Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 4th December 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

49.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Tuesday 6 November 2018 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 6 November 2018 were approved as a correct record.

 

50.

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.

 

51.

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.

52.

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.

 

 

53.

Eden Project North pdf icon PDF 219 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Assistant Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Assistant Chief Executive to refer to Full Council the consideration of a request to contribute £250,000 to the development of the Eden Project North proposal.

 

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

 

 

Option 1:

Agree to refer the decision to Full Council

Option 2:

Do not refer the decision to Full Council

Advantages

Provides opportunity to contribute and be part of a significant major infrastructure development likely to benefit not just the immediate community but the wider economic prosperity of the area

Retain £250,000 within the local authority.

Disadvantages

Reduces the available finance for other projects with no guaranteed return.

The land remains unused, undeveloped and provides no return.

Risks

The project does not proceed and there is no return for the expenditure

The area remains stagnated.

 

The Officer Preferred Option was to refer the request for funding to Full Council who may agree the contribution to the next stage of the project development.

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Pattison:-

 

“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved and that consideration be given to establishing a budget reserve for the Eden North Project.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)          That consideration of the request to contribute £250,000 to the Eden Project North detailed design and planning proposal be referred to Full Council for consideration on 19 December 2018 and that consideration be given to establishing a budget reserve for the Eden North Project.

 

(2)          That the Overview & Scrutiny Committee be requested to consider the Eden (North) proposals as part of their work programme.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Assistant Chief Executive

Interim Head of Financial Services

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The request sits outside the policy framework proposals.  Prior to full Council considering and making a decision on the requested contribution of £250,000, officers will liaise with Eden and provide  an explanation as to why the initial funding is required and what it will be used for.  This will be reported to Council on 19 December 2018.

 

 

54.

Housing Standards Enforcement Policy pdf icon PDF 84 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Warriner)

 

Report of the Director for Communities and the Environment

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Warriner)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Communities and the Environment in order to give consideration to and adopt the Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy and associated charges.

 

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

 

 

Option 1:

Adopt the policy

Option 2:

Do not adopt the policy

Advantages

Provides clarity for the Local Authority and stakeholders.

 

Assists the Local Authority in meeting its statutory obligations and deliver one of its priorities.

 

None

Disadvantages

None

The council could be subject to challenge. The authority is obliged to determine the level of penalties to be levied in relation to the legalisation referred to in this report and has to publish a statement of principles in relation to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations. 

Risks

None

The council could be subject to challenge and may not be in a good position to meet its statutory obligations.

 

                     The officer preferred option was to adopt the Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy and the specific policies (including the fine matrices contained therein).

 

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 the overarching Housing standards, Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be adopted.

 

(2)          That the specific Housing Standards policies/statement of principles, set out below, together with the fine matrices contained therein be adopted:

 

(a)  Housing Standards, Civil Penalties Enforcement Policy as set out in Appendix 2 to the report;

 

(b)  Housing Standards, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 Statement of Principles as set out in Appendix 3 to the report;

 

(c)   Housing Standards, The Redress Schemes for letting agency work and property management work (requirement to belong to a scheme, etc.) (England) Order 2014 policy as set out in Appendix 4 to the report.

 

(3)          That an evaluation of the effectiveness of the policies referred to above, be included in the report back to Cabinet on the implementation of the alternative approach to selective licensing approved by Cabinet in March 2018 (minute 84 refers).

           

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Communities and the Environment

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The proposals support the Council’s objectives to promote sustainable communities and support the positive health and wellbeing of residents in the district.  Adoption of the new policy will assist the Council to provide efficient and effective regulatory enforcement to support the delivery of a statutory function and corporate priority, providing clarity to the local authority and stakeholders.

 

 

55.

Wennington Neighbourhood Plan Referendum pdf icon PDF 91 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of the Planning Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Planning Manager which sought approval for the Wennington Neighbourhood Plan to proceed to referendum at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

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

 

 

Option 1: Accept the modifications of the Examiner, issue a decision statement to this effect and approve the Neighbourhood Plan to go forward to referendum.

Option 2: Reject some of the modifications of the Examiner and delegate authority to the Planning Manager to publish the decision.

Option 3: Reject all of the modifications of the Examiner.

Advantages

This would be to the benefit of adopting localism within the district, enabling communities to shape their area. It would enable the community as a whole to decide if the plan should be sued by the Council for determining planning applications.

That the plan could be prepared in line with (or closer in line with) the original intentions of the Neighbourhood Plan sub group.

None known. Rejection of all the modifications would mean rejection of the plan on the basis that the Council could not be satisfied that the Plan could met the basic conditions required by Schedule 4B Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

 

Disadvantages

None known

Officers and the Neighbourhood Plan sub group have agreed the modifications are acceptable and that the plan is suitable to be the subject of a referendum.

 

Rejecting modifications may remove clarity, factual correctness or compatibility with other local authority plans or policies. It could also lead to the Basic Conditions requirement not being met.

 

Rejecting modification will require further consideration by officers as to the suitability of the plan and further consideration by Council.

 

The Neighbourhood Plan would not be made.

Risks

None known

Removal of some of the modification may lead to the Plan not meeting the basic conditions and to the ultimate decision that the plan should not be progressed.

 

Removal of some of the Examiner’s recommendations may also create ambiguity and uncertainty in the application of the Plan. This could lead to legal challenge and difficulty in the application of planning policy to planning decisions.

The Plan, with the Examiners’ recommendations, is agreeable to the Neighbourhood group. To reject the Plan by not accepting the modifications could be suggest to public law challenge. 

 

                     The preferred option is Option 1. Given the level of work undertaken by the Neighbourhood Plan Sub Group alongside the extensive consultation that took place prior to the Examination of the plan it is considered that subject to the outcome of the referendum that it is the will of the community of Wennington for a neighbourhood plan to be prepared. The independent Examiner has scrutinised the plan in making an assessment as to whether it meets the Basic Conditions and subject to modification is of the view that the plan is ready to proceed to Referendum. 

 

                      In conclusion it is the opinion of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Bailrigg Garden Village Cabinet Liaison Group pdf icon PDF 257 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Interim Regeneration Manager

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Interim Regeneration Manager to seek approval to establish a Bailrigg Garden Village Cabinet Liaison Group and agree to the proposed terms of reference.

 

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

 

The options are essentially to agree to the Terms of Reference, or propose alternatives, subject to Cabinet’s desired focus for the Cabinet Liaison Group.  As long as any terms fit with the Constitution, there is no Officer preferred option.

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Whitehead:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)    That a Bailrigg Garden Village Cabinet Liaison Group be established.

 

(2)    That the terms of reference of the Bailrigg Garden Village Cabinet Liaison Group, as appended to the minutes, be approved.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Interim Regeneration Manager

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The establishment of Cabinet Liaison Groups assists the Cabinet in the discharge of executive functions.  The aims and objectives of the Bailrigg Garden Village Cabinet Liaison Group will be aligned to support the Council Plan to develop the concept of the garden village with the group meeting in response to progress and key issues on the project.

 

57.

Budget and Policy Framework Update 2019/20 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Interim Head of Financial Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Interim Head of Financial Services to provide an update on the Council’s budget strategy for 2019/20 and financial outlook up to 2023/24 to help inform development of Cabinet’s corporate planning and budget proposals and the development of a revised Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

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

 

         Regarding the budget strategy, Cabinet may approve the proposals as set out, or require changes to be made to the suggested approach.  The overriding aim of any budget setting process is to approve a balanced budget by statutory deadlines, allocating resources to help ensure delivery of the Council’s corporate and service objectives.  The proposed approach is in line with that broad aim, drawing on various strategic matters.  Any changes that Cabinet puts forward should also be framed in that context.

 

In term of the actual budget position, this report is primarily for information, to assist Cabinet in its budget deliberations.  No specific decisions are sought at this time.

 

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 the draft budgetary position for current and future years be noted, accepting that this is an interim update.

 

(2)          That the approach and timetable in respect of the 2019/20 budget as set out in Section 3 of the report be approved.

 

(3)          That the approach to updating the Medium Term Financial Strategy set out in Section 4 of the report be approved.

 

(4)          That the Treasury Management Mid-Year Review attached at Appendix A to the report, be noted and referred to Council for information.

 

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Interim Head of Financial Services

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

Draft budget proposals will be considered by Cabinet on 15 January 2019 and by the Budget & Performance Panel on 22 January 2019.

58.

Funding the Future: Financial Sustainability Strategy pdf icon PDF 90 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Assistant Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Assistant Chief Executive, which sought approval to the adoption of an overarching strategy for building financial resilience strategy: ‘Funding the Future.’

 

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

 

Option 1 is to adopt the strategy.

 

Option 2 is to maintain the status quo and address deficits through reduced budgets and service cuts.

 

 

Option 1: Adopt the strategy

Option 2: Do not adopt the strategy

Advantages

The prospect of long term financial resilience to help maintain the provision of good quality council services

None

Disadvantages

New ways of working and adapting reasonably quickly to new approaches.

 

A series of unpalatable decisions will need to be taken on cuts and service reductions.

Risks

A manageable level of commercial risk in terms of trading and investment. degree of financial risk

Potential financial instability delivery of services being reduced.

A deteriorating reputation.

 

 

 

                     The officer-preferred option is Option 1 for the reasons set out in the document attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

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 the principles of the overarching financial resilience strategy by approved.

 

(2)          That the incorporation of the key principles of the strategy within the MTFS be approved.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Assistant Chief Executive

Interim Head of Financial Services

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The Council has developed highly ambitious plans for enhancing the economy, wellbeing and presence of Lancaster City and District; setting out its priorities and vision for the district to thrive as a vibrant regional centre in the north west of England in its recently published Council Plan.  The Councils current projected funding gaps reveals the continuing financial challenge faced by the Council. The proposals put forward within the Funding the Future strategy provide a combination of short, medium and longer term solutions, aligned with the Councils Medium Term Financial Strategy to bridging the funding gaps and building financial resilience within the Council.

 

 

 

59.

Investment Strategy

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Assistant Chief Executive     (Report to follow)

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the meeting that this item had been deferred to the next Cabinet meeting on 18 December 2018.

The Planning Manager left the meeting at this point.

60.

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 in private. 

 

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

 

“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 3 of Schedule 12A of that Act.” 

 

Members are reminded that, whilst the following item has been marked as exempt, it is for Cabinet itself to decide whether or not to consider it 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 paragraph 3 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 paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of that Act. 

 

 

61.

Land at Scotforth

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of the Assistant Chief Executive

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Blamire)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Assistant Chief Executive, 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 Blamire proposed, seconded by Councillor Burns:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

The resolution and reason for making the decision is set out in a minute exempt from publication by virtue of Paragraph 3, Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act, 1972.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Assistant Chief Executive