Full Cabinet – 13 November 2012

PRESENT:  Councillor Mrs Redfern in the chair.

Councillor Briggs (vice-chairman), Poole, C Sherwood, N Sherwood and Waltham.

Councillors Ali, Allcock, Barker, Mrs Bromby, Bunyan, Clark, Collinson, England, L Foster, Gosling, Kirk, Marper, Ogg, Robinson, Rowson, Wells, Whiteley and Wilson also attended the meeting.

Simon Driver, Will Bell, Kevin Booth, Frances Cunning, Keith Ford, Mick Gibbs, Denise Hyde, Chris Matthews, Peter Thorpe, Mike Wedgewood, Jason Whaler, Peter Williams and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.

The meeting was held at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.


994  MINUTESResolved – That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 25 September 2012, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.

995  (17)  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.

996  (18)  UPDATE ON THE STATEMENT OF INTENT – ONE COUNCIL COMMISSIONING AND COMMUNITY RIGHT TO CHALLENGE – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which updated cabinet on progress with the implementation of the One Council Commissioning Statement of Intent and the Community Right to Challenge.

The Statement of Intent had been approved by cabinet in March 2012 and had been produced as an initial step towards developing a more effective commissioning capability across the council.  A new council plan had been approved in July 2012 and that plan included an explicit undertaking to use modern commissioning techniques to drive value for money improvement in service delivery and enhance outcomes for local people.  More recently, the preparations for the transition of public health responsibilities to local authorities in 2013 had increased focus on the growing importance of commissioning and joined up service delivery.

The Statement of Intent recognised that significant progress had already been made in developing a service based commissioning capability in specific areas of the council.  However, further improvements were needed to ensure that commissioning practices were joined up, consistent and focussed on outcomes for people and communities in line with the one council vision.  Appendix A to the report set out a summary of progress in relation to this matter against the original action plan.

The Community Right to Challenge came into force on 27 June 2012 arising out of the Localism Act 2011. Paragraph 2.9 of the report set out the council’s arrangements for the introduction of the Community Right to Challenge.

Resolved (a)- That cabinet notes the progress made on implementing the one council Commissioning Statement of Intent and the Community Right to Challenge, and (b) that a corporate commissioning plan and delivery model shaped around the council’s priority outcomes, as detailed in paragraph 2.8 of the report be produced for consideration by cabinet in October 2013.

997  (19)  COMMERCIAL POLICY – A report was submitted by the Director of Policy and Resources which considered and sought approval for a commercial policy for the council.

The council had a track record of income generation through enterprising approaches in specific service areas.  Moreover, the schools academies agenda had led to a shift in the council’s approach resulting in an increasing need to provide an intelligent, commercial and joined up approach to the market.

The current economic climate and changing local government landscape provided opportunities for the council to become more enterprising and commercial in outlook.  In response to this a commercial policy for the authority had been developed which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  Currently the policy for pursuing commercial activities was unclear and this new policy had been developed to provide a coherent framework and drive significant change in the council’s approach to commercial and training activity.  As set out within the policy’s principles, the overarching strategy for commercial activity would be informed by the council’s One Council Commissioning Statement of Intent.  The policy set out a framework and strategic direction for commercial and income generated activity across North Lincolnshire and included a number of potential benefits as detailed in paragraph 2.5.

The policy was a live document and would be kept under constant review to ensure it remained fit for purpose and facilitated creativity and innovation across the council.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet approves the commercial policy as attached at Appendix 1 to the report and (b) that subsequent amendments to the policy be approved by the Cabinet Member for Policy and Resources.

998  (20)  REGULATION OF INVESTIGATORY POWERS ACT 2000 (RIPA) – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report informing cabinet of the latest developments relating to RIPA and amendments made to the RIPA policy.

RIPA creates a regulatory framework to govern the way public authorities handle and conduct covert investigations. This included covert surveillance directed at a person(s) the use of a covert human intelligence resource (CHIS) which involved 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.  RIPA also provided for a system of authorisation to secure the lawfulness of surveillance activities and ensure they were consistent with obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998.  The statutory code of practice issued pursuant to RIPA provided that councils must set the RIPA policy once a year and that a Senior Responsible Officer is appointed to oversee the integrity of the process.

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 amended the existing RIPA legislation and provided that magistrates would have to approve RIPA authorisations before the council could start conducting covert surveillance.  The council’s RIPA policy had been amended to reflect this change.  Following the retirement of the previous Director of Corporate and Community Services, the Senior Responsible Officer for RIPA was now the Director of Policy and Resources and the role of Senior Responsible Officer was detailed in the RIPA policy.

The report contained further information about RIPA. The RIPA policy was attached as an appendix to the report with amendments detailed in italics.

Resolved – (a) That the amendments to the RIPA policy be noted and approved, and (b) that the Director of Policy and Resources be designated Senior Responsible Officer and the Director of Places and the Assistant Director – Financial Services be designated as authorising officers for RIPA purposes.

999  (21)  RESULTS OF THE OFSTED INSPECTION OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL FOSTERING TEAM – The Director of People submitted a report setting out the results of the recent Ofsted inspection of the North Lincolnshire Council Fostering Team which had been published on 1 September 2012.

The purpose of the inspection had been to assure children and young people, parents, public local authorities and government of the quality and standards of the service provided.  The inspection had been carried out under the Care Standards Act 2000 to assess the effectiveness of the service and to consider how well it complied with the relevant regulations and met the national minimum standards.  The inspection took place between 23 and 26 July 2012 and followed closely on the Ofsted inspections of Safeguarding and Looked After Services.

The report detailed the methodology and evidence evaluation techniques used by the inspectors and referred to the inspection judgements which were made using a four point scale as detailed in paragraph 2.3.  Paragraph 2.4 set out the judgements made against an evaluation schedule and these indicated that on each of the five areas the judgements were outstanding.

The report contained further detailed information about the inspection.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the result of the Ofsted inspection of the North Lincolnshire Council Fostering Team, and (b) that cabinet welcomes the outstanding judgement and commends the team for its efforts.

1000  EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC  – Resolved – That the public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following item (minute 1001 refers) on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

1001  (22)  RESIDUAL WASTE TREATMENT SERVICE PROCUREMENT PROJECT – The Director of Places submitted a report informing cabinet of the outcome of the review of the Residual Waste Treatment Procurement (the Project).

In 2008, the council undertook to procure a residual waste treatment solution to deal with the predicted waste volumes for the twenty five years after the expiration of its existing landfill arrangement in March 2011.  The project was to maximise landfill diversion and increase recycling from the anticipated volumes of municipal residual waste.  With fines expected to be levied against the council for exceeding its landfill allowance from 2012 onwards, the cost of solutions offered by bidders would be set against this “do nothing” baseline.  The progress of the project through the various states of the procurement process had been reported to members in previous reports to cabinet and to the relevant cabinet member.

The report highlighted a number of key issues in relation to this matter which included –

  • The scope of the project was based on information available in 2008.
  • Against this scope, a preferred bidder had been appointed.  This was conditional upon the council becoming comfortable with some aspects of risk within their tender.  The main risk in question was a pollutants risk.
  • Due to an extended dialogue phase during the project the council had to procure an interim landfill contract. This allowed the council to maintain service provision and had resulted in significant cost savings until 2016.
  • A key piece of legislation had been amended and this now removed penalties for exceeding landfill allowance limits.
  • A strategic review of the council’s Municipal Waste Management Strategy (MWMS) set against this changed landscape had been undertaken.  The outcome informed the recommended way forward.
  • A soft market testing exercise and a value for money (VFM) analysis had identified potential alternative solutions which were capable of meeting the council’s requirements.
  • A range of risks which would affect the delivery of the potential alternative solutions and their cost.

The report contained further detailed information about this issue and cabinet considered two detailed options. The report also contained details of the resource implications involved with the project together with the other implications.

Resolved – (a) That option 2 be approved and that the Residual Waste Treatment Procurement be terminated for the reasons outlined in the report, and (b) that a further report be submitted to cabinet outlining the matters for consideration by cabinet in determining the objectives for future procurement to be delivered within the timescale of the interim landfill contract.