Asset Management, Culture & Housing Cabinet Member – Minutes – 14 November 2013
67 (19) UPDATE OF THE HOME ASSISTANCE POLICY 2011 – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking to implement changes to the Home Assistance Policy 2011, following the introduction of the Green Deal along with other relevant national and local developments.
The Home Assistance Policy 2011 currently provided for discretionary assistance via loans and grants to help with home repairs, removal of hazards and a minor contribution to encourage the use of renewable energy measures.
Following the introduction of the Green Deal there was the opportunity to maximise the uptake of this new external funding by amending the existing policy to incorporate targeted top up of energy efficiency funding. Also proposed were some minor amendments to remove some unused forms of discretionary assistance. Appendix A to the report gave a summary of the proposed changes.
Resolved – (a) That the proposed changes to the Home Assistance Policy, to reflect the impacts of the Green Deal and other relevant operational issues around loans, be approved, and (b) that the removal of the minor forms of assistance, as outlined in the report and accompanying appendix, be approved.
UPDATE OF THE HOME ASSISTANCE POLICY 2011
68 (20) PURCHASE OF LAND TRAIN – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval to purchase the Normanby Hall Country Park land train.
The council approved capital funding of £43,000 in February to purchase a land train carriage for use at Normanby Hall Country Park. The original plan was to pull the carriage with the tractor that was shared between Normanby Park and Normanby Golf Course.
A procurement exercise was carried out using the Yortender system to purchase a land train carriage; no bids were received from potential suppliers.
The council wanted to ensure that the land train service could be provided at Normanby over the school summer holidays. To achieve this, it was agreed to hire a land train for the six weeks of the school holidays. The land train proved very popular with 3,427 tickets sold over the six weeks. Once the under 5’s (who travel for free on the land train) were taken into account, almost 5,000 people used the land train during this period.
The owners of the land train advised that they were putting the land train up for sale. Research showed that this figure offered very good value for money against the price of a new land train.
Resolved – That the purchase of the Normanby Hall Country Park land train, as set out in the report, be approved.
PURCHASE OF LAND TRAIN
69 (21) PLANNED REVIEW OF THE HOME ASSISTANCE POLICY 2011 – The Director of Places submitted a report outlining suggested policy changes following the introduction of the Green Deal along with other relevant national and local developments, and seeking approval to carry out wider consultation on the proposed changes.
The Housing Regulatory Reform Order 2002 gave local authorities wide ranging powers to offer assistance to improve housing conditions provided an Assistance Policy was published.
The current Home Assistance Policy was published in 2011. Primarily, following the introduction of ‘Green Deal’ it needed revising to bring it in line with these changes to sources of energy efficiency funding. Also it was an opportunity to consider other amendments particularly related to loans and other forms of discretionary assistance.
The Home Assistance Policy was delivered via the capital programme. The policy had two key strands. Firstly, the mandatory disabled facilities grant element. This received an annual allocation from Central Government topped up by the council. Secondly, discretionary assistance funded entirely by the council but also used to match fund with external funding opportunities.
The report gave details of the Green Deal and other national and local developments that had bearing on the policy.
Resolved – (a) That a consultation on a review of the discretionary elements of the Home Assistance Policy, as set out in the report, be approved, and (b) that a further report be submitted to the Cabinet Member in January 2013, outlining the results of the consultation and the options that arise to amend the Home Assistance Policy.
REVIEW OF THE HOME ASSISTANCE POLICY 2011
The corresponding reports of the following items (Minutes 69-73 refer) contain exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
70 (22) STRATEGIC TOURING FUND AND ADDITIONAL HOURS FOR TOURING EXHIBITIONS OFFICER – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking to update the Cabinet Member on a grant secured by the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.
The 20-21 Visual Arts Centre had successfully secured £310,408 from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund. This was the largest grant given in this round of funding.
The grant would enable the centre to develop two new large-scale exhibitions in partnership with The Civic in Barnsley and darts (Doncaster Community Arts) in Doncaster. The exhibitions would be developed with the help of children and young people and would be designed for children and young people.
Once created, the exhibitions would go on tour to at least three other galleries:
· The Ferens Art Gallery in Hull
· Mansfield Museum
· Museum of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire
Further smaller scale exhibitions would also be created which would be shown in libraries and doctors surgeries.
The first exhibition to be created would be an exhibition about the work of world-renowned children’s book illustrator and author Nick Sharratt.
The scale of this project was unlike anything that the centre had managed before. Each partner would take a lead on part of the project. This meant that tasks could be shared and the project was easier to manage. Each partner would also bring different skills to the project. Part of the project’s aim was that partners learnt from each other. The centre would lead on the exhibition creation and marketing.
In order to deliver this project, the centre applied for £21,000 as part of this grant, to pay for extra hours per week over three years for the Touring Exhibitions Officer.
Resolved – (a) That the success of this application be welcomed, and (b) that the proposal to increase the Touring Exhibitions Officer’s hours, as set out in the report, be approved.
71 (22) REGRADING APPLICATION – HOUSING ADVICE TEAM LEADER (PLTE 6101) – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval for the regrading of the post of Housing Advice Team Leader following revision of the job description, for reasons outlined in the report.
The purpose of the regrading application was to address the grading issues identified in the report and to ensure that the existing Team Leader post was appropriately graded for the work carried out.
Resolved – That the regrading of the post of Housing Advice Team Leader, as set out in the report, be approved.
72 (23) NORMANBY HALL COUNTRY PARK – BUSINESS PLAN – The Director of Places submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on progress with the analysis of the viability of potential ideas for increased income generation at Normanby Hall Country Park.
A business plan had been prepared aimed at increasing opportunities to generate income at Normanby Hall Country Park. The plan covered; product improvement and re-launch, weddings, the retail offer and events programming. The plan was first considered by the Leisure Transformation Board in June 2013 as a first draft. Further work has been undertaken since, resulting in a final plan for consideration.
Officers had subsequently analysed the business case for the each of ideas submitted in the business plan.
The report set out in detail, including financial implications, proposals for each of the items covered in the business plan.
Resolved – (a) That the season ticket be rebranded as an “annual pass” and a promotional leaflet produced as set out in the report; (b) that the cost of an annual pass and admission be increased as set out in paragraph 2.3.9 of the report; (c) that the proposal to commit additional funding towards developing the weddings offer as outlined in paragraph 2.4 of the report, be approved; (d) that the purchase of a discreet URL for Normanby weddings and further exploration of the development of a standalone website be approved; (e) that the proposal to commit additional funding to refurbish and upgrade the retail outlets, as set out in the report, be approved; (f) that the proposal to commit additional funding to promote events more effectively be approved; and (g) that the joint arrangement with East Riding of Yorkshire Council be approved in principle, and officers report back with details of the final agreement.
73 (24) PROPERTY TRANSACTION SCHEDULES – The Director of Places submitted a report for consideration, and where necessary, approval of a schedule containing the terms of all recently negotiated property transactions.
The schedules covered both operational and commercial property.
Resolved – That the schedules appended to the report be approved.
Note: Reports are in Portable Document Format (PDF) and therefore require a suitable reader to view them. A reader can be downloaded free from the Adobe website (full instructions for downloading the reader are provided on the site).
Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.