Full Cabinet – 9 June 2010
Councillors Foster (vice-chair), Carlisle, Gosling, Grant, O’Sullivan and Regan.
Councillors Barker, J Briggs, Collinson, Davison, England, Jawaid, Mrs Redfern, Whiteley and Wilson also attended the meeting.
Simon Driver, Caroline Barkley, Mike Briggs, Frances Cunning, Keith Ford, Louise Garnett, Mick Gibbs, David Hey, Helena Hewitt, Denise Hyde, Neil Laminman, Helen Manderson, Teresa McCrea, Geoff Popple, Chris Skinner, Paul Taylor, Susan Twemlow, Mike Wedgewood, Peter Williams, Sarah Williamson, Mike Wood and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.
873 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.
874 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of cabinet held on 14 April 2010, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair.
875 (1) 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.
There were also a number of other Bills affecting local government and these were set out in paragraph 2.3.
Resolved – That cabinet note the main provisions of the Bills and that more detailed reports be submitted once detailed drafts are published.
The council manages its spending on services within a statutory framework and makes sure it is within cash limited budgets. General fund services are paid for from government grant, council tax and service charges and this is known as revenue spending. Investment in long term assets such as roads and buildings is paid for from borrowing, external finance, capital receipts from the sale of council assets and revenue. This is the capital programme. The council also maintains reserves or balances and has a strategy for setting the appropriate level and when these would be used. Details were contained in paragraph 2.3.
The report showed that overall spending was within budget. Day to day spending on running council services was £1.05m or 0.8 per cent less than the budget of £128m. Schools, which manage their own finances, drew £0.6m from balances as planned and spent £108.9m in the year. Investment in schools, roads and other local authority and community assets was £46.5m, £0.77m or 1.7 per cent more than planned. The report also showed how the outturn position changed the planned use of reserves. Cabinet was asked to consider the possible carry forward of revenue underspends, any requirement to repay overspends, the policy on reserves and the re-phasing of the capital programme.
The report contained detailed information about each element of the budget with additional information contained in six appendices covering revenue, the capital programme, the council’s reserves/balances, and the revenue requests for carry forwards.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the revenue and capital outturn position for 2009/2010; (b) that cabinet confirms the financing of the capital programme as detailed in appendix 3; (c) that cabinet approves the re-phasing of capital expenditure as detailed in appendix 4; (d) that cabinet confirms the use of reserves as detailed in appendix 5; and (e) that cabinet approves the proposed carry forward of revenue budgets at appendix 6.
The Treasury Code of Practice applied to public bodies from 1 April 2010. It was published by CIPFA and the Local Government Finance Act 2003 required all local authorities to have regard to it. Its purpose was to regulate how the council managed its cash while undertaking its public responsibilities. That included the investment of cash balances, borrowing for investment in assets and managing debt. The council adopted the previous version of the Code in 2002 and approved the new Code at the council meeting on 24 February 2010 (minute 1830 refers).
To supplement the Code the council was expected to codify its Treasury Management Practices. These were intended to provide a clear framework for the implementation of approved Treasury Management and to set appropriate controls for the day to day management of treasury business. These practices covered a number of areas which were detailed in paragraph 2.3. Copies of these were attached as appendices to the report and had been adapted to the particular circumstances of this council as recommended by the Code. The TMPs were supported by a number of detailed schedules which specified how the treasury function would be managed on a day to day basis within the council.
Resolved – That the Treasury Management Practices (TMPs) and Supporting Schedules be approved and adopted.
The Local Government Act 2000 required all principal local authorities to adopt executive arrangements in one of three forms. North Lincolnshire Council adopted the Leader and Cabinet Executive which had been in operation in North Lincolnshire since 2001. The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 abolished the Mayor and council manager model, substituted a new version of the Leader and Cabinet Executive model and retained the Mayor and Cabinet Executive model. The report described the details of these changes. The Act also set out a timetable for making the change to one of the new Executive Arrangements i.e. Mayor and Cabinet Executive or Leader and Cabinet Executive. The timetable was different for different types of local authority. Non metropolitan districts (which included district councils which had been given unitary powers) were last in the queue, having to pass the relevant resolution by 31 December 2010 and implement the change to take effect after the next local elections in May 2011. North Lincolnshire Council was in this category.
The process for change was set out in the Act and essentially comprised three stages. The first provided that the authority must “take reasonable steps to consult local government electors and other interested persons in the area” before drawing up proposals for change. At this stage there was a choice of moving either to the new Leader and Cabinet Executive model or to a Mayor and Cabinet Executive model. In practice, rather than consulting with the bare alternatives, it would be sensible to consult on a preferred option. The extent of consultation was not prescribed and accordingly it would be permissible for the authority to formally seek the views of a limited number of partner bodies and organisations and consult residents through Direct and on the authority’s website.
At the second stage the authority had to draw up proposals which should be a schedule of the proposed changes to the Constitution, the implementation timetable and any transitional arrangements. In drawing up these proposals, the authority had to have regard to the impact on the three E’s – Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness. Once the proposals had been drawn up, the authority had to make them available to the public and advertise that they were available although there was no provision for anyone to comment on them or for the authority to have regard to any such comments. The period for such publicity was not prescribed. The final stage was for the authority to resolve to implement the proposals.
The report contained further detailed information about this issue with a matrix in paragraph 4.1 setting out the difference between the various options.
Resolved – That the appropriate consultations be carried out as outlined in paragraph 2.7 of the report based upon a preferred option of a Leader and Cabinet Executive model.
RIPA created a regulatory framework to govern the way public authorities handle and conduct covert investigation. This included covert surveillance directed at a person(s), the use of a “covert human intelligence source” which involves the establishing of a relationship for the covert purpose of obtaining information and access to communications data such as telephone subscriber details and itemised phone logs. The system also provides for a system of authorisation so as to secure the lawfulness of surveillance activities and ensure that they are consistent with obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998. The council’s main use of RIPA relates to directed surveillance activities and its value is in the obtaining of evidence to support criminal prosecutions in e.g. benefit fraud, trading standards cases.
All councils are inspected every two years by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners on the use of RIPA and guidance is usually given on developments and practical issues. The council has a RIPA policy which is located on the website and has been deposited in group offices. Amendments were made to the policy in 2009 relating to the authorisation procedure to be followed when RIPA applications were made. As a result of concerns which had been expressed in the way in which RIPA had been used by a number of local authorities, the Local Government Association in 2009 asked councils to review their use of the powers to respond to residents’ complaints about serious crime such as fly tipping, rogue traders and benefit fraud rather than less serious matters. he previous government had also launched a review into the workings of RIPA.
The outcome of the review was that a new Order – The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Directed Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Source Order) 2010 had been published together with revised codes of practice containing a number of changes details of which were contained in paragraph 2.8 of the report. It was also understood that the new government would be including a further review of these powers in the Queen’s Speech.
Resolved – (a) That the RIPA Policy be noted and endorsed; (b) that the Service Director Legal and Democratic as Monitoring Officer be designated “Senior Responsible Officer”; (c) that quarterly reports be submitted to the cabinet member for corporate services and lead members on the use of RIPA, and (d) that annual reports on RIPA and the RIPA Policy be submitted to cabinet.
The Local Strategic Partnership and the North Lincolnshire Children’s Trust were committed to delivering the five outcomes set out in Every Child Matters which was set out paragraph 2.4 of the report. Delivering the objectives set out in “taking play forward” would improve the quality and quantity of children’s play opportunities and contribute to achieving the Every Child Matters outcomes. There were many benefits of developing and supporting play opportunities for children, families and communities some of which were set out in paragraph 2.6 and cabinet was asked to endorse the new strategy for implementation over the next five years.
Resolved – That the North Lincolnshire Play Strategy – Taking Play Forward be approved and adopted.
The duty to complete a local JSNA came into force on 1 April 2008 and applied to all PCTs and local authorities throughout the country. Current government guidance stressed that the JSNA should be –
- An ongoing process
- A joint analysis of current and predicted health and well being
- Unique to the local area
- An account of what people want from services
- A view of the future, predicting and anticipating potential new and unmet need in three, five and ten years time
- Lead to jointly agree commissioning priorities that would improve population outcomes and reduce health inequalities
The first JSNA profile focussed specifically on older people and adults with long term conditions and the second profile focussed on the needs of children and young people in North Lincolnshire. The third profile looked in detail at the health and social care needs of vulnerable adults, including those with disabilities, mental health needs and sensory impairment. The current profile refreshes and brings together all of this data and other relevant information in one place, including an analysis of health inequalities and the wider determinants of health in North Lincolnshire. The JSNA was a lengthy document supported by more detailed appendices of data. An executive summary had been produced and these documents were available on both the council’s and the NHS North Lincolnshire websites.
The report contained further detailed information about the contents of the JSNA and how it should be considered alongside other strategic documents as a key tool for identifying key strategic priorities and informing the future commissioning decisions of local agencies. The JSNA had been presented to NHS North Lincolnshire at its board meeting on 18 March 2010 and its development was a live process which had already informed the development of NHS North Lincolnshire’s five year strategic plan, North Lincolnshire’s Children and Young People’s Plan and the Joint Commissioning Strategies for Adult Social Services. It would also be used to refresh the current health and well being strategy for North Lincolnshire.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet welcomes the latest refresh of the JSNA and endorses its contents, and (b) that cabinet approves the proposals to ensure the evidence and issues raised are used to develop a strategic approach to improving health and reducing inequalities in North Lincolnshire within the council and within the Local Strategic Partnership Framework, which it was acknowledged had to be read alongside other key documents such as the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, Joint Commissioning Strategies for Adult Social Services and the Children and Young People’s Plan.
That panel had completed a review of North Lincolnshire Markets in September 2009 and the report had been approved by council at its meeting held on 23 September. The matter had been referred to cabinet for consideration and cabinet had requested that an appropriate action plan be prepared in response to the 25 recommendations contained within the report. Attached as an appendix to the report was a copy of the action plan which set out the recommendations, the actions to be taken, the lead responsibility and appropriate target dates.
It was reported that the action plan had been considered at a recent meeting of the Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel which had welcomed it including the commitment to identify ways to modernise the current facilities and looked forward to monitoring progress over the rest of the financial year.
Resolved – That the action plan in relation to North Lincolnshire Markets be approved and adopted.
At the meeting of the council held on 20 January 2010, a report of the Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel in relation to local action taken to manage flood risk in North Lincolnshire had been approved and referred to cabinet for detailed consideration. At its meeting held on 3 February 2010, cabinet had approved the report and had requested that an action plan be prepared to deal with the 33 recommendations arising out of the report. A full copy of the action plan was attached as an appendix to the report and this detailed the various recommendations and the actions to be taken with timescales. The action plan had also been considered by the Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel on 3 June 2010 and that panel was pleased with the action plan and the steps being taken to complete the necessary actions.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the report on the scrutiny action plan, and (b) that the action plan be approved and adopted and that all reasonable steps be taken to successfully complete the necessary actions that are currently in progress.
The Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel had carried out a review into Neighbourhood Action Teams in North Lincolnshire and had made a number of recommendations. Council had approved the report on 17 March, 2010 and referred it to cabinet for detailed consideration. Subsequently cabinet had requested that an action plan be prepared to deal with the 24 recommendations arising from the report. Attached as an appendix to the report was a copy of the action plan which detailed the actions to be taken, lead responsibilities and various target dates.
The action plan had been considered and accepted by the Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel on 3 June, 2010.
Resolved – (a) That the action plan attached as an appendix to the report be approved and adopted, and (b) that North Lincolnshire Council confirms its continuing commitment to the NATs process.
The report of that panel had been published in June 2007, approved by council and referred to cabinet for detailed consideration. Cabinet had requested that an action plan be prepared in response to the various recommendations of the report. The work required to deliver the recommendations of the scrutiny review had been mapped against the actions required to deliver the government’s required policy agenda including publications such as the Positive Activities Aiming High A Ten Year Strategy and Targeted Youth Support. This had set the direction of travel for the delivery of youth services in the context of a group of services, which make up integrated youth support.
The Head of Integrated Youth Support Services had reported progress to the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services in September 2008 and a service review process had been followed which required various imputs from other service areas. As a consequence, there had been a delay in completing the action plan. All the service requirements had now been completed, delivery was congruent with resources and there had been no duplication of effort in responding to the actions required by the scrutiny panel and in meeting government requirements. The outcomes had been reported to and accepted by the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel and all service recommendations had now been met. Attached to the report was a copy of the action plan which set out the recommendations and how these had been dealt with.
Resolved – (a) That the report in relation to the review of the youth service be noted, and (b) that cabinet supports all the steps taken to successfully complete the actions that are currently in progress.
That panel had carried out a review into CAMHS and submitted a report to council which had subsequently been referred to cabinet for detailed consideration. Cabinet had requested that an action plan be prepared in response to the various recommendations of the panel.
The action plan had been considered and accepted by the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel.
NHS North Lincolnshire, along with their partners in the Children’s Trust, were responsible for services for children and young people and to ensure that access was available to mental health services for them. Attached as an appendix to the report was a detailed action plan setting out the various recommendations arising from the report, the proposed actions and responsibilities and timescales.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the report on the CAMHS Scrutiny Action Plan, and (b) that cabinet supports all steps being taken to successfully complete actions that are currently in progress.
That scrutiny panel had undertaken a review of the Common Assessment Framework in 2009 to find out how far it had progressed and become embedded in practice since its implementation in April 2007. A range of agencies took part in the review, including Children and Young People’s Services, Schools and a range of health services. The report on the review had been submitted to council, referred to cabinet for detailed consideration and cabinet had requested that an action plan be prepared to deal with the recommendations.
All local authorities, working with their partners in the Children’s Trust, were responsible for introducing arrangements to ensure that the CAF was being conducted in a high quality way across all children’s services. The report explained how the CAF operated and referred to the training of all staff involved. The scrutiny panel had made 8 recommendations which were contained in an action plan attached as an appendix to the report together with details of the actions to be taken and timescales.
The action plan had been considered and accepted by the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the report on the CAF scrutiny action plan, and (b) that cabinet supports all steps being taken to successfully complete actions that are currently in progress.
Attached as an appendix to the report was a proposed action plan to take forward the recommendations of the panel. This was an important issue which had also been the subject of a recent peer review.
The action plan had been considered and accepted by the Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel.
Resolved – That the action plan attached as an appendix to the report be approved and adopted.