Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 15th September 2020 6.00 p.m.

Venue: THIS WILL BE A VIRTUAL MEETING

Contact: Liz Bateson, Democratic Services - email  ebateson@lancaster.gov.uk 

Note: THIS IS A VIRTUA TEAMS LIVE MEETING AND CAN BE ACCESSED BY COPYING THE FOLLOWING LINK INTO THE BROWSER: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_NmNiMzMyNTgtNjljMy00YjY1LWE5NjktZTgxMWUzZDNhNDQ1%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

In the absence of the Leader, the Vice-Chair took the Chair

37.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Monday 17 August, 2020 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 17 August 2020 were approved as a correct record.

38.

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 Chair advised that there were no items of urgent business.

39.

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:

No declarations were made at this point.

40.

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 procedures.

41.

Capital Investment Strategy 2020/24

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Director of Corporate Services (this item has been deferred to October’s Cabinet meeting)

Minutes:

It was noted that this item had been deferred for consideration at October’s Cabinet.

42.

Provisional Revenue, Capital and Treasury Management Outturn 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 309 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Director of Corporate Services (report published on 14 September 2020)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Finance Officer that provided summary information regarding the provisional outturn for 2019/20, including treasury management. It also set out information regarding the carry forward of capital slippage and other matters for Members’ consideration.

 

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

 

The Council has a legal requirement to ensure that its expenditure is fully funded and to produce accounts in accordance with proper accounting practice. In addition, the Prudential Indicators are a statutory requirement linked to the budgetary framework. For these aspects, therefore, there are no alternative options for Cabinet to consider. Members are being asked to endorse certain actions taken by the Chief Finance Officer, and Cabinet should consider whether it has sufficient information to do so or whether it requires any further justification.

 

The report requests Cabinet to consider a number of revenue overspending, capital slippage and other budget adjustment matters. The framework for considering these is set out in the report but basically Cabinet may:

o Endorse any number of the items / requests, in full or part.

o Refuse various requests and if commitments have already been incurred, require alternative funding options to be identified. Cabinet should note, however, that this may impact on other areas of service delivery.

o Request further information regarding them, if appropriate.

 

The Officer preferred options are as set out in the recommendations, on the assumption that Members continue to support their previously approved spending plans.

 

Despite the financial challenges faced by the Council and the associated reductions in Government funding, the financial standing of the Council remains relatively healthy as at 31 March 2020. Officers are undertaking several pieces of work to understanding the areas of significant variance and where appropriate undertake corrective action going forward. This will lead to further improvements to the Council’s budget setting and financial monitoring processes.

 

Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Hanson:-

 

“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved and that recommendation (3) be revised to read ‘Appendix 7’ rather than ‘Appendix 8.”

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That the provisional outturn for 2019/20 be endorsed, including the transfers to and from Reserves and Balances actioned by the Chief Finance Officer, as set out in 5.1 and Appendix 5 of the report.

 

(2)             That Cabinet approve the treatment of year end overspends and endorse the do-nothing approach in-light of the current pandemic situation.

 

(3)             That the requests for capital slippage and the adjustments to reflect accelerated capital spending on projects as set out at Appendix 7 of the report be endorsed, with the Capital Programme being updated accordingly.

 

(4)             That the Annual Treasury Management report and Prudential Indicators as set out at Appendix 2 of the report, be noted and referred on to Council for information.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Finance Officer

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The Outturn and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

Delivering our Ambitions Quarter 1 - 2020/21

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Director of Corporate Services (this has been deferred to the October Cabinet meeting)

Minutes:

It was noted that this item had been deferred for consideration at October’s Cabinet meeting.

44.

Covid 19 Pandemic - Policy for decision making and spending delegations within the Budget and Policy Framework - Award of contract electric pool cars pdf icon PDF 289 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Frea)

 

Report of Director for Communities and the Environment  (report published on 9 September 2020)

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Frea)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Communities and the Environmentwhich sought authorisation to complete an award of contract in accordance with the ‘Covid-19 Pandemic- Policy for decision making and spending delegations within the Budget and Police Framework’

 

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

 

The options were to either authorise completion of the award of contract or not.

 

Not authorising this will still mean that the Co-Wheels car scheme will go ahead using only the existing pool cars. The number of which is insufficient to achieve the change needed.

 

If not approved, it would conflict with the Council’s climate change aspirations.

 

The officer preferred option was to authorise officers to award the contract.

 

Councillor Parr proposed, seconded by Councillor Brookes:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

That Cabinet authorises officers to complete the award of contract for 6 electric vehicles.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Communities and the Environment

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

In 2018/19, 154 city council employees claimed the casual mileage allowance. Approximately 105,000 business miles were driven during this period, producing an estimated 31t(CO2) of greenhouse gases. The cost to the council for the mileage claims was £47,144 and rose to £50,000 in 2019/20. The decision is consistent with the Council’s target to become carbon neutral by 2030.

 

The funding for the additional pool cars was approved in the Council’s budget for 2020/21.

 

 

Having previously advised the meeting that non-executive members were able to participate in the meeting, and following the advice of the Monitoring Officer, the Chair formally moved that standing order 17 (Cabinet Procedure Rule 17) be suspended to allow for questions to be taken from all members as the reports were introduced.  The proposal was seconded by Councillor Jackson and agreed unanimously.

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That Standing Order 17 (Cabinet Procedure Rule 17) be suspended.

 

45.

Covid 19 Financial Update

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Director for Corporate Services (this has been deferred to the October Cabinet meeting)

Minutes:

It was noted that this item had been deferred for consideration at October’s Cabinet meeting.

 

46.

Repairs to Council Asset - 1 Lodge Street, Lancaster pdf icon PDF 361 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Report of Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration  (report published on 11 September 2020)

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration which provided an overview of the general and structural work required to the property at 1 Lodge Street, Lancaster. The repairs were necessary to bring back into repair a Council asset that has become significantly dilapidated over a long period of time. The work will bring the property into a lettable standard and forms part of the Council’s wider strategic regeneration objectives within the Canal Quarter within which 1 Lodge Street is located.

 

 

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

 

Option 1: Do nothing


Advantages: The council does not spend the allocation of capital funds requested.

 

Disadvantages: The asset will continue to deteriorate and eventually become unsafe. There are already props in place in order to prevent possible roof collapse.

A significant site within the Canal Quarter will remain unsightly.

 

Risks: The building could become unsafe/a dangerous structure if it continues to be left.

If our lack of action impacts the tenants, public or adjoining buildings, there could be significant reputational damage.

 

Option 2: Complete the works as described

 

Advantages: Protect a Council asset that sits in the prominent Canal Quarter area of Lancaster.

Allow the Council the opportunity to bring the asset to a lettable state.

 

Disadvantages: There is a capital cost to the Council.   

 

Risks: Delay in reaching new lease terms with the existing tenant, based on a new business plan and cultural service level agreement.

 

 

The officer preferred option is Option 2. The condition of the asset has been of concern for some time and it is now beyond minor/remedial repair.

 

 

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

 

“To delegate to the Leader and portfolio holders the decision on whether to use the capital budget of £486,450 to undertake the necessary works to repair the building and bring it into a lettable condition.”

 

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

That Cabinet delegates to the Leader and portfolio holders the decision on whether to use the capital budget of £486,450 to undertake the necessary works to repair the building and bring it into a lettable condition.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

Whilst Cabinet had no hesitation in approving the budget for the repairs there were various issues that needed to be addressed. The decision enables the relevant portfolio holders to meet as an informal steering as soon as practical and work through those issues in order that the Leader could authorise the release of funds when the outstanding matters had been resolved.

 

Carrying out the essential repair works to Council assets demonstrates sound asset management and optimisation of Council assets. Any further deterioration could impact on the safety of neighbouring properties and leave the Council open to claims from third parties in the event of damage. Once the work is completed the Council will then  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

Local Plan for Lancaster District Climate Emergency Review: Formal Commencement of Review process and Launch of Scoping Consultation pdf icon PDF 402 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration to inform Cabinet of the recently adopted Local Plan for Lancaster District and to seek endorsement for the formal commencement of the Climate Emergency Review of the Local Plan, and, advise members of the review stages and processes, including the launch of the Scoping Consultation.

 

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

 

Option 1: To formally commence the Local Plan Review and undertake a Scoping Consultation.

 

Advantages: This will enable the Council to begin to implement its decision to review the Local Plan documents in the context of the Climate Emergency. The scoping provides an early opportunity for the local community, stakeholders, or any interested party to put their views forward on the scope and content of the plan. Given this review is not a full review of the Local Plan, there is much value in seeking clarity on which matters will be re-visited and which will not. 

 

Disadvantages: None known.

 

Risks: None known.

 

Option 2: To not formally commence the Local Plan Review and/or undertake a Scoping Consultation.

 

Advantages: None known.

 

Disadvantages: To not immediately commence the local plan review that the Council has just committed itself to would be a surprising decision and would send a confused message to the community and stakeholders on the Council’s intentions. Alternatively, to review the plan without the early engagement offered by the practice of a scoping consultation could lead to delays and unclarity later in the process, as issues may have been overlooked or not fully explored and considered.

 

Risks: To not commence the Climate Emergency Review of the plan, which the Council formally resolved to undertake on 29 July; and/or to proceed to review the local plan without a scoping stage consultation would not be to the benefit of the reputation of the Council.  To proceed without a scoping consultation introduces a risk, that is wholly avoidable, that an Inspector may not be content that the reviewed plan has been properly prepared due to inadequate community engagement.

 

The officer preferred option is Option 1: To formally commence the Local Plan Review and undertake a Scoping Consultation.  It is recommended that early engagement takes place with all interested parties to make clear that the review process has begun and to invite comments on the scope of the review.  The scoping will help clarify that this is an expeditious review of the plan’s policies in the context of the Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency and not a full review.

 

Cabinet is advised that evidence of early engagement in the plan-making process is important. An Inspector will consider the robustness of engagement in determining if the plan has been properly prepared. Evidence of proactive and constructive engagement with the local community and other key stakeholders in the process is expected. Should the Council fail to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

Regulation 7 Direction under Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulation 2007 pdf icon PDF 465 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Report of Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 (Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hanson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration to consider a proposal for a Direction under Regulation 7 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 to remove deemed consent for ‘To Let’ boards on residential properties within Schedule 3, Part 1, Class 3 A (an advertisement relating to the sale or letting, for residential, agricultural, industrial or commercial use or for development for such use, of the land or premises on which it is displayed).  The report sought authorisation for the Director of Economic Growth and Regeneration to proceed with the statutory process and submit a proposal to the Secretary of State requesting that a Direction under Regulation 7 was made.

  

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

 

Option 1: Submit a request to the Secretary of State for the designation of a Direction under Regulation 7 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 for the wards of Bulk, Castle, John O’Gaunt, Marsh, Scotforth East and Scotforth West.

 

Advantages: A Direction will allow management of the number of To Let boards displayed. This will reduce the proliferation and clutter arising from the excessive display of boards within terraced streets and improve the visual amenity of the areas designated.

 

A restriction on all “To Let” signs, is the simplest way implement and enforce controls. The process to gather evidence and prosecute is less resource intensive than collating evidence with regard to individual signs. A Direction across all wards to the south of the river will ensure consistency and clear boundaries to agents.

 

Disadvantages: As signage has not been regularly enforced due to the complexity and number of signs, a Direction may increase the enforcement necessary to ensure that it is effectively implemented. 

 

If objections are received, the Secretary of State may to call a public hearing which has staffing and financial resource implications. 

 

Risks:

If a Direction is not implemented in accordance with the statutory procedures, there is a risk of legal challenge and compensation claims.

 

The Secretary of State may amend the area to be designated or refuse to make a Direction due the low percentages of HMOs in some wards. If refused a subsequent application could then be made for a reduced area. 

 

Option 2: Submit a request for a Direction under Regulation 7 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 for the wards of Bulk, Castle, John O’Gaunt and Scotforth West, as originally proposed.

 

Advantages: The evidence with regard to the number of HMOs and the visual impact of To Let boards within the original wards proposed is stronger for the wards with the highest percentages of HMOs.

 

Disadvantages: Failure to take account of consultation responses received and the proliferation and clutter of To Let signs will continue to adversely affect the visual amenity in these areas.

 

As  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

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(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 Brookes and seconded by Councillor Hamilton-Cox:-

 

“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.”

 

There was no dissent to the proposition.

 

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. 

 

The ‘Live’ Teams meeting concluded at this point and Cabinet reconvened in a private Teams meeting.

 

50.

Heysham Gateway - Use of Reserves

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration (report published on 11 September 2020)

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration 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 Parr:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

The resolution is set out in a minute exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The decision is consistent with the Council’s priorities.  Exactly how the decision fits with those priorities is set out in the exempt minute.