Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 14th February 2017 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

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

Items
No. Item

52.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 17 January 2017 were approved as a correct record.

 

53.

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.

 

54.

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 9 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:

No declarations were made at this point.

                     

55.

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.

 

56.

Platform Review pdf icon PDF 420 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Clifford)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Resources)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Clifford)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) which provided an update on the review of the Platform, and provided information on a number of early developments and ongoing improvements, to reduce the long term net operating position.

 

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

 

A considerable number of improvements to Platform operations have already been undertaken, or are underway, which Cabinet members are asked to note. At this time, no financial growth is requested as proposals at this stage can be managed within service budgets.  However, Cabinet members are asked to consider and confirm the role and purpose of the Platform.The original role of the Platform was as a Music and Community Arts Centre and the venue has therefore always operated as much more than a simple commercial enterprise. Today, there is, quite rightly, a strong focus on income generation as a means of reducing the overall cost of the venue to the Council.  Nevertheless, the Platform also delivers important social and economic value as a community facility, as a contributor to Morecambe’s Place offer and quality of life and also as a visitor attraction.  Whilst these roles do not always reflect directly on the Platform’s bottom line, positive social and economic outcomes for the area are achieved.

This report proposes that whilst all reasonable opportunities to generate additional income are developed, as detailed in the report, this is undertaken in the context of the Platform’s continuing broad role and purpose.

Bar and catering options have not been included in any detail in this report although this is an area that has been recognised as a revenue generator.  However, it is also recognised that these options need to be considered in the context of longer term requirements and opportunities for the Platform building itself, potential development in the surrounding area, local private sector interests and investments and the economic potential arising from the new link road.

It is proposed that a further report is presented to Cabinet early in 2017/18 to consider how the Platform can best support wider developments in the local area and what services, including bar and catering, will be required to achieve this.

 

Bearing in mind that Cabinet has confirmed its support for the long term future of the Platform, it is important to take a similarly long term view to developing its role, programme, audiences and profile, capitalising on the opportunities available. 

As a result of the review, which has been multi-dimensional, a number of actions have already been taken or are underway.  Further information to allow Cabinet to consider in what way the Platform can support the future development of the wider surrounding area will be presented during early 2017/18.

 

Councillor Clifford proposed, seconded by Councillor Leytham:-

 

“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved with the following revisions to recommendation (2):

 

·         Add ‘of 1 year’ after  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Bailrigg Garden Village - Capacity Funding pdf icon PDF 221 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) which sought Cabinet’s authority to formally accept the funding offered by the Homes and Communities Agency to provide capacity to advance the delivery of the Garden Village Project, following the announcement of the City Council’s success in securing support for its expression of interest in the development of a Garden Village in South Lancaster.

 

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

 

 

Option 1: Not to accept the nomination to develop a Garden Village and associated funding.

Option 2: To accept the nomination to develop a Garden Village and to accept the funding offer to accelerate delivery.

Advantages

No additional draw on resources other than those allocated to Local Plan preparation at this time.

Enables the appropriate staff resource and skills to be recruited to manage delivery at a reasonable pace, in addition to providing funds to appoint specialist expertise to work to define infrastructure needs.

Disadvantages

Delivery of the concept post Local Plan preparation will be much slower and a higher drain upon the City Council’s resources as Government assistance may not be available at that time.  

 

Adds to the number of high profile major projects being managed in the Regeneration and Planning Service at this time.

Risks

Reputational damage after submitting proposals found to be innovative then declining to take up the means to deliver them at a greater pace.

Given competing demands the level of resources able to be accessed by this funding may not be enough.

 

Option 2 was the preferred officer option.  The development of a Garden Village in place of the urban extension option investigated in the run up to the Council decision on the Consultation Draft Local Plan is a much better option for the district.  It should have the ability to generate far more consensus about a development of this scale, and enable both the City and County councils and the University of Lancaster to promote a high quality bespoke development significantly enhancing the City’s reputation as a place to live and work.

 

The work needed up front to design and plan infrastructure for a new settlement of this scale would be an additional burden for the City Council without this significant help from the Government via the Homes and Communities Agency.  Developing a Garden Village in this way now clearly supports the Council’s objectives for managed growth as represented in their Consultation Draft Local Plan.  

 

 

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Leyshon:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That Cabinet authorises the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) to accept the nomination to develop a Garden Village at Bailrigg, Lancaster and the associated funding offer from the Homes and Communities Agency to assist in accelerating delivery.

(2)             That delegated authority be given to the Chief Officer (Resources) to update the General Fund  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Empty Homes Strategy pdf icon PDF 237 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibility Councillors Leytham and Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) to consider an updated Empty Homes Strategy for Lancaster District and the resource implications associated with it.

 

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

 

 

Option 1: Approve the revised Empty Homes Strategy including the resource implications

Option 2: Do not approve the revised Empty Homes Strategy

Advantages

Provides framework for the actions of the Council and its partners and promotes co-ordinated, efficient working.

 

Provides certainty to allow longer term planning of actions

 

Sets clear message that tackling empty homes is a council priority.

 

Brings direct and indirect financial benefits together with community benefits

None identified

Disadvantages

Requires dedicated resources that will have some impact on other areas of work.

Empty homes would not be identified as a council priority and would be dealt with on an ad-hoc basis by various council services with potential for confusion and overlap.

 

Risks

Requires continued commitment from key partners such as Methodist Action

Fewer empty properties would be brought back into use.

 

Option 1 is preferred due to the importance associated with this area of work.  This is an important area of work and a council priority. Approving a revised strategy and providing adequate resources are important steps in delivering this work.

 

Councillor Leytham proposed, seconded by Councillor Hanson:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

(1)             That Cabinet approves the revised Empty Homes Strategy as the basis for the Council’s actions in terms of bringing empty properties back into beneficial use.

(2)             That Cabinet notes the resource implications set out in the report.

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

Bringing empty properties back into beneficial use contributes directly to the Council’s health and wellbeing priority by improving the supply and quality of the district’s housing.  It also contributes to the clean, green and safe priority by reducing the potential for anti-social behaviour and to the economic growth priority by improving confidence in an area for investment.

 

 

59.

Lancaster Flood Management Scheme - River Lune Phase 3 pdf icon PDF 421 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) which provided information on a proposed project to improve the River Lune flood defences, and agree that the City Council make a bid for ERDF funding in outline, to attempt to assemble the funds required to progress a scheme.

 

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

 

 

Option 1: Do nothing

 

 

Option 2: Agree to be submit outline bid for ERDF funding.  

Advantages

 

The City Council does not have to take on a major capital scheme.

 

 

Gives the best chance of a scheme to be delivered and begins to put down formal ‘markers’ for core funding from key sources.

 

Begins the process of embedding the project in strategic programmes and securing a financial package.

 

Disadvantages

Long term uncertainty over viability of Caton Road industrial estates.

 

No realistic proposition of a scheme being undertaken in short to medium term.

 

 

 

Whilst Outline ERDF application does not commit the council to accepting funding there is an expected timetable for a full application, with added workload (although informal discussions with LEP indicate that the timetable can be flexible).

 

Risks

Divestment from industrial estates; leakage of employment and business from the sites potentially to outside Lancaster district.

 

Reputational risks of being seen to not support the scheme

 

 

 

 

Reputational risk increases through raising delivery expectations by the council.

 

Engaging in strategic fund raising processes without certainty of the scheme, costs and funding package, may raise stakeholder expectations that ultimately, cannot be met (as the scheme may prove undeliverable).  Alternatively, it may raise expectations that the Council will ‘step in’ financially.  It is sought to manage these risks by the conditions reflected in the recommendations.

 

 

The preferred option is Option 2.  This decision has to be about priorities, whilst managing the Council’s financial risk exposure.  Currently the EA and the County Council (LLFA) are concentrating on developing the Phase 4 project for the City Centre.  Left to the LLFA and the EA’s own priority scoring mechanisms a scheme to improve protection for this significant and important industrial area may not come forward for a number of years.

 

There remains an acute need to promote this scheme to help secure its delivery and the proposed course of action represents the next most appropriate route towards achieving a positive outcome, both meeting the council’s regeneration objectives for the having wider social, economic and environmental impact.

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Hughes:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That Officers be authorised to submit an outline bid for ERDF Funding by the target date of 17th February 2017, on the basis that:

-          there is no commitment to allocate capital or revenue funding to the scheme;

-          that any move into further project development would require costs/any other financial risk exposure to be underwritten by the Environment Agency  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Budget and Policy Framework Update 2017-21 pdf icon PDF 282 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Resources)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Resources) to inform Cabinet of the latest budget and council tax position so it could make recommendations back to Council in order to complete the budget setting process.

 

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

 

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

 

Revenue Budget

Cabinet may adjust its revenue budget proposals, as long as the overall budget for 2017/18 balances and fits with the proposed council tax level.  The Chief Officer (Resources), as s151 Officer, continues to advise that wherever possible, emphasis should be on reducing future years’ net spending.

 

Capital Programme

Cabinet may adjust its capital investment and financing proposals to reflect spending commitments and priorities but overall its proposals for 2016/17 and 2017/18 must balance.  Whilst there is no legal requirement to have a programme balanced over the full 5-year period, it is considered good practice to do so – or at least have clear plans in place to manage the financing position over that time. 

In deciding its final proposals, 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.

 

Other Budget Framework Matters (Reserves and Provisions / MTFS)

Given known commitments, risks and approved council tax targets there is limited flexibility in financial terms, but depending on priorities Cabinet may consider putting forward alternatives for various reserves, or different approaches for addressing the medium term budget deficit through the MTFS.

 

Proposals to be put forward by Cabinet should fit with any external constraints and the budgetary framework already approved.  The recommendations as set out meet these requirements; the detailed supporting budget proposals are then a matter for Members.

 

The report outlined the actions required to complete the budget setting process for 2017/18 and for updating the MTFS to 2020/21, ahead of a more fundamental, strategic review of the Council’s corporate planning for 2018/19 onwards.

 

 

Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Clifford:-

 

“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved with the inclusion of a Phase 2 Savings and Growth option - Solar Farm Appraisal to recommendation (1).

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

 

(1)          That having considered the feedback from Budget and Performance Panel and Council as set out in section 8 of the supplementary report, Cabinet agrees:

 

-          That a Solar Farm Appraisal Proposal be included as a Phase 2 2018/19 Savings and Growth option.

 

(2)          That Cabinet endorses the review of Provisions, Reserves and Balances undertaken by the s151 Officer, and notes her advice regarding the minimum level of Balances being maintained at £1.5M, subject  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

61.

Treasury Management Strategy 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 333 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Resources)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Resources) which set out the 2017/18 Treasury Management Framework for Cabinet’s approval and referral on to Council.

 

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

 

Cabinetmayputforwardalternativeproposalsoramendmentstotheproposed StrategyinAppendixA to the report,butthesewouldhavetobeconsideredinlightoflegislative, professionalandeconomicfactors,andimportantly,anyalternativeviewsregarding theCouncil’sriskappetite.Assuchnofurtheroptionsanalysisisavailableatthis time.

 

Furthermore,theStrategymustfitwithotheraspectsofCabinetsbudgetproposals, suchasinvestmentinterestestimatesandunderlyingprudentialborrowing assumptions,feedinginto Prudential andTreasuryManagementIndicators.

 

 

The officer preferred option is to approvetheframeworkasattached to the report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Fees and Charges Review - 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 228 KB

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibilty Councillors Leyshon & Whitehead)

 

Joint Report of Chief Officer (Resources) and Chief Officer (Environmental Services)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibility Councillors Whitehead and Leyshon)

 

Cabinet received a joint report from the Chief Officer (Resources) and Chief Officer (Environment) to consider the annual review of fees and charges for 2017/18.

 

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

 

The policy attached to the report remains substantively unchanged and it is considered that it remains fit for purpose (at least in the short term) and it adequately covers Cabinet’s budget proposals.  As such, no options are presented and Cabinet is simply requested to endorse the policy.

 

Options regarding car parking charges are covered in Appendix C to the report.

 

Off Street Pay and Display Charges

 

Option 1

 

           To introduce a range of options for car parking fees and charges for 2017/18 that support the ongoing management of car parks and the wider objectives of the Council:-

           

Advantages

Disadvantages

Risks

 

Option 1A

 

This option freezes the most popular parking tariffs of 1 and 2 hours that account for 71% of short stay transactions and nearly 62% of overall parking transactions.

 

The 1 and 2 hour parking tariffs often provide a guide or perception of the overall level of charging and maintaining these tariffs at their current levels for as long as possible is beneficial.

 

By not increasing the 1 hour tariff the differential charge is maintained in Lancaster with on-street parking charges as agreed with the County Council.

 

 

Option 1B

 

This option limits the increases to stays of 3 hours and longer and avoids the most popular tariffs of 1 and 2 hours that affect a large proportion of customers as previously reported.

 

Again, by not increasing the 1 hour tariff the differential charge is maintained in Lancaster with on-street parking charges as agreed with the County Council.

 

This option maintains the current cost of all-day long stay parking in Morecambe.

 

Increased charges at Williamson Park are broadly in line with the main proposals.

 

 

Option 1C

 

This option maintains the traditional free off street parking in the Council’s car parks and supports local shops and businesses leading up to Christmas.

 

This option encourages residents and visitors to shop locally and to improve the viability of the city and town centres at Christmas.

 

 

Option 1D

 

This option introduces formal management of the car park and allows leisure users and shoppers to use the car park.

 

This option prevents the long-term parking of vehicles on the car park and commuter parking.

 

The 4 hour maximum stay allows for the turnover of spaces and gives leisure users and shoppers greater opportunity to use the car park.

 

 

 

 

 

The 2 hour tariff car park tariff could be increased without affecting the differential charge for the limited number of 2 hour on-street spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although this option avoids the most popular tariffs 33% of parking transactions would still be affected by the increased charges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This does lead to the loss of income but this has been factored into previous year’s budgets and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Corporate Financial Monitoring 2016/17 - Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Blamire)

 

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 provide an overview of the Council’s financial position for Quarter 3 of the 2016/17 monitoring cycle, and the supporting actions underway.

 

As the report was primarily for noting, no options were provided.

 

Councillor Blamire proposed, seconded by Councillor Whithead:-

 

“That the report be noted.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)    That the report be noted.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Officer (Resources)

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The report is a requirement of the Council’s Performance Management Framework in support of the delivery of key priorities and outcomes as set out in the overall policy framework.

 

 

The Chief Officers and the Economic Development Manager left the meeting at this point.

64.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

This is to give further notice in accordance with Part 2, paragraph 5 (4) and 5 (5) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 of the intention to take the following item(s) in private. 

 

Cabinet is recommended to pass the following recommendation in relation to the following item(s):- 

 

“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 item(s) of business, on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 & 2 of Schedule 12A of that Act.” 

 

Members are reminded that, whilst the following item(s) have been marked as exempt, it is for Cabinet 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 also whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  In considering their discretion Members should also be mindful of the advice of Council Officers. 

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Pattison and seconded by Councillor Hanson:-

 

“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 item of business, on the grounds that it 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:-

 

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 item of business, on the grounds that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A of that Act. 

 

 

 

65.

Office of the Chief Executive: Senior Leadership Team

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Blamire)

 

Report of Chief Executive

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Blamire)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Executive to enable consideration of a revised structure for the Chief Executive’s office.  The report was exempt from publication by virtue of paragraphs 1 & 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment were set out in the exempt report.

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Clifford:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That the recruitment of a Chief Officer (Legal and Governance) be recommended to Personnel Committee for commencement of the recruitment processes.

 

(2)             That the proposals regarding the appointment of an interim Assistant Chief Executive for 12 months be approved.

 

(3)             That the current interim arrangements for the Human Resources and Organisational Development services be continued for 6 months.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Executive

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The additional capacity around Legal and Governance and strategic matters will serve to strengthen the planning and delivery of key priorities and policies.