Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 28th May 2013 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

1.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

 

The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 23 April 2013 were approved as a correct record.

 

2.

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.

 

 

3.

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 an interest with regard to the item on Storey Creative Industries Centre in view of him being a member of the Friends of Storey Gardens (Minute 9 refers).

 

 

4.

Public Speaking

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

 

Minutes:

Members were advised that there had been no requests to speak at the meeting in accordance with Cabinet’s agreed procedure.

 

5.

Cabinet Liaison Groups and Appointments to Outside Bodies, Partnerships and Boards pdf icon PDF 64 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Blamire)

 

Report of the Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Blamire)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Executive to consider the Cabinet Liaison Groups currently constituted and Cabinet appointments to Outside Bodies, Partnerships and Boards.

 

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

 

The options regarding Cabinet Liaison Groups were:

§         To note existing arrangements and make no amendments.

§         To consider and approve, where appropriate, any proposals from Cabinet Members.

                      With regard to Outside Bodies, Partnerships and Boards, Cabinet was requested to make appointments, as set out in Appendix C to the report.

            It was recommended that appointments be aligned as closely as possible to individual Cabinet Members’ portfolios.

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Leytham:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

(1)                    That the Cabinet Liaison Groups as set out in Appendix B to the report be re-convened, with revised terms of reference with regard to the Canal Corridor Cabinet Liaison Group being agreed by urgent decision prior to the Liaison Group meeting on 19th June 2013.

(2)                    That the Lead Cabinet Member of each Cabinet Liaison Group be requested to inform the Chief Executive of the participants he/she wishes to invite to such meetings.

(3)                    That the appointments to Outside Bodies, Partnerships and Boards as set out in Appendix C to the report be confirmed with the following revisions:

§         The appointment to the Lancaster District Children’s Trust Board be deferred

§         Councillor Blamire be appointed as the named substitute to the Community Safety Partnership

§         Councillor Hamilton-Cox be appointed as the named substitute to the Health and Wellbeing Partnership

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Executive

Head of Governance

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The establishment of Cabinet Liaison Groups assists the Cabinet in the discharge of executive functions.  The Constitution stipulates that the terms of reference of Cabinet Liaison Groups need to be approved by Cabinet before they can meet.  Since approval is required prior to the next Cabinet meeting they will need to be approved using the urgent business procedure. Representation on Outside Bodies is part of the City Council’s community leadership role.

6.

Lancaster Square Routes pdf icon PDF 125 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of the Head of Regeneration & Planning

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Head of Regeneration & Planning to report on further project implementation to improve key streets and spaces within the city centre and request that the decision on the centrepiece for Market Square be deferred to the June meeting.

 

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

 

The proposal made in the report followed extensive community engagement. It was based on design concepts approved by Cabinet, which the Council had made budgetary provision for in the General Fund Capital Programme. The ERDF investment award was towards specific deliverables and to a whole programme of improvements. It could not be drawn down if the scope of works was reduced significantly.   With this as the context, two options were presented. The difference between the two options concerned the centrepiece to Market Square. Option one included a single elevated structure as the centrepiece. Option 2 for a twin or divided structure. The plans and drawings in appendices 1 and 2 on the supplementary report refer.  The two options had very similar seating capacities and both could be used for impromptu and informal performances.

 

Option 1

 

To implement the proposal set out in section 2.0 of the report with a centrepiece to Market Square comprising a single elevated structure (as per the option 1 drawings in Appendix 1).

 

Advantages

 

A full renewal of the length of Cheapside, Horseshoe Corner and Penny Street can be achieved in 2013/14 to a much higher specification than the county council could otherwise afford.

The Lancaster Square Routes concept proposal for Market Square can be delivered in full by September 2014, including part of Market Street.

The option represents a large investment for the city council with upwards of £2 of external investment secured for every £1 invested by the city council. Investments of this magnitude are hard won and unlikely to be available again.  

The proposal will give a better environment for trading in the established commercial and retail centre of the city. This should help the competitiveness of Lancaster centre with other centres and drive footfall.

It will complement the Castle and Canal Corridor North developments should these come on stream.

Market Square itself will be better laid out to support an improving Charter market. On non market days the improvements will be convivial for quiet enjoyment and best designed to accommodate events and a range of performances. The effect should be that at many times the Square becomes a much more vibrant place,

 

The proposal makes it possible for the city council and the Arts Partnership to grow Market Square as a venue of choice for certain types of performance and events.

 

Specific re. the centrepiece

Is wholly consistent with the agreed concept design for Market Square, with the first phase completed last year.

Centrepiece is multi-purpose as it can be used as seating and as staging for performances.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Museums Partnership Silverdale Hoard pdf icon PDF 103 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Sands)

 

Report of the Head of Health & Housing

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Sands)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Head of Health & Housing to update Members on the position in relation to any potential purchase of the Silverdale Hoard.

 

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

 

 

Option 1

Lancaster City Council purchases the hoard alone (subject to referral on to Council)

Option 2 Request that

Lancashire County Council purchases the hoard alone.

Option 3

Partnership purchase (subject to referral on to Council)

Advantages

The District Council area in which the hoard was found  

 

 

Demonstrates commitment to cultural heritage and economic growth.

The County Council area in which the hoard was found

 

 

Demonstrates commitment to cultural heritage.

 

More straight forward process for acquisition, display and funding applications.

 

No financial commitment required by the City Council.

 

Spreads the financial burden of the purchase across the two Councils.

 

 

 

 

 

Disadvantages

Considerable investment required in order to display on a permanent basis with reliance on external funding meeting these costs.

Longer term commitments would need further investment over and above the initial Museum Acquisition Funding

 

 

 

Potentially less influence over where the collection is exhibited.

Requires formal agreement and clear understanding by both parties about how shared ownership will work in practice.

Reliance on external funding to meet one-off purchase, re-display and conservation costs.

Risk

There is a realistic risk with this option that associated one-off purchase funds will not be generated. Risk increases with ongoing costs associated with conservation and temporary / permanent displays.

Minimal risk to City Council.

Risk to City Council remains as per option one.

 

The most important issue was that this was an excellent opportunity to retain the Hoard in Lancashire.  County council officers initially informally recommended that Lancaster City Council purchase the Silverdale Hoard for their City Museum collections.  However, given both short and longer term financial commitments and the uncertainty of the success of funding applications and fundraising efforts, the situation had changed. The council would be facing difficult choices given the financial outlook for 2014/15 and beyond and therefore the best option might be for Lancashire County Council to look to purchase the hoard alone.  There is, of course, a risk that the county council would decide not to purchase the hoard when considered against their priorities.  This led to consideration of the options.

 

The officer preferred option was option 2.  The uncertain short and long term costs associated with purchase, conservation and display meant a purchase by the city council alone was unaffordable based on current budgets and forecasts.  Option 2 allowed for County to proceed with the purchase, should they decide to, thus enabling the hoard to be kept and displayed within Lancashire including display at Museums in Lancaster in the future.

The purchase of the hoard by County Council would enable it to remain within Lancashire and ensured the potential for future display within Lancaster’s museums.  The report acknowledged the importance of retaining the hoard in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Corporate Non-Housing Property Portfolio Improvement Works: Year 1 Delivery Plan pdf icon PDF 62 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Report of the Head of Resources

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Cabinet received a joint report from the Head of Environmental Services and Head of Resources to provide information in respect of Mitre House Car Park and Lancaster Town Hall Memorial Gardens in accordance with Minute 149 as further information had been requested on those two proposed projects (Cabinet meeting 23 April 2013 refers).  The options, options analysis, including risk assessment had been set out in Cabinet Minute 149. 

 

  • Mitre House Car Park - Why were the repair and maintenance costs included in the report (23 April 2013) not included in a previous report submitted to Cabinet in November 2012?
  • Lancaster Town Hall Memorial Garden Railings - Subject to gaining clarification on any listing, what options were there other than refurbishment of the railings to the memorial gardens?

 

Thereport provided additional information on these two projects, and sought approval for them to go ahead as originally planned.

 

Mitre House Car Park

The November report provided background information on the status of the car park and outlined options for the future management of the car park. Although the report considered by Cabinet in November 2012 dealt with both the financial and strategic issues, the financial appraisal was close and therefore it was considered that the decision reached was primarily based on the strategic issues.  Therefore, the indicative cost of £60K for the works required to the structure, although not available for inclusion at the time of writing, was essentially immaterial because under the terms of the lease a surrender would have resulted in the landlord serving a schedule of dilapidations requiring the Council to carry out the work or alternatively considering the issue as part of financial settlement.  The financial liability for the repairs would have remained with the Council in both the retention and surrender scenarios. 

 

Lancaster Town Hall Memorial Garden Railings

The recent condition survey of the Memorial Garden provided an indicative cost for refurbishment of the existing railings although this was not seen as the only option.  At the time there was some doubt around listed status of the railings because they were erected some time after the construction of the main building. However, further research had been undertaken and the relevant legislation stated that:

 

“Any object or structure fixed to the building; or any object or structure within the curtilage of the building which, although not fixed to the building, forms part of the land and has done so since before 1st July 1948, shall be treated as part of the building”.

 

Unless any further information came to light, removal of the railings would require listed building consent and it was the opinion of the Conservation Officer that removal or replacement of the railings would not be granted consent and therefore refurbishment was the only option. 

 

The officer preferred option was to proceed with both projects.

 

Councillor Hamilton-Cox proposed, seconded by Councillor Sands:-

 

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

 

Councillors then  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Storey Creative Industries Centre Draft Business Plan

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of the Head of Resources

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Head of Resources to consider the draft emerging options for The Storey’s business plan which sought Cabinet’s direction on the way forward.  Whilst the report attached to the agenda was exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3, of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, a public version of the report had been made available on the City Council’s website.

 

Detailed option analysis, including risk assessment were set out in the exempt report although the options and officer preferred option, were set out in the public report as follows:

 

The report sought Cabinet’s direction on various Officer proposals, in particular:

 

(a)        key business planning principles

(b)        business space letting and development

(c)        catering provision

(d)        overall management capacity; and

(e)        consideration of a community interest group

 

In view of the many proposals, there were various permutations of options but the following broad summary and analysis of options was provided.

 

 

Option 1:The Council continues with a private operator for the café / bar, but provides specific management capacity and presence, and events programming/support.

Option 2:As Option 1 but with overall co-ordination provided by officer group with specific focus on events/programming support, rather than dedicated management.

Option 3:City Council takes on full management and operation of The Storey in-house, including operation of the Bar & Catering concession.

 

In considering progress to date and the financial projections, Cabinet could determine that none of the options represented an acceptable way forward, and it could instruct Officers to consider more radical alternatives for the operation or the building itself.  This might require referral back to Council, depending on what was put forward.

 

In summary terms Option 1 was the officer preferred way forward.  More specifically and where appropriate, the detailed Officer preferences underpinning Option 1 were set out in the various sections listed above and it was on these detailed aspects that Officers sought specific decisions.

 

Consideration of this report should help test out the primary role of the Storey.  Members had previously resolved to retain its role as a Creative Industries Centre, which implied that its main focus should be an economic development one.  However, it also provided an important cultural and community role, some of which also had economic benefits.  Furthermore, the direction given by Cabinet would ultimately determine where responsibility for the Storey best fit within the Council’s management and democratic structures.

 

The report provided a base on which Cabinet could give direction regarding The Storey’s future, in advance of producing a more detailed and fully costed business plan.

 

The press and public were excluded from the meeting at this point when it became necessary to refer to information in the exempt report.

 

It was moved by Councillor Hanson and seconded by Councillor Leytham and resolved unanimously:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(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  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Disposal of Land at Wellington Terrace, Morecambe

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Report of the Head of Resources

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Head of Resources to consider the revised options for the disposal of land at Wellington Terrace, Morecambe which was exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3, of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

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

 

Councillor Hamilton-Cox proposed, seconded by Councillor Leytham:-

 

“(1)      That option 1, as set out in the exempt report, be approved.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)        That option 1, as set out in the exempt report, be approved.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Head of Resources

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The proposal supports the objective of the Morecambe Action Plan to address housing related issues in the central area of Morecambe and the Housing Strategy. The proposal will also support the Corporate Plan and coalition priorities to implement housing renewal and neighbourhood management in the Poulton Ward.  The Corporate Property Strategy requires that the Council review its asset base and only retain those assets required to meet its agreed objectives and priorities. Where assets are not required for this purpose they should be disposed of at best value. This is an opportunity sale and removes a liability from the City Council’s property portfolio and is an opportunity for the Council to improve the management of its assets.

 

11.

Sale of Land at Mossgate, Heysham

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Report of the Head of Resources

 

Report to follow.  A decision on this item will be required at this meeting but publication of the report has been delayed, as information is awaited from an external party.

 

Minutes:

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibility Councillors Hamilton-Cox & Leytham )

 

Cabinet received a report from the Head of Resources to obtain a decision regarding offers received for the land at Mossgate, Heysham.  The report was exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3, of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the exempt report.

 

Councillor Hamilton-Cox proposed, seconded by Councillor Leytham:-

 

“(1)      That the recommendations, as set out in the exempt report, be approved.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

(1)                    That Cabinet approve Option 1 as outlined in the exempt report.

(2)                    That the Head of Resources be authorised to update the General Fund Capital Programme to reflect the Section 106 grant allocation as set out in the exempt report.

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Head of Resources

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

In line with the Council’s Corporate Property Strategy, the Council had planned to dispose of this asset at best value. Separately, the Council’s Corporate Plan includes Housing Regeneration as a priority as well as seeking new opportunities to include affordable housing within schemes.  There is a relationship to the Core Strategy adopted in July 2008, setting out a sufficient supply of affordable housing as being a key local priority The Housing Strategy and Housing Action Plan 2012 – 2017 – paragraph 2.16 specifically sets out the need for the Council to support Registered Providers to deliver affordable housing schemes on its own land.  The decision is in support of all these aims and objectives.