Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 13th February 2018 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

69.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Tuesday, 16th January 2018 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 16th January 2018 were approved as a correct record.

 

70.

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.

 

71.

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.

                     

72.

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 the Overview and Scrutiny Report (Minute 73 refers). Paul Gardner addressed Cabinet in his capacity as the Chair of Trustees of Citizens Advice North Lancashire.   Helen Greatorex, Chief Officer, Citizens Advice North Lancashire was also in attendance.

 

73.

Report from Overview & Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To consider the referral report from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee with regard to the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector Commissioning task group, which was deferred from the Cabinet meeting on 16th January 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Pattison)

 

Councillor Ashworth, as Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, presented a referral report from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee with regard to the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector task group report.  Cabinet were advised that the Committee had rejected the task group report and that whilst there were no plans to reconstitute the task group, the Overview & Scrutiny Committee would work with the Budget & Performance Panel to ensure the additional work identified by the Committee during their consideration of the task group report would be undertaken.

 

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

 

The options available to Cabinet are:-

 

1.         To accept the recommendations of Overview and Scrutiny. 

 

2.         Not to accept the recommendations of Overview and Scrutiny. 

 

3.         To make alternative proposals to those recommended by Overview and Scrutiny. 

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee preferred option was to accept recommendation (2), as set out in the report:   That Cabinet be recommended to retain the current status quo regarding voluntary community and faith sector commissioning grant funding for 2018/19.”

 

Councillor Pattison proposed, seconded by Councillor Hughes:-

 

“(1) That Cabinet retains the current status quo regarding voluntary community and faith sector commissioning grant funding for 2018/19.

 

(2)  That officers be requested to explore the possibility of introducing a local lottery to help support Voluntary Community Faith Sector funding in the future.

 

(3)   That the following comments be forwarded to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee:

·         That the Overview & Scrutiny Committee consider conflicts of interest when appointing task group members (particularly the chairman)

·         That the Overview & Scrutiny Committee considers the inclusion of the following items when progressing the work on the voluntary community and faith sector commissioning framework:

a.    Description of the current procedure of the Council for allocating grants

b.    How much officer time is devoted to the allocation and management of grants each year?

c.     What are the Council’s priority areas for allocating grants and should these change?

d.    How do organisations apply for grants, and how easy is it for new ones to apply?

e.    What does the Council require of organisations receiving grants (e.g. reports, outcomes) and does this need to change?

f.      Evidence from stakeholders or service providers.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1) That Cabinet retains the current status quo regarding voluntary community and faith sector commissioning grant funding for 2018/19.

 

(2)  That officers be requested to explore the possibility of introducing a local lottery to help support support Voluntary Community Faith Sector funding in the future.

 

(3)   That the following comments be forwarded to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee:

·         That the Overview & Scrutiny Committee consider conflicts of interest when appointing task group members (particularly the chairman)

·         That the Overview & Scrutiny Committee considers the inclusion of the following items when progressing the work on the voluntary community and faith sector commissioning framework:

a.    Description of the current procedure of the Council for allocating grants

b.    How much officer time  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Beyond the Castle Archaeological Site pdf icon PDF 435 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Clifford)

 

Report of the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Clifford)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) to note the initial recent archaeological findings and their potential national significance and consider the recommendations for future work that offers a comprehensive strategic direction for managing future work across the site.

 

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: Continue piecemeal / ad hoc approach

Option 3: Take forward a comprehensive approach

(PREFERRED OPTION)

Advantages

With no archaeological investigations or further works there are no additional demands for council resources.

 

 

Limited demand on staff resources.

 

Provides the best conditions to discover and record Lancaster’s Roman archaeological history.

 

Maximises potential for economic benefits, including visitor numbers and spend.

 

Significant discoveries would contribute to the museums service and the uniqueness of the local collections.

 

Sets formal framework for future project work that will meet funder’s requirements and best practice in archaeology.

 

Developing and implementing a comprehensive management plan for the site will enable a proactive approach that plans costed works and in the long term provides better quality service that is more cost effective.

 

The council can meet its responsibilities by taking a leadership role in ensuring appropriate management and development of the site.

 

Potential new income generation opportunities from special exhibitions, workshops and seminars, merchandising and catering.    

 

Disadvantages

The opportunity to discover and tell Lancaster’s Roman story and raise Lancaster’s profile, is not taken.

 

Tourism, museums and wider economic benefits not delivered.

 

Some work on the site is still required but is unlikely to attract significant external funding.

Agenda for future work is reactive with the potential for the agenda to be set by others without the benefit of expert advice or an agreed strategy.

 

Lacks scale to secure significant funding, leading to a reduced and poorer quality evidence base.

 

Missed opportunities to capitalise on developing plans for the museums service.

Current staff resources required to coordinate approach at this early stage.

 

Some financial implications for the council, but also external funding opportunities.

 

Risks

Site has some condition issues that present a risk to the archaeological record and Scheduled Ancient Monument.

 

There is currently limited protection of the site, which constrains the ability to ensure the site is investigated / excavated appropriately.

 

Implicit to the do nothing approach is an acceptance of a reactive approach to maintenance that could prove more costly over the long term.

 

Potential reputational damage to the Council in terms of its responsibilities for the site.

 

Intellectual property rights relating to the understanding of the site may not be limited to the Council and its agreed partners.

Absence of comprehensive management plan likely to lead to a reactive approach that could be more costly and fail to protect heritage assets in the short term.

 

Potential reputational damage to the Council in terms of its responsibilities for the site.

 

Resource/ space requirements for finds, archives and to provide suitable working  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

Reshaping the Council's Museums Service pdf icon PDF 245 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Clifford)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Clifford)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Regeneration & Planning) which provided the final independent consultants report and requested that Cabinet noted its suggestions for the future direction for the City Council’s museums service and considered some early actions to underpin successful future management and development.

 

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

 

Options relating to this report are limited as all recommendations are effectively proposing the means by which earlier decisions can be implemented effectively. Recommendations in relation to the potential Collections Centre and how it might inform the wider museums review will be considered in more detail in a later report.

In terms of risk it should be noted that there are risks associated with the transfer of the service back to the council.  However, recommendations in this report are designed to mitigate these risks. 

 

The work undertaken to date has been informative and it is clear that the City Council’s museums have the potential for a greater impact, increased presence and profile and, at the same time, to be more sustainable in financial terms. By agreeing to take the museums service in-house the council has already made a strong commitment to repositioning the offer. 

 

The independent AP&P report presents a series of significant operational and financial implications and considerations which cannot be fully determined at this stage.  In the immediate short term, however, the City Council has to deliver the effective re-integration of the museums service into its establishment and this, in itself will be complex in legal, financial and management terms.

 

                             At this stage, Cabinet is therefore asked to agree that officers focus on the successful transfer of the Museums Service back to the City Council and recruitment of a specialist manager to play a key role in management and development of the service.  This will be undertaken alongside the development of a HLF Resilient Heritage funding bid and more detailed consideration of options for a potential new Collections Centre and identification of a preferred site.

 

Councillor Clifford proposed, seconded by Councillor Hanson:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)          That Cabinet reviews and notes the independent consultant report “Reshaping of Lancaster District’s Museums Offer – Report of Findings and Recommendations (Aitken, Prince and Pearce)” at Appendix A to the report.

 

(2)          That Cabinet notes the initial focus of work over the next 6 months is the successful transfer of the museums service back to the Council and recruitment of a specialist manager to play a key role in management and development of the service.

 

(3)          That specialist funding support and match funding of up to £37,500 are provided to enable the development, submission and acceptance of a Resilient Heritage funding bid, from the remaining previously approved Budget Support Reserve allocation for the Museums Review, and subject to appropriate due diligence being undertaken.

 

(4)          That  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.

76.

Fees and Charges Review - 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibility Councillors Whitehead & Leyshon)

 

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Members with Special Responsibility Councillors Whitehead & 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 2018/19.

 

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

 

The attached policy 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, with a review being undertaken next year.

 

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

 

Options Appraisal

 

Advantages

Disadvantages

Risks

 

Option 1A

 

This option freezes the most popular parking tariff of 1 hour that accounts for nearly  40% of overall parking transactions

 

 

The 1 hour parking tariff often provides a guide or perception of the overall level of charging and maintaining this tariff at its current level for as long as possible is beneficial

 

 

By not increasing the 1 hour tariff and limiting the 2 hour increase to 10p differential charging is maintained in Lancaster with on-street parking charges as agreed with the County Council

 

 

 

Option 1B

 

This option avoids the need to increase the second most popular 2 hour tariff

 

This option reduces the 4 hour short stay increase to 10p rather than 20p

 

This option reduces the number of tariffs to be increased again as well as in 2017/18 to 2 rather than 3

 

 

 

 

Option 1C

 

This option makes the largest contribution to car parking revenue and combines the increases outlined in Options 1A and 1B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 2A

 

Introducing evening parking charges on Pedder Street car park would allow the charges to be trialled and the impacts monitored

 

This could lead to the justification of wider evening charging in Morecambe 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 2B

 

Introducing evening parking charges on selected car parks in Morecambe would generate additional income and would be consistent with Lancaster’s car parking charges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 2C

 

Introducing evening parking charges on all main car parks in Morecambe would lead to a fairer charging regime and would generate further additional income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 3A

 

This option maintains the traditional free parking arrangements leading up to Christmas and encourages shoppers to shop locally.

 

The cost of this option is already included in the 2018/19 Draft Budget.

 

Option 3B

 

This option removes the traditional free parking at Christmas and potentially has a positive impact on the budget position and also potentially reduces the need to increase other tariffs.

 

 

Option 4

 

Car Park permits charges have not been increased since 2014/15 and 3% is a relatively small increase in 4 years.

 

This increase still represents good value compared with daily long stay parking charges.

 

Option 5

 

This option provides formal management of the car park and will give priority to residents and businesses.

 

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

 

Option 6

 

This option provides designated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.

77.

Budget and Policy Framework Update 2018 to 2022 - General Fund Revenue Budget and Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 215 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Resources)    (Supplementary Report to follow)

 

 

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 General Fund budget and council tax position so it can 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 2018/19 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 2017/18 and 2018/19 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 (as being updated), which include:

 

-                 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.

 

Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Clifford:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)       That Cabinet determines its response to the feedback from Council (as set out in section 8 of the report) as part of finalising its budget proposals prior to the Budget Council agenda being published.

 

(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 to annual review.

 

(3)       That subject to any changes arising from the above, and any further budget amendments arising in or agreed by Cabinet after this meeting, Cabinet be recommended to approve for referral on to Budget Council:

 

-        the 2018/19 General Fund Net Revenue Budget and resulting Council Tax Requirement excluding parish precepts (current position  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

78.

Treasury Management Strategy 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 384 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Chief Officer (Resources)   (Report to follow)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Officer (Resources) which set out the 2018/19 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 StrategyinAppendix B to the report,butthesewouldhavetobeconsideredinlightoflegislative, professionalandeconomicfactors,andimportantly,anyalternativeviewsregarding theCouncil’sriskappetite.Assuchnofurtheroptionsanalysisisavailableatthis time.

 

Furthermore,theStrategymustfitwithotheraspectsofCabinetsbudgetproposals, suchasinvestmentinterestestimatesandunderlyingprudentialborrowing assumptions,feedinginto Prudential andTreasuryManagementIndicators. There are no options available regarding other components of the overall framework, as covered in Appendices C and D to the report.

 

 

The officer preferred option is to approve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

79.

Corporate Financial Monitoring 2017/18 - Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 220 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 provided an overview of the Council’s financial position for Quarter 3 of the 2017/18 monitoring cycle and the supporting actions underway.

 

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

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)          That the report and supporting actions set out therein, be noted.