Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 30th April 2020 6.00 p.m.

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

Note: PLEASE NOTE THIS WILL BE A VIRTUAL MEETING - link to the meeting - you will need to have downloaded microsoft Teams to view:/ https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_ZTkxODE3MmItOWVjNC00ZWJhLWFjYTMtNDAxYWQ1YTIzYWE1%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2261b49b28-22c1-4c9b-8830-70288744880e%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22dd57637d-970d-498c-8b2c-86d36963754e%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d 

Items
No. Item

73.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 (previously circulated). 

 

Please note the meetings scheduled for 17 March 2020 and 21 April 2020 were cancelled due to social distancing advice in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 11 February 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

74.

Items of Urgent Business Authorised by the Leader pdf icon PDF 390 KB

The Leader has authorised two items of urgent business for consideration at this meeting:  Coronavirus Business Support and Funding for Vulnerable People. The reports were published on 30 April 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised that there were two items of urgent business. The first was an item regarding Coronavirus Business Support (Minute 77 refers) and the second was a report regarding Funding for Vulnerable People  (Minute 78 refers).

75.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Councillors of interests in respect of items on this Agenda. 

Councillors 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, Councillors 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, Councillors 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 Reynolds declared an interest in the Coronavirus Business Support report in view of his wife operating a small business within the district (Minute 77 refers).

 

76.

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.

77.

Item of Urgent Business - Coronavirus Business Support

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director of Economic Growth and Regeneration which proposed a package of business support measures to help local businesses recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis and initiate rebuilding of the local economy. 

 

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

 

Option 1: Approve the proposed business support measures

 

Advantages:  This will allow business support services to be provided quickly and flexibly in line with business needs Short, medium and long term positive impact on the local economy.  Opportunities to deliver CWB, green and social value outcomes

 

Disadvantages:  The council’s resources would be under less pressure.  Other than that, no obvious disadvantages as the overall approach is designed to adapt to needs

 

Risks: No obvious risks

 

Option 2: Do not approve the proposed business support measures

 

Advantages:  The council will save on the costs of providing business measures

 

Disadvantages: Loss of opportunity to protect the local economy.  Council resources will be less under pressure

 

Risks: Risks to businesses in the district will not be reduced

 

 

The Officer preferred option is Option 1 on the basis that the business support programme can be in place very quickly and is flexible enough to adapt to business needs going forwards.

 

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

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That the broad framework for the Council’s support measures is approved in order to help local businesses survive the coronavirus crisis and assist as many as possible to go on to recovery and increased resilience.

 

(2)             That the initial financial allocations are approved but that a review of these is undertaken later in 2020 to take account of emerging business needs.

 

(3)             That, to enable progress and ensure help is available to businesses quickly, delegations for distribution of the funds are approved as follows:

 

·        Up to £50k – Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration to decide after consulting with relevant portfolio holder or most suitable Cabinet member

·       £50 - £150k – Individual Cabinet Member

·      Over £150k – Cabinet.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The approach is focused on helping business to survive now but also to adapt and develop in order to recover from the crisis and remain resilient in the future. Some grant funding is included for those businesses that have been unable to access other funding support at all and linked to business recovery and resilience, research and development and to projects that benefit a number of local businesses, such as digital and workspace.  The intention is that it will be clear what the Council’s funds will achieve.

 

The decision is consistent with the Council Plan:

 

Ambitions  

 

·        A Thriving and Prosperous Economy

Create strong conditions for growth so that businesses thrive and jobs are created

With our partners, deliver major  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

78.

Item of Urgent Business - Vulnerable People

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Lewis)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director of Communities and Environment which sought agreement of the principles for allocating funding to support vulnerable people agreed by Council on 18 March 2020 as part of the Council’s Covid-19 pandemic response.

 

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

 

Option 1: Agree the principles and outline proposals for allocation set out in the report

 

Advantages: Based on the most up to date knowledge, government guidance and developed following extensive consultation.

 

Disadvantages: None specifically at this time 

 

Risks: No specific risks at this time.  

 

Option 2:  Recommend different principles and outline proposals for allocation 

 

Advantages:  None identified

 

 Disadvantages: Deviation from current strategy, government guidance and consultation

 

Risks: Officer time allocated to dealing with the emergency is used developing further proposals.

 

 

The officer-preferred option is Option 1.

 

Councillor Lewis proposed, seconded by Councillor Jackson:-

 

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

 

By way of an amendment, which was accepted as a friendly amendment by the proposer, Councillor Hamilton-Cox proposed and Councillor Reynolds seconded:

 

“That the recommendation be revised to include the same delegation framework as that agreed in the Coronavirus Business Support recommendation but with the Director of Communities and the Environment replacing the Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration.”

 

Councillors then voted on the amended proposals:-

 

 

 

 

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)        That the principles for allocation of the funding as set out in the report are agreed.

 

(2)       That to enable progress and ensure help is available quickly, delegations for distribution of the funds are approved as follows:

 

·      Up to £50k – Director of Communities and the Environment to decide after consulting with relevant portfolio holder or most suitable Cabinet member

·       £50 - £150k – Individual Cabinet Member

·      Over £150k – Cabinet.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director of Communities and the Environment

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

As the pandemic has developed it is clear that without significant and sustained intervention the impacts on the most vulnerable will be severe, and result in a widening of inequality. The decision is consistent with the Council’s Ambitions:

 

An Inclusive and Prosperous Local Economy

·      Using our finance to benefit local communities

 Health and Happy Communities

·        Supporting wellbeing and ensuring local communities are engaged, involved and connected

·          Addressing health and income inequality, food and fuel poverty, mental health needs, and loneliness

·        Focused on early-intervention approaches and involving our communities in service design and delivery

 

 

 

79.

Morecambe Future High Streets pdf icon PDF 398 KB

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

 

Report of Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration (this report was marked ‘to follow’ and was published on 29 April 2020)

Minutes:

Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox )

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration which sought approval to make a bid to the MHCLG for access to the Future High Street Fund.

 

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

 

Option 1: Submission of the FHSF for Morecambe Bid to MHCLG

 

Advantages: In submitting the bid Lancaster City Council can compete for Government funding of up to £25m to support the transformation of Morecambe over a number of years.

 

Promotes a positive approach to Morecambe’s development and viability over the next few years, with the potential to help rebuild the economy following the coronavirus crisis.

 

Disadvantages: None specifically at this time as all proposals will be subject to further detailed development and assessment.

 

Risks: No specific risks at this time.  Consideration of all risks will be required as part of decision making on detailed proposals.

 

Option 2: Not to submit

 

Advantages:  Resources to develop and deliver the programme will not be required.

 

Disadvantages: Lost opportunity to secure major infrastructure funding from Government for beneficial regeneration and change.

 

Potential for the government to request repayment of the £150k funding provided for development of the FHS proposals

 

Risks: Significant risk to deliverability of regeneration opportunities, ability to better integrate the town, to create economic, social and environmental impact and reap the full benefits of investment by Eden North.

 

The officer-preferred option is Option 1 on the basis that the Council can bid for £25m of external funding to act as a catalyst for further investment and development in Morecambe. 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

 

During consideration of this item Councillor Jackson experienced connectivity issues which precluded her from voting.

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That in accordance with Rule 6.15  of the Financial Procedure Rules Cabinet approval be given for the Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration to make a bid to the MHCLG for access to  the Future High Street Fund.

 

(2)       The fund provides an opportunity for the Council to access for external Government funding of up to £25m for Morecambe and should the bid be successful a report will be brought back to Cabinet to seek acceptance of the offer of funding.

 

(3)       That should any successful bid for access to the FHS funding be accepted, the         Council takes the role of Accountable Body for the FHS funding and spending programme.

 

(4)       That any future projects wishing to access the funding will be subject to the       Council’s executive governance procedures

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The Future High Streets Funding is about delivering structural change fitting to the Morecambe Area Action Plan to make central Morecambe better as a place for people to enjoy and as a place for business and trade. It is about making places,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.