Full Cabinet – 11 November 2014
PRESENT:- Councillor Mrs Redfern in the chair.
Councillors Briggs, Poole, C Sherwood, N Sherwood and Waltham.
Councillors Ali, Allcock, Clark, England, L Foster, T Foster, Glover, Gosling, Marper, Ogg, O’Sullivan, Rowson, Swift, Wells, Whiteley and Wilson also attended the meeting.
Simon Driver, Dave Basker, Frances Cunning, Denise Hyde, Becky McIntyre, Karen Pavey, Lesley Potts, Peter Thorpe, Marcus Walker, Mike Wedgewood and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.
Edwina Harrison, the Chair of the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board also attended the meeting.
The meeting was held at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
1119 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of interests.
1120 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 24 September 2014, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.
1121 (18) OUTSTANDING ACTION FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which contained a schedule of outstanding issues on which cabinet had requested reports to future meetings.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
1122 (19) LOCAL SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN’S BOARD (LSCB) ANNUAL REVIEW REPORT 2013/2014 – The Director of People submitted a report in connection with the LSCB Annual Report for 2013/2014. The report indicated that the LSCB chair must publish an annual report on the Effectiveness of Child Safeguarding Promoting the Welfare of Children in local areas.
The statutory guidance set out in “Working together to safeguard children 2013”, stated that the annual review report should be a rigorous and transparent assessment of the performance and effectiveness of local services. It was a requirement of the report that it was submitted to the Chief Executive, the Leader of the Council, the Local Police and Crime Commissioner and the chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.
Edwina Harrison, the independent chair of the Board attended the meeting and introduced the report. A full copy of the annual review report was circulated for information and would in due course be available electronically.
Edwina indicated that the covering report was an accurate summary of the work of the board and gave assurances about that work. She also indicated that because the annual review report was for the year 2013/2014, much further work had been done in the current year with some additional developments. For example regular meetings had now been established with the Chief Constable and one of the key issues being discussed were the current proposals for the restructuring of Humberside Police. She also referred to multi-agency discussions and inspections being developed with the other local authorities in the Humber area.
The annual report outlined the progress made in respect of the LSCB statutory functions –
• Agencies duties in respect of Sections 11 and 14 of the Children Act 2004.
The board’s duties in respect of –
• Developing policies and procedures to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children.
• Training of persons working with children.
• Communication and awareness raising about safeguarding children.
• Undertaking reviews into child deaths.
• Undertaking serious case reviews.
The annual report also included progress against the 2013/2014 LSCB priority areas which were to –
• Reduce the harmful exploitation of children and young people.
• Provide early help to children and young people.
• Support parenting capacity.
The report then set out the key headlines from the 2013/2014 annual report with an indication that good progress had been made against all priority areas. The LSCB would continue to deliver core functions and had also set two priority areas for 2014/2015. These were –
• Reduce the harm from neglect.
• Reduce the harm from child sexual exploitation.
Further details of each of the areas was included in the report. The LSCB through its board members would continue to support innovative work with children and their families across all services, keeping the child at the centre.
Members commented on the contents of the report and the annual review and thanked everyone involved for their work.
Resolved – That the 2013/2014 LSCB annual review report be received and used in the future planning and commissioning of services for safeguarding children.
1123 (20) ABLE MARINE ENERGY PARK (AMEP) – The Director of Places submitted a report updating cabinet on the recent decision by a Parliamentary Joint Committee to support the decision of the Secretary of State for Transport to grant a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the Able Marine Energy Park. The report also updated cabinet on the revised timetable for the delivery of the Park.
The Able Marine Energy (AMEP) Park located on the South Humber Bank is a flagship transformational development for the area. AMEP will form the largest offshore wind park in Europe. It is the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Humber’s aspirations to become the energy estuary. AMEP will help make North Lincolnshire the renewable energy capital of the United Kingdom.
The Marine Energy Park will create 4,100 direct jobs. The project would provide almost 1,300 metres of heavy duty quay and the development site covered more than 900 acres (366.7 hectares) and fronts the last undeveloped strategic deep water site in the United Kingdom. It was estimated that the development would create £264.5m GVA in North Lincolnshire and £378m across the Yorkshire and Humber. The development would attract a new industry into the area and would also provide a much needed renaissance in the manufacturing and engineering sector that currently accounted for around 22% of the local economy.
The report also indicated that AMEP had been subject to an exhaustive and lengthy planning process. Appendix 1 to the report contained the details. It had also attracted significant support from business, residents, local Members of Parliament and the Humber and Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnerships. Associated British Ports (ABP) had objected to the AMEP proposals during the planning process. During an almost year long public examination, the Planning Inspectorate considered ABP’s objections in some detail. However they endorsed the AMEP project in February 2013. The Secretary of State for Transport subsequently granted AMEP a Development Consent Order (DCO) in December 2013. ABP then petitioned Parliament via a Special Parliamentary procedure to further challenge the AMEP Development Consent Order. This required a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament to consider further the AMEP project. On 22 October 2014, the Joint Committee agreed to reject ABP’s petitions in support of AMEP. This paved the way for AMEP to proceed provided a no claim of judicial review.
The Joint Committee had published its report on 30 October 2014. A copy was attached at appendix 2 to the report. Parliament would now proceed to publish the DCO as a statutory instrument which would come into force after a short period (up to 21 days). The process was then subject to a delay of 6 weeks from the publication of the DCO to enable any claims for a judicial review to be brought forward. Appendix 3 to the report contained the details. Any interested party could seek a judicial review However, any judicial review sought would be restricted to procedural challenges.
The Director indicated that the DCO was now on the statute books and that the six week period had commenced and would finish on 19 December, 2014. If no judicial review was brought work could commence on site in early 2015.
The report contained further detailed information about this matter and members commented on its contents.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes and welcomes the outcome reached by the Joint Committee on the Able Marine Energy Park Development Consent Order 2014 as set out within the report, and (b) that cabinet supports the delivery of the Able Marine Energy Park Development as quickly as possible and without further delay or obstruction.
1124 (21) GROWTH DEAL – A report was submitted by the Director of Places updating cabinet on the local projects submitted to the Greater Lincolnshire and Humber Local Enterprise Partnerships. The report also asked cabinet to agree that local Members of Parliament should be briefed to ensure that they had the opportunity to express their support for the proposed North Lincolnshire Projects directly with the Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities.
The government had identified 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). They included the Humber and Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnerships. The government saw these as key vehicles to lead and secure economic change. Over recent years these partnerships had assumed increased responsibility and resources to shape the delivery of local economic priorities.
Growth deals were viewed by government as the next significant step in the devolution of funds to deliver economic, transport and housing priorities in local areas. The government would invest a minimum of £2bn per year from 2015/2016 in agreed growth deals. The Department for Transport was the single largest government investor in growth deals with over £1bn set aside for 2015/2016. Growth deals had their roots in the two previous waves of city deal agreements and they provided an opportunity for all 39 local enterprise partnerships to establish a binding agreement with government to deliver economic and housing growth priorities in their areas.
The council had so far successfully secured £13.2m of flood alleviation funding to support the Trentside Villages and Lincolnshire Lakes, £1.73m for Humberside Airport surface access improvements and £7m for the Railway Gauge enhancement scheme through the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership. Additionally, through the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the council had successfully secured indicative funding of £2.9m in 2016/2017 for improvements to Berkeley Circle, Scunthorpe.
The Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities leads the growth deal process. The Minister is seeking to make an additional allocation to LEPs following similar principles to the Local Growth Fund. This was subject to a bid to the Treasury with an announcement expected as part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement scheduled for 3 December 2014 for additional funding for the years 2015/2016 up to 2017/2018. If successful, decisions on funding for projects was expected very quickly with an announcement likely early in 2015.
The council had also submitted the following schemes for consideration by the Humber and Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnerships –
• Melton Ross Bridge Works – £1.75m
• Westcliff Regeneration Enterprise Hub – £0.40m
• Scunthorpe Town Centre £4m
• Lincolnshire Lakes Infrastructure – £2m
The LEPs had included these schemes in their priority lists submitted for appraisal to the Department of Business, Innovation of Skills.
The report indicated that it was important that local Members of Parliament were briefed with a view to them supporting the projects in question via the Minister of State for Universities Science and Cities in the lead up to formal announcements in the Autumn Statement. Officers were now developing full business cases for those projects that were already approved and these would be considered by appropriate cabinet members in due course.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the contents of the report, and (b) that cabinet agrees that local Members of Parliament be briefed to ensure that they have the opportunity to express their support for the proposed North Lincolnshire projects directly with the Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities.
1125 (22) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE CAREERS EVENT – The Director of Places submitted a report updating cabinet on the success of the 2014 North Lincolnshire Careers Event and seeking approval to hold a similar event in October 2015.
The council had decided in 2012 to reinstate an annual careers event for all young people in Year 11. The event had now gone from strength to strength.
The 2014 event had been held on 14 October 2014 at The Baths Hall, Scunthorpe and attracted 68 exhibitors ranging from local businesses and colleges to Universities from Nottingham, Lincoln and Huddersfield. Exhibitors gave young people an opportunity to ‘have a go’ including the eating of bugs, making of cakes, a welding simulator and styling hair. The event had been supported financially by the European Social Fund and the Skills Show which enabled the council to provide ‘photo booths’ where young people held a black board with their aspired career choice written on it and had their photo taken and produced on a postcard. Over 900 photographs had been taken on the day. Approximately 1,700 people attended the event and positive feedback had been received from both exhibitors and attendees.
The report contained further information about the event.
Resolved – That cabinet notes the success of 2014 North Lincolnshire Careers Event held on 14 October 2014 and approves a similar event to be held in October 2015.
1126 (23) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE BROADBAND PROJECT – A report was submitted by the Director of Places in connection with the progress being made with the Superfast Broadband rollout currently being implemented across Northern Lincolnshire.
North Lincolnshire Council was the accountable body for the Northern Lincolnshire Broadband Programme. This was a partnership project between North Lincolnshire Council and North East Lincolnshire Council. The project launched in 2012 and, following a lengthy procurement exercise, the council signed a contract with BT as supplier on 28 June 2013.
The project was investing £7.3m capital in upgrading broadband infrastructure across Northern Lincolnshire. The funding was sourced from North Lincolnshire Council, Government (via BDUK) and European funding (via European Regional Development Funding). On completion the project will have upgraded 154 cabinets and over 31,500 premises.
The project was being rolled out through four phases of concurrent delivery. The project was currently in phase three which would run until March 2015. Phase two was also running concurrently and would be completed at the end of December 2014.
To date over 117 cabinets had been built and erected, with only 37 left to stand. 92 were already ‘customer ready for service’ i.e. selling a live broadband service and the others would go live in the coming quarter. The upgrades had already delivered fibre broadband to over 15,300 premises across the two local authority areas.
All Phase one, two and three surveying and planning was now completed with 90% of Phase four planning complete. The overall deployment plan was on target in accordance with the project plan. It was one of the quickest deployments nationally.
Since June 2014 the project had received two external audits by the government’s Cross Departmental Independent Audit Service. It had reported that none of the project expenditure was at risk or had been expended ineligibly. The Government had also allocated a further £1.18m to the project to spread the fibre footprint further. A procurement process to utilize this funding was well underway and the council was seeking match funding from ERDF to double the funding. This was a requirement to be able to utilize the government funding.
Finally, in addition to the capital investment, a programme of business support was ongoing and would to on until June 2015. To date over 2,140 hours of business support had been provided to eligible small and medium enterprises across North Lincolnshire with 373 businesses engaged. 104 businesses had completed the programme support and 42 were currently undergoing the programme. The demand for this support remained high and had been well received by participants.
The report contained further information about this matter.
Resolved – That cabinet notes the progress being made with the Northern Lincolnshire Broadband Project.
1127 CABINET – 27 JANUARY, 2015 – It was noted that the meeting of cabinet to be held on Tuesday 27 January, 2015 would start at 5.30 p.m.