Full Cabinet – 2 February 2011

PRESENT: Councillor Kirk in the chair.

Councillors Carlile, Gosling, Grant, O’Sullivan and Swift.

Councillors Ali, Barkworth, J Briggs, Collinson, Davison, England, Mrs Redfern, Waltham, Whiteley and Wilson also attended the meeting.

Simon Driver, Caroline Barkley, Mick Gibbs, Francis Cunning, Keith Ford, Sarah Howe, Denise Hyde, Helen Manderson, Stuart Minto, Karen Pavey, Paul Savage, Chris Skinner, Dave Watson, Marcus Walker, Mike Wedgewood, Mike Wood and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.

The meeting was held at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

919 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

920 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of cabinet held on 8 December 2010, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair.

921 (39) OUTSTANDING ACTION FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS – The Service Director Legal and Democratic 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.

922 (40) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE LOCAL INVESTMENT PLAN (L.I.P.) 2011/2015 – The Head of Strategic Regeneration Housing and Development submitted a report seeking approval of the North Lincolnshire Local Investment Plan (LIP) for 2011/2015.

The North Lincolnshire LIP had been prepared in collaboration between the council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Previously known as the “single conversion”, local investment planning is a process which takes place between the council, the HCA and a range of partners and stakeholders in an area. The aim of the process is to produce a LIP which set out the spatial and thematic investment priorities for a place. The priorities stem from established, mutually shared and agreed priorities with local partners, based on local ambitions. These priorities have comprehensive coverage, including housing, regeneration, transport, employment, health, community facilities and education.

A number of LIPs had been agreed across the country and the focus of the plans had changed over time as government policy direction and the scale of public sector job cuts had become clearer. As a result those LIPs that had been agreed were now outward looking documents which aimed to help to attract private sector investment to an area, as well as setting out the investment to be sought from the HCA. The LIPs for each local authority area would then help to inform HCA investment plans, which would in turn inform the HCA corporate plan.

The North Lincolnshire LIP had been prepared in consultation with a range of partners and stakeholders and sets out a vision which reflects the vision and aims of a number of key council and partner strategies including the community strategy. The long term vision is for North Lincolnshire to become the Global Gateway for the North of England, and for the area to be transformed through rapid economic growth on the South Humber Bank, supported by the delivery of high quality housing, business and leisure facilities at Lincolnshire Lakes. This economic transformation would act as a catalyst for the reduction of inequalities in the more deprived parts of North Lincolnshire. The LIP contained a number of key spatial and thematic priorities which were detailed in paragraph 2.8 of the report.

The plan set out an indicative “investment ask” from the HCA which was the minimum resource that the council considered necessary to deliver a number of priorities within the plan. However, the HCA was unlikely to have sufficient resources available to be able to provide this level of funding, and the council would need to work with a range of partners to develop innovative investment solutions to deliver the priorities. This work had already commenced and further reports would be submitted to the cabinet member as appropriate as relevant proposals were developed.

The report contained further detailed information in relation to this issue.

Resolved – That the North Lincolnshire Local Investment Plan for 2011/2015 be approved and adopted.

923 (41) THE LOCALISM BILL – The Chief Executive submitted a report which provided an outline of the key provisions proposed in the Localism Bill which had been presented to Parliament on 13 December 2010. The Bill included implementation of some provisions previously outlined in the Local Government White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities, the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and the subsequent White Paper Communities in Control: Real People, Real Power. The Bill also included a series of reforms that the government intended to introduce to devolve more power to communities and individuals including devolving power to localities for local planning and housing decisions and giving greater opportunity to own and run local services.

The proposals contained in the Bill could present a significant change for local councils in a number of areas including:

  • Constitutional arrangements including Standards
  • Planning
  • Housing
  • Council Tax and Business Rates
  • Running of local services

The Bill had to be seen in the policy context of the six strands of the government’s decentralisation agenda. Wider reforms were also being introduced in line with this agenda in other public service areas. The six strands are:

  • Lifting the burden of bureaucracy
  • Empower communities to do things their way
  • Increase local control of public finance
  • Diversifying the supply of public services
  • Open up government to public scrutiny
  • Strength and accountability to local people

The paper outlined the main requirements of the Bill and identified areas where change would be required once the Bill received Royal Assent. The report also indicated that the Local Government Association (LGA) had issued a response to the Bill. It welcomed some areas of the Bill including the general power of competence and freeing councils from central government bureaucracy. However, the LGA had also expressed significant concern about 142 increased powers for central government to lay down regulations, guidance and direction on how localism would work. They were also seeking amendments to remove the Government’s role in setting council tax and directing how income from community infrastructure levies should be spent. In addition, they were seeking amendments to reduce government influence over neighbourhood planning, rules governing who can buy local assets and which bodies had the right to bid to deliver local public services. Finally, the LGA had stated that they were opposed to any moves to order English councils to contribute to EU fines imposed on the UK government and were urging councils to lobby MPs on this issue.

Attached as an appendix to the report were some of the key details outlined in the Bill with recommendations for appropriate Service Directors to submit further reports in due course.

Resolved – That the recommendations contained in the report and appendices be approved and adopted and that further reports be submitted on key areas of implementation in due course.

924 (42) SCRUTINY REVIEW OF CORPORATE PARENTING – UPDATE – The Director of Children’s Services submitted a report on the actions undertaken in response to the recommendations of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel report on Corporate Parenting in North Lincolnshire.

In September 2010, the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel had completed its review of Corporate Parenting, submitted its report to council which had in turn referred it to cabinet for the development of an action plan.

The scrutiny report had recognised that there was much good practice in North Lincolnshire, including management of services, the representation of children and young people’s views and the way that their views influenced the development of services. Attached as an appendix was a detailed action plan in response to the 10 recommendations made by the panel.

Resolved – That the action plan attached as an appendix to the report be approved and adopted.

925 (43) HEALTH AND WELL BEING – ACTION PLAN – The Assistant Director Human Resources submitted a report which asked cabinet to consider the action plan prepared in response to a recent report by the Healthier Communities and Older People’s Scrutiny Panel into promoting the health and well being of North Lincolnshire Council’s staff.

The Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel had undertaken to review how the council could better support its employees in order the encourage healthier, happier and more productive staff. The review had looked at a range of evidence, considered the findings and made 16 recommendations which had been considered by council and referred to cabinet for consideration. Attached as an appendix to the report was an action plan which set out how the 16 recommendations would be implemented.

Resolved – That the action plan attached as an appendix to the report be approved and adopted.

926 (44) FEAR OF CRIME IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted a report which asked cabinet to consider the recommendations of the Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel in relation to the Fear of Crime in North Lincolnshire.

At its meeting held on 19 January 2011, the council had considered a report of the Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel in relation to the Fear of Crime in North Lincolnshire. That report had been approved and referred to cabinet for consideration of the recommendations with a view to the preparation of an action plan. Attached as an appendix to the report were the 14 detailed recommendations arising out of the report.

Resolved – That the Service Director Community Planning and Resources and other appropriate Service Directors and the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Environment and Communities prepare an action plan in response to the recommendations of the report for submission to a future meeting of cabinet.