Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 19th January 2021 5.00 p.m.

Venue: THIS WILL BE A VIRTUAL MEETING

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

Items
No. Item

94.

Minutes

To receive as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on Tuesday, 8 December 2020 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 8 December 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

95.

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.

 

96.

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.

97.

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.

 

 

At this point the Chair requested 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 moved by Councillor Brookes, seconded by Councillor Hamilton-Cox and there was no dissent to the proposal.

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

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

 

98.

Viability Protocol Supplementary Planning Document pdf icon PDF 378 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 consider the draft Viability Protocol Supplementary Planning Document (draft SPD) and seek authorisation for the Service Manager – Planning and Housing Strategy to proceed with informal and statutory consultation.

 

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

 

Option 1: Progress the draft SPD through informal and statutorily defined consultation process.


Advantages:

The consultation process will provide engagement with stakeholders and allow them to influence the content of the draft SPD. Consultation and appropriate consideration of the responses will ensure that the SPD can be afforded weight when determining planning applications.


Disadvantages:

No disadvantages.


Risks:

 No risks.


Option 2: Do not progress the draft SPD through informal and statutorily defined consultation process.


Advantages:

 No advantages.


Disadvantages:

 Additional guidance about the criteria within planning policies will not be available for prospective applicants or as a decision-making tool.


Risks:

Processing the draft SPD without the necessary consultation will reduce any weight which could be attached to it in the decision-making process.

 

The officer preferred option is Option 1 - Progress the draft SPD through informal and statutorily defined consultation process to ensure that if adopted it can be given weight in decision making.

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Brookes:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That the draft SPD be approved and that authority be delegated to the Service Manager – Planning and Housing Strategy to advance the draft SPD through informal and statutory defined consultation processes.

 

(2)             That the SPD will then be adopted unless the consultation results in any significant changes to the SPD which will be reported back to Cabinet for final endorsement.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The decision is consistent with the Council Plan 2018-2022 which includes ambitions to improve access to quality housing. The Corporate priorities (updated January 2020) set out a priority to develop housing to ensure people of all incomes are comfortable, warm and able to maintain their independence. The Lancaster Local Plan includes policies which seek to ensure that the new housing developments include a proportion of affordable housing and provide the necessary infrastructure contributions. The draft SPD will support the implementation of policies within the Local Plan.

99.

Meeting Housing Need Supplementary Planning Document pdf icon PDF 383 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 consider the draft Meeting Housing Need Supplementary Planning Document (draft SPD) and sought authorisation for the Service Manager – Planning and Housing Strategy to proceed with informal and statutory consultation. 

 

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

 

Option 1:

Progress the draft SPD through informal and statutorily defined consultation

process.


Advantages:

The consultation process will provide engagement with stakeholders and allow

them to influence the content of the draft SPD.

 

Consultation and appropriate consideration of the responses will ensure that the

SPD can be afforded weight when determining planning applications.


Disadvantages:

No disadvantages.


Risks:

No risks.


Option 2:

Do not progress the draft SPD through informal and statutorily defined consultation

process.


Advantages:

No advantages.


Disadvantages:

Additional guidance about the criteria within planning policies will not be available

for prospective applicants or as a decision-making tool.


Risks:

Processing the draft SPD without the necessary consultation will reduce any

weight which could be attached to it in the decision-making process.

 

 

The officer preferred option is Option 1 - Progress the draft SPD through informal and statutorily defined consultation process, to ensure that if adopted it can be given weight in decision making.

 

Following a question with regard to service charges and affordable housing it was agreed that a response would be circulated to all Councillors for information.

 

Councillor Hanson proposed, seconded by Councillor Parr:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)        That the draft SPD be approved and authority be delegated to the Service Manager – Planning and Housing Strategy to advance the draft SPD through informal and statutory defined consultation processes.

 

(2)        That the SPD will then be adopted unless the consultation results in any significant changes to the SPD which will be reported back to Cabinet for final endorsement.

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The decision is consistent with the Council Plan 2018-2022 which includes ambitions to enhance community cohesion and improve access to quality housing. The Corporate Priorities (updated January 2020) set out a priority to develop housing to ensure people of all incomes are comfortable, warm and able to maintain their independence. The Lancaster Local Plan includes policies which seek to ensure that the new housing developed in the district meets the identified need in terms of the size, type and location. It provides policies which seek to ensure the delivery of affordable housing, housing which meets specific rural local needs, homes for the elderly, gypsies and travellers and sets out internal size and accessibility standards. The draft SPD will support the implementation of policies within the Local Plan.

100.

Canal Quarter, Lancaster - Use of Reserves pdf icon PDF 870 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox

 

Report of Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Hamilton-Cox)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration to consider the route and approach to implement the economic regeneration of key council land interests, particularly the area known as Cooper’s Fields which is dominated by the Upper and Lower St. Leonard’s Gate surface car parking and bounded by Lodge Street, Alfred Street, Seymour Street / Edward Street and St Leonards Gate. Cabinet was requested to approve the use of Reserve Funds to commission a full professional services master planning team to deliver the next key phase of the Canal Quarter project.

 

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

 

 

Option 1: Approve £120K to procure a master-planning team through an existing Framework Agreement to progress the council’s preferred masterplan/ development solution

Option 2: Approve £120K to procure a master-planning team through open competitive tender to progress the council’s preferred masterplan/ development solution

Advantages

Officers are experienced in progressing UK directive compliant tenders via Frameworks to appoint masterplan/design teams for projects.

 

 Use of a pre-approved UK directive compliant Framework will reduce the administrative burden on officers in managing a legally compliant tender process.

Greater likelihood of securing a high-quality team and detailed design solution for the project.

 

Greater “reach” in securing interest from a range of design practices.

 

Enables a wider range of national and international practices to participate.

Disadvantages

“Reach” of the council’s tender may not be wide enough to secure innovative thinking or creative solutions from smaller firms if a Framework is used.

Officer resource commitment would be higher particularly under an open competition with an element of negotiation/ dialogue.

Risks / Mitigation

A quality design team would be appointed who progress a feasible masterplan / design solution to meet the council’s and community’s objectives as expressed through the CQSRF.

 

 The risks are therefore around whether the Framework route delivers the best possible range of expertise.

Officers are experienced in securing design teams to the requirements of UK public procurement law.

 

 While the demands on officer time will be higher, a wider range of national and international practices will be able to participate.

 

 

 

Option 2 is the preferred option. There is an onus on the council to drive forward economic regeneration initiatives as part of the pandemic recovery process. The high degree of Member, public and commercial interest (including from MCHLG and Homes England) and the complexity of addressing key issues raised through CQSRF consultation (such as car parking, traffic movement and integrating open space provision) means the progression of a detailed development masterplan is essential to make further progress.

 

The funds for the detailed work will be sourced from the Canal Quarter Reserve (agreed under the Outcome-Based Budgeting process of as part of the Regeneration Development Reserve) and split over the current financial year and early part of next financial year (refer to Financial Implications).

 

Following completion of the procurement stage the recommended master-planning team  ...  view the full minutes text for item 100.

At this point and with the agreement of the meeting the Chair adjourned the meeting for 15 minutes.  The meeting reconvened at 5.50pm.

101.

Corporate Fees & Charges Policy Review 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 506 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Director of Corporate Services    (report published on 14 January 2021)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director of Corporate Services to endorse the Fees and Charges Policy for 2021/22 and consider the freezing of charges across all areas.

 

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, with a review being undertaken next year.

 

With regard to charges in general, it is proposed to freeze charges for the forthcoming financial year and the impact has been fed into the draft general fund budget for 2021/22. Should Members wish to apply inflation, further work to determine charging levels would need to take place and be fed into the budget setting process as appropriate.

 

The introduction of the new Housing Improvement Charge is subject to Member agreement and as such is included as a recommendation within this report.

 

Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Parr:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)        That Cabinet endorses the Fees and Charges Policy as set out at Appendix A to the report, and during 2021/22 as part of the mid-year budget strategy review determines whether any other areas of income generation be explored further for 2022/23 onwards.

 

(2)        That Cabinet endorses the freezing of charges across all areas, and notes the areas of significant reduction, as reported as part of the current 2021/22 budget setting process.

 

(3)        That Cabinet endorses the implementation of the new charges as reported as part of the current 2021/22 budget setting process.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director of Corporate Services

Director for Communities and the Environment

Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

Traditionally as part of the annual budget process all relevant fees and charges would be increased by inflation for the following year, in line with the annual inflationary review. However, largely due to the pandemic 2020/21 has been a totally indifferent year and key areas of income have been subject to government support equating to 75% of lost revenue, once a 5% relevant budget deduction has been applied.  Whilst an inflationary freeze on fees across all areas will create further strain on the revenue budget the client base is considered to be extremely fragile at the moment. Temporary base budget reductions have prudently been included in key areas such as car parking and Salt Ayre Leisure Centre as they are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels for budgetary purposes until 2022/23.

102.

Budget & Policy Framework Update pdf icon PDF 317 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Report of Director of Corporate Services   (report published on 14 January 2021)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director of Corporate Services that provided an update on the Council’s budget strategy for 2021/22 and financial outlook up to 2024/25. Specifically, the report considered the budget and council tax proposals for 2021/22.

 

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 ambitions. The proposed approach is in line with that broad aim and any changes that Cabinet puts forward should also be framed in that context.

 

In term of the actual budget position, this report puts forward a balanced budget. If Cabinet agrees the budget then it will form their proposal to Budget Scrutiny Panel on 26 January 2021. The feedback from this meeting will be considered by Cabinet and incorporated into a final budget proposal which will be considered at the Cabinet meeting on 09 February 2021 and recommended to Council on 24 February 2021.

 

Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Parr:-

 

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

 

Councillors then voted:-

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That Cabinet make recommendations to Council regarding the Lancaster City Council element of the Council Tax as set out in paragraph 3.4 (option one) of the report which is a £5 increase to the Band D Council Tax (from £231.95 to £236.95).

 

(2)             That Cabinet makes recommendations regarding its initial budget proposals as set out in section 4 and appendix A of the report.

 

(3)             That the recommendations and proposals in this report be referred for scrutiny to the Budget and Performance Panel on 26 January and to full Council on 27 January for initial consideration in order that any feedback can be provided to Cabinet at its 09 February meeting.

 

Officers responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Director of Corporate Services

Chief Finance Officer

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

The budget represents in financial terms what the Council is seeking to achieve through its Framework and incorporates measures to make progress in addressing the climate emergency and digital improvements as well as activities to address wellbeing, health and community safety. The decision enables Cabinet to make recommendations to Council in order to complete the budget setting process for 2021/22.

103.

Appointment to Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 359 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Lewis)

 

Report of Chief Executive

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Lewis)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Executive to make appointments to the vacancies on 3 outside bodies following the resignation from Cabinet of Councillor Sinclair.  The vacancies related to the Lancaster Community Fund Grants Panel, the Community Safety Partnership and to the Health and Wellbeing Partnership and Cabinet were recommended that the appointments be aligned as closely as possible to individual Cabinet Members’ portfolios.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Lewis, seconded by Councillor Parr and resolved unanimously when put to the vote:

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)             That Councillor Lewis be appointed to the Lancaster Community Funds Grants Panel and Councillor Parr appointed to both the Community Safety Partnership and the Health & Wellbeing Partnership.

 

(2)             That the outside bodies be notified of the revised appointments.

 

 

Officer responsible for effecting the decision:

 

Chief Executive

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

Representation on Outside Bodies is part of the City Council’s community leadership role and is consistent with the Council’s Plan and Priorities.

104.

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 items 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 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 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 Parr 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. 

 

 

 

The ‘live’ Teams meeting concluded at 6.48pm and Cabinet convened in a private Teams meeting to consider the exempt item.

105.

Disposal of South Lodge

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Jackson)

 

Report of Director for Communities & the Environment   (report published on 12 January 2021)

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Jackson)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Director for Communities and the Environment which sought authorisation to dispose of South Lodge.  The report 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.

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

 

(1)             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 Communities and the Environment

 

Reasons for making the decision:

 

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