laying flat.

 

§      Reduces risk of accidents and potential litigation.

§      Cost in materials for in-house repair is £20/memorial.

§      Costs can be met from within the allocated running costs budget of £3,500 for 2009/2010.

§      Cost of repair will be recouped from relatives should contact be made with them in the future.

 


Option 1 is recommended for approval on the basis that it enables the Council to meet its responsibilities for Memorial Safety in a cost effective way which can be delivered operationally.

 

Option 3 (refixing memorials in place) is the recommended option for effecting a permanent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 147.

148.

Grounds Maintenance - options for service reduction pdf icon PDF 23 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Barry)

 

Report of the Corporate Director (Community Services).

 

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Barry)

 

The Corporate Director (Community Services) submitted a report providing Cabinet with options for service reduction in the area of grounds maintenance.

 

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

 

The options are as follows-

 

Option

Description

 

Pros

Cons

1

Maintain current levels of service provision.

·         Targets for LAA and corporate plan assume current levels of service.

·         Will maintain the current level of cleanliness of streets and public spaces.

·         Does not generate any savings for 2009/2010 budget.

2

Reduce current levels of service provision through selection of some of or all of the sub- options set out below.

·         Generates savings for 2009/2010 budget

·         The options have been designed to be realistic and can be immediately implemented.

·         The options have been designed so that they do not impact on the District’s parks.

·         Savings will be very visible

·         Will generate ongoing complaints from residents / visitors / users.

·         Likely to have negative impact on corporate plan priority outcomes and targets in LAA

 

The sub- options for option 2 are as follows-

 

Sub - option

Description and officer comments

Saving per annum

2a

Cease over marking of football pitches- currently pitches are over marked 15 times per season. They would be marked only once at the beginning of the season.

Users of the pitches will consider this is something they contribute to via pitch fees.

£3,100

2b

Turf over 33 of the 37 flower beds in Harbour garden area of Morecambe promenade- regeneration work is taking place in the adjoining area. The flower beds are in need of some redesign.

£6,800

2c

Turf over all flower beds in the sunken gardens at Morecambe Town Hall- the flower beds are a long standing and popular feature. They are not visible from the main road.

£3,300

2d

Turf over all 4 flower beds in the oval gardens in Dalton Square- the flower beds are a long standing and popular feature.

£1,800

2e

Reduce the playground improvement revenue budget by 50%- this budget is used to repair/ replace broken playground equipment throughout the year. If the budget was reduced the remaining amount would be spent on a priority basis (using playground priority list). Equipment in playgrounds lower down in the priority list would be removed once damaged / broken.

£18,100

2f

Reduce number of grave plots that are mown on a regular basis in Lancaster cemetery- currently all areas are mown 16 times per year. If the budget was approximately 50% of the plots would only be mown once per year.

 

£8,900

2g

Reduce frequency of mowing on Broadway Bridge bankings to once per year- currently these bankings are cut 16 times per year. The area would be included on a more frequent litter picking schedule if this option was selected.

£4,700

 

The officer preferred option is option 2 with the exception of 2a.

 

It was moved by Councillor Barry and seconded by Councillor Fletcher:-

 

“(1)      That, from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 148.

149.

Treasury Management Strategy 2009/10 pdf icon PDF 26 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Bryning)

 

Report of Head of Financial Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Bryning)

 

The Head of Financial Services submitted a report setting out the position regarding the 2009/10 to 2011/12 Treasury Management Strategy for Cabinet’s approval.

 

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

 

As part of the adoption of the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management it is a statutory requirement that the authority has aTreasury Management Strategy Statement and Investment Strategy.  In this regard, Cabinet may put forward alternative proposals or amendments to the proposed documents, but these would have to be considered in light of legislative, professional and economic factors.  As such, no further options analysis is available at this time.

 

Furthermore, the Strategies must fit with other aspects of Cabinet’s budget proposals, such as investment interest estimates and underlying prudential borrowing assumptions, feeding into Prudential Indicators.  It should be noted that the Prudential Indicators will also be covered in the Budget report, elsewhere on this agenda.

 

The officer preferred option and justification:

 

To approve the annual Treasury Management Strategy Statement as set out, including the Investment Strategy, for referral on to Council, but as updated for Cabinet’s final budget proposals.

 

It was moved by Councillor Bryning and seconded by Councillor Barry:-

 

“(1)      That Cabinet approves the Treasury Management Strategy for the period 2009/10 to 2011/12, including the Investment Strategy, and as updated for Cabinet’s final budget proposals, for subsequent referral to Council.”

 

Members then voted as follows:-

 

Resolved:

 

(7 Members (Councillors Archer, Barry, Blamire, Bryning, Fletcher, Gilbert and Kerr) voted in favour and 2 Members (Councillors Charles and Mace) abstained.)

 

(1)     That Cabinet approves the Treasury Management Strategy for the period 2009/10 to 2011/12, including the Investment Strategy, and as updated for Cabinet’s final budget proposals, for subsequent referral to Council.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Corporate Director (Finance and Performance)

Head of Financial Services

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

As part of the adoption of the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management it is a statutory requirement that the authority has a Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Investment Strategy.

150.

Revenue Budget and Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 59 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Bryning)

 

Joint report of the Corporate Director (Finance and Performance) and Head of Financial Services to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Bryning)

 

The Corporate Director (Finance and Performance) and the Head of Financial Services submitted a joint report informing members of the latest position following Council’s consideration of the Budget and Policy Framework at its meeting held on 4th February, to make recommendations back to Council in order to complete the budget setting process for 2009/10.

 

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

 

Cabinet are now requested to finalise their preferred revenue budget and capital programme proposals for referral on to Council, using the latest information as set out in this report.

           

Corporate Plan and Policy Framework

 

This is for noting only and therefore no options have been put forward.

 

Funding Assumptions and Achieving a Balanced Capital Programme

The broad options for achieving a balanced programme are set out below and are very much dependent on Members’ views on spending priorities.  As such, a full options appraisal and risk assessment cannot be completed until budget proposals are known in more detail.  That said, the basic options for achieving savings include:

 

-            removing schemes from the draft programme, taking account of service needs and priorities;

-            reducing proposed net expenditure on schemes, where possible;

-            generating additional capital resources (e.g. receipts, direct revenue financing or borrowing), within affordable limits;

-            deferring projects into later years – although this would not help with the overall five-year programme unless schemes were deferred until after 2013/14.

 

Should surplus resources be available, these could be used:

 

         to repay borrowing, or to reduce the call on the revenue budget;

         to fund new capital schemes;

         to make provision for other anticipated liabilities.

 

As referred to in earlier reports, setting a balanced capital programme is an iterative process, essentially balancing service delivery impact and aspirations against what the Council can (and is prepared to) afford.  The programme attached represents the outcome of the work undertaken to date.

In deciding the way forward, Cabinet is asked also to take into account the relevant basic principles of the Prudential Code, which are:

 

-          that the capital investment plans of local authorities are affordable, prudent and sustainable, and

-          that local strategic planning, asset management planning and proper options appraisal are supported.

 

Revenue Budget

 

As Council have now determined the City Council Tax Rate for 2009/10, there are no options to change the total net revenue budget for next year (recommended at £23.999M) but Cabinet now needs to put forward detailed budget proposals that add back to that amount.  Detailed options would be dependent very much on Members’ views on spending priorities and as such, a full options analysis could only be undertaken once any alternative proposals are known and it should be noted that Officers may require more time in order to do this.  The Head of Financial Services (as s151 Officer) would advise as strongly as possible that emphasis should be very much on achieving recurring reductions to the revenue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 150.

151.

Financial Support to External Organisations pdf icon PDF 29 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Bryning)

 

Report of the Chief Executive to follow.

 

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Bryning)

 

The Chief Executive submitted a report asking Members to consider the future level of funding to those external organisations set out in the report, to approve the recommendations listed in the table below, and to make additional recommendations where required.

 

 

Name of Organisation

Grant £

Recommendation

Savings for 2009/10

1

Age Concern, Lancashire

3,800

(no inflation)

This is match funded by the County Council. Recommended - no reduction.

 

2

CAB Lancaster

87,300 +

£7,200 rent

(no inflation)

Consider options to reduce total support to CAB’s by between £20 - 50,000

 

3

CAB Morecambe

88,300

(no inflation)

                                         

 

4

CVS

18,900

(including inflation)

Joint agreement with County Council.

 

No recommendation to date.

 

5

One Voice

6,000

(no inflation)

This organisation, similar to Thumbprint below, operates out of the Cornerstones in Lancaster and provides advice and support to the disabled.

No recommendation to date.

 

6

Lune Valley Transport

(Dial a Bus)

3,300

(no inflation)

Continue with grant following consideration at Cabinet on 20th January, 2009

 

7

Relate

6,800 rent (no inflation)

No recommendation to date

 

8

Rainbow Centre

2,500

(no inflation)

Joint agreement with the County Council.

Recommended – no reduction.

 

9

Samaritans

1,500

(no inflation)

Recommended – no reduction

 

10

Shopmobility (Preston Community Transport)

12,900

(including inflation)

Operates mobility scooters for hire one day per week in Lancaster and Morecambe.

 

No recommendation to date

 

11

Thumbprint

4,000

(no inflation)

See One Voice at 5 above.

No recommendation to date.

 

12

Twinning Association

(includes grant of 4,100 and sundry expenses)

6,300

(including inflation)

The service level agreement requires the Twinning Association to ’assist in the organisation of cultural, sporting, socio-economic and educational exchanges, between Lancaster and its official and associated twin towns of a non-Civic nature’ and ‘to strengthen links between Lancaster and its official and associated twin towns.’

Whilst it could be argued that following the decision of Council to cancel the Youth Games for 2009 this would assist in maintaining relationships with our twin towns, the anticipated hosting of guests and assisting in arrangements for the Games in Lancaster will not now be necessary and anticipated expenditure will be reduced. Recommend withdraw funding for 2009/10 (in line with decision not to host the Youth Games in 2009).

 

6,300

13

Victim Support

5,000

(no inflation)

No recommendation to date.

 

 

 

   =======

 

======

 

Sub Total

253,800

 

6,300

 

 

 

 

 

1

Miscellaneous Grants

7,500 (including inflation

Recommend - discontinue funding

7,500

2

Welfare Grants

4,100

This is a net figure and is match funded by the County Council but has been reduced in line with previous years spending patterns. Recommended - no further reduction.

2,600

 

 

=======

 

========

 

Sub Total

11,600

 

10,100

 

CULTURAL SERVICES

 

 

Name of Organisation

Grant £

 

Recommendation

Savings for

2009/10

1

Dukes Playhouse

167,800

Options requested for reduction up to £75,000

 

2

Friends of the Storey Institute

35,000

Recommended - no reduction

 

3

Groundwork Trust

18,500

Agreement already terminated – adjusted in base budget.

 

4

Ludus

29,900

Recommended  ...  view the full minutes text for item 151.

152.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

Members are asked whether they need to declare any further declarations of interest regarding the exempt appendices to the following reports. 

 

Cabinet is recommended to pass the following recommendation in relation to the following items:- 

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business, on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7a of Schedule 12A of that Act.” 

 

Members are reminded that, whilst the following appendices have been marked as exempt, it is for the Council itself to decide whether or not to consider each of them in private or in public.  In making the decision, Members should consider the relevant paragraph of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and should balance the interests of individuals or the Council itself in having access to information.  In considering their discretion Members should also be mindful of the advice of Council Officers. 

Minutes:

The Chairman asked for any further declarations of interest from Cabinet Members regarding the exempt reports.

 

It was moved by Councillor Bryning and seconded by Councillor Barry:-

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business, on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A of that Act.” 

 

Members then voted as follows:-

 

(1)        That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business, on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A of that Act.

153.

Employee Establishment - Vacancy Authorisation pdf icon PDF 17 KB

Report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Bryning)

 

The Chief Executive submitted a report seeking Cabinet’s approval for the filling of established vacancies where recommended. 

 

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

 

The information contained within each form provides details related to the risks of not filling the related vacancy.  Cabinet has the option of releasing funding on either a time limited or permanent basis or withholding funding.  If funding is not released, there will be an impact on Service provision.  If funding is time limited, it will be more difficult and possibly more expensive to fill a post.

 

The officer preferred option is to fill those posts as recommended by Service Heads unless Cabinet identifies the work as being of a low priority.

 

It was moved by Councillor Bryning and seconded by Councillor Blamire:-

 

“(1)      That the increase in hours for post CL0372 be approved.

 

(2)        That posts CL0325 and PL0042 be filled as recommended in the reports.”

 

Resolved:

 

(4 Members (Councillors Blamire, Bryning, Gilbert and Kerr) voted in favour, 2 Members (Councillors Charles and Mace) voted against and 3 Members (Councillor Archer, Barry and Fletcher) abstained.)

 

(1)        That the increase in hours for post CL0372 be approved.

 

(2)        That posts CL0325 and PL0042 be filled as recommended.

 

It was moved by Councillor Barry and seconded by Councillor Fletcher:-

 

“(3)      That the reduction in hours of post TC0014 be approved.”

 

Resolved:

 

(6 Members (Councillors Archer, Barry, Bryning, Fletcher, Gilbert and Kerr) voted in favour, 2 Members (Councillors Charles and Mace) voted against and 1 Member (Councillor Blamire) abstained.)

 

(3)        That the reduction in hours of post TC0014 be approved.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Barry and seconded by Councillor Bryning:-

 

“(4)      That posts CH0077 and CH0283 be filled as recommended.”

 

Members then voted as follows:-

 

Resolved:

 

(7 Members (Councillors Archer, Barry, Blamire, Bryning, Fletcher, Gilbert and Kerr) voted in favour and 2 Members (Councillors Charles and Mace) voted against.)

 

(4)        That posts CH0077 and CH0283 be filled as recommended.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decisions:

 

Chief Executive

 

Reasons for making the decisions:

 

The decisions enable the decision made at Cabinet on 11th November 2008, removing the delegated decision making to fill employee vacancies away from Service Heads to Cabinet to be implemented.

154.

Capital Receipts pdf icon PDF 26 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Archer)

 

Report of the Corporate Director (Regeneration).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Archer)

 

The Corporate Director (Regeneration) submitted a report updating Cabinet on the current position with the planned major receipts and to consider adopting a Disposal Strategy for the Council as part of a Medium Term Corporate Property Strategy.

 

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

 

Option 1 – That the current position with capital receipts is noted and that the Disposal Strategy be adopted. This would build on the Corporate Property Strategy provide an improved framework for managing the Council’s asset disposal process.

 

Option 2 - That the current position with capital receipts is noted but that the Disposal Strategy is not adopted. The existing guidance of the Corporate Property Strategy would be maintained although this is now out of date and does not meet the Council’s current priorities.

 

Option 1 is the officer preferred option. The adoption of the Disposal Strategy provides an improved framework for managing the Council’s asset disposal process.

 

It was moved by Councillor Archer and seconded by Councillor Kerr:-

 

“(1)      That the position with regard to capital receipts be noted.

 

(2)               That the Disposal Strategy be adopted to act as guidance to the Council in the disposal of assets to achieve the need for capital receipts.”

 

By way of amendment, which was accepted as a friendly amendment by the mover and seconder of the original proposition, Councillor Mace proposed and Councillor Fletcher seconded:

 

“(2)      That the recommendation for the Disposal Strategy to be adopted be deferred until the Cabinet meeting on 17th March 2009.”

 

Members then voted as follows:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)        That the position with regard to capital receipts be noted.

 

(2)        That the recommendation for the Disposal Strategy to be adopted be deferred until the Cabinet meeting on 17th March 2009.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Corporate Director (Regeneration)

Head of Property Services

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The decision will allow Cabinet to consider the Council’s Disposal Strategy at its meeting in March 2009.