Full Cabinet – 26 March 2013

PRESENT:  Councillor Mrs Redfern in the chair.
Councillors Briggs, Poole, C Sherwood, N Sherwood and Waltham.Councillors Ali, Barker, Mrs Bromby, Bunyan, Clark, Collinson, Eckhardt, England, L Foster, T Foster, Glover, Marper, Ogg, O’Sullivan, Robinson, Rowson, Swift, Wells and Whiteley also attended the meeting.

Simon Driver, Will Bell, Jenny Couch, Frances Cunning, Peter Fijalkowski, Denise Hyde, Lesley Potts, Peter Thorpe, Marcus Walker, Peter Williams, Tracey Yeadon and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.

The meeting was held at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.


1017  MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 29 January 2013, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.

1018  (35)  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.

1019  (36)  PUBLIC HEALTH TRANSFER – The Chief Executive submitted a report setting out details of the transfer of the Public Health function from North Lincolnshire NHS to North Lincolnshire Council and considering the development of public health in 2013/14 and the financial and organisational impact of the changes.

The formal transfer and responsibility for the local delivery of public health from the NHS to local authorities will take place on 1 April 2013.  The Director of Public Health (DPH) and relevant staff would transfer to the council on their existing terms and conditions which were protected.  The council had been given a two year ring fenced financial settlement for public health and that budget would cover the identified staff and associated costs, existing contracts and would give some potential for service development.

The opportunities for whole organisation engagement in improving the health and wellbeing of the local population together with a more direct relationship for local democracy strengthen the role of public health going forward.  There is general agreement (both locally and nationally) that the move to local authorities should not be about the same programmes being offered from a different organisation but a complete transformation of the delivery agenda.  The most important element is the capacity to develop a local public health system in which public health is integrated across all council directorates and all partner organisations.  To this end, the proposed model is for significant integration but with a public health hub.

Appendix 1 to the report set out the integrated model where high level functions would sit within this model.  This was based on a “best match” between public health functions and the three council directorates.  The aim was for transformation and to add value to the respective council directorates in order to maximise opportunities to achieve health and wellbeing outcomes across the council.  Staff would be managed within the respective council directorate as detailed in appendix 3 with professional (public health) accountability directed to the DPH via the appropriate public health consultant.  This reflected the current successful working arrangement within the council health improvement function and the Substance Misuse Team.  This was vital to provide the necessary capacity to deliver the functions associated with the hub and to maintain appropriate management accountability and governance for those public health functions forming the DPH’s role as a statutory chief officer.

Effective joint working between council directorates and the public health hub would be underpinned by clear objectives and work plans to ensure delivery of the health and wellbeing strategy and the Adult Social Services, Public Health, NHS and Children’s Service outcome frameworks.

The role of the DPH had been detailed in statutory guidance and was set out in paragraphs 2.8 and 2.9.

Officers from North Lincolnshire NHS and North Lincolnshire Council had been working, through a transition group, on potential structures following transfer.  Having regard to the guidance and the strategic aim of embedding health and wellbeing across the organisation, the recommended option involved the establishment of a public health hub headed by the DPH who would report directly to the Chief Executive, with the remaining staff being integrated into directorates within the council.  This option had been widely consulted on with senior officers, affected staff and trade unions and there was broad support for this approach.  The proposed structures were contained in appendix 3 to the report.

A number of posts currently in existence within the council were funded by NHS North Lincolnshire.  The functions covered by these posts were tobacco control and obesity.  These functions were developed in this way to reduce duplication and enable more effective use of resources in terms of delivering outcomes.  As these were existing council posts they were not specifically included in the structure diagrams.  However, there would be a review of all such posts and functions to ensure that the most effective use of resources and developments were gained.

The report contained other information in relation to this matter including the reference to the ring fenced grant provided which was £8.078m for 2013/2014 and £8.463m for 2014/2015.  These amounts were higher than the baseline estimates and would allow some service development.  The report also set out where staff would be accommodated within existing council property together with other relevant information.

Resolved – (a) That the report be noted; (b) that the proposed structures and assimilation of the public health staff be noted; (c) that the financial implications of the transfer be noted and that further work be undertaken on the potential development areas for public health in 2013/2014, and (d) that a full review of the staffing and service commitments in relation to public health be carried out within six months of the transfer to ensure the best possible provision and increased benefits to the area and that a report thereon be submitted to the relevant cabinet member.

1020  (37)  THE NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE HEALTH AND WELLBEING BOARD – The Director of Policy and Resources and the Director of People submitted a joint report which considered the establishment of the formal North Lincolnshire Health and WellBeing Board (HWBB) and considered the detailed arrangements for its operation.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 (the Act) established Health and WellBeing Boards as a forum where key leaders from the health and care system worked together to improve the health and wellbeing of their local population and reduce health inequalities.  Each top tier and unitary council would have its own health and wellbeing board.

The principles which underpinned the creation of health and wellbeing boards included –

  • Shared leadership of a strategic approach to the health and wellbeing of communities that reaches across all the relevant organisations.
  • A commitment to driving real action and change to improve services and outcomes.
  • Priority between board members in terms of their opportunity to contribute to the board’s strategies and activities.
  • Shared ownership of the board by all its members (with commitment from their nominating organisations) and accountability to the communities it serves.
  • Openness and transparency in the way the board carries out its work.
  • Inclusiveness in the way it engages with patients, service users and the public.

The Act gave boards specific functions.  Some of these were the statutory minimum.  These were detailed in paragraph 2.3 of the report although the council could delegate any other functions to the board.  Two of the board’s key functions would be to prepare and publish a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and a Joint Health and WellBeing Strategy (JHWS) to meet the needs identified in the JSNA in relation to the local area.

In North Lincolnshire a shadow health and wellbeing board had been in existence for some time and had been working on some of the key strategic issues around health and wellbeing.  Much of the ground work had therefore been done in terms of the JSNA and the JHWS.  Secondary legislation had now been published through regulations along with the practical guide to governance and constitutional issues in relation to health and wellbeing boards.  These dealt with many of the key areas in relation to how boards would function including membership.  Health and wellbeing boards had to include six statutory members but could also include any number of other non statutory members depending on local circumstances.

The report detailed some of the key issues referred to above in terms of the operation of the board including interests, voting, delegation by the board, transparency and openness, the role of the health scrutiny panel and other matters.

For the North Lincolnshire Health and WellBeing Board it was proposed that the voting members should be –

  • One councillor (nominated by the Leader of the Council)
  • The Director of People
  • The Chief Executive of North Lincolnshire Council
  • The Director of Public Health
  • A representative of Local Health Watch
  • A representative of each relevant Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

In addition, it was proposed that the board would include a number of non statutory members and these were detailed in appendix 1 to the report.

The report contained further information in relation to this matter.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet recommends to council the formal establishment of the North Lincolnshire Health and WellBeing Board as a committee of the council to discharge the statutory core functions from 1 April 2013 and agrees the membership of the board as set out in above and in appendix 1 attached; (b) that the terms of reference and procedure rules for the board be formally agreed by council following detailed consideration by the Health and WellBeing Board taking account of the Memorandum of Understanding, and (c) that any other necessary changes to the council’s Constitution, Procedure Rules, Terms of Reference of the Health Scrutiny Panel and other related elements be considered at the Annual Meeting of the Council in May 2013.

1021  (38)  OUTCOMES OF OFSTED INSPECTIONS OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE SCHOOLS – The Director of People submitted a report updating cabinet on the outcomes of Ofsted Inspections of North Lincolnshire Schools in both the primary and secondary phase during the first half of the academic year 2012/2013.

The Education Act 1996 placed a legal responsibility on local authorities for education performance in the area as a whole.  Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector published his annual report in November 2012, introducing a new performance measure ranking local authority areas on the proportion of pupils in each phase attending schools and academies judged to be good or outstanding.  The reporting period for this measure is the academic year ending on 31 August.  Sponsor led academies were not including in the performance measure until the date of their first inspection.

In the first half of the current academic year 13 primary schools (1 maintained) and 2 secondary schools (1 maintained and 1 academy) were subject to a full inspection as defined in Section 5 of the Education Act 2005.  Two secondary schools and one primary school had had Section 8 monitoring visits.

There was a strengthening picture of inspection outcomes across North Lincolnshire in both the primary and secondary phase.  At primary age, 76% of children now attended a good or outstanding primary school an improvement of 12 percentage points since the start of the academic year.  In the secondary phase improvement had been 26 percentage points with 70% of pupils now attending a good secondary school.  These improvements had been gained in the context of the revised Ofsted Inspection framework from September 2012 which once again raised the expectations of the quality of provision, leadership and outcomes for children and young people.

Inspection reports now routinely commented on the quality of local authority support to schools and these comments had been overwhelmingly positive, demonstrating that North Lincolnshire Council not only knows the schools in the area well, but had the capacity to work in partnership with school leaders and governors to effect timely improvements.  The council was also well placed to make a sustained contribution to education outcomes in the area with a strengthening partnership with schools and academies and an increasingly systematic approach to addressing under performance and disseminating effective practices between schools.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the outcomes of Ofsted Inspections in North Lincolnshire schools in both the primary and secondary phase (for the first half of the academic year 2012/2013, and (b) that cabinet notes the strong partnership working between North Lincolnshire Schools and North Lincolnshire Council which had contributed to improvements in inspection outcomes.

1022  (39)  REVISED CORPORATE PARENTING PLEDGE AND LAUNCH – A report was submitted by the Director of People seeking cabinet approval and support to the Corporate Parenting Pledge to Children in Care and Care Leavers and seeking support from cabinet in the delivery of the pledge and oversight of the council’s contribution to it.

Children “Looked After” by the council must expect to be cared for as any good parent would do.  The Children Act 1989 made it clear that this was the responsibility of the whole council and its partners.  This was known as “Corporate Parenting”.

In North Lincolnshire the council had made a commitment to ensure that children were central to the development of services to improve their outcomes.  This was reflected within the priorities, budget and future investment in children in care.  The council’s ambition was for children to be looked after within a stable family home, have support to do well in school, in further training and employment and progress successfully into adult life.

The council and its partners commitment to children in care and care leavers was contained within the North Lincolnshire Corporate Parenting Pledge.  The council regularly reviewed how it delivered these functions and that there were tangible outcomes through active and regular feedback from the children and young people.  The innovative and child centred approach to corporate parenting in North Lincolnshire had been recognised through council scrutiny, internal reviews and inspection of services which were deemed “outstanding” by Ofsted.  Young people were at the centre of all aspects of the process and close links with the Children in Care Council were integral to the approach.

The Children Act 2004 required the council to take the lead, via its lead member for children’s services (cabinet member for people) and its Director of Children’s Services in bringing together a partnership designed to address the needs of children and young people in care.  Under the Act, partners of the council had a duty to co-operate in this endeavour.

The council and its partners had last signed up to a Corporate Parenting Pledge in 2011 which specifically outlined the commitment to improve outcome for children in care and care leavers.  This pledge had now been reviewed and updated and it was planned to re-launch it at an event on 24 April 2013.  It was envisaged that the signing of the pledge would encourage all to be ambitious in their plans for these children and young people.  The event would be led by young people and the cabinet member for people would be invited to open the formal signing of the pledge and sign up to it on behalf of the council.  The young people would provide refreshments for the event and would include displays of art work completed by children in care and care leavers, a creative writing competition and an award for children and young people to celebrate their achievements.  It would also provide an opportunity for children and young people to meet their corporate parents.

Resolved – That cabinet approves and supports the revised Corporate Parenting Pledge and event and will ensure that the pledge is implemented fully in North Lincolnshire.

1023  (40)  EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS – REPORT OF THE PEOPLE SCRUTINY PANEL – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report with the attached report of the People Scrutiny Panel entitled Employability Skills.  The report had been referred to cabinet for consideration of the recommendations with a view to the preparation of an action plan.

This review by the People Scrutiny Panel had been prompted by interest in two related issues.  Firstly this area was seeking a major, nationally important, number of developments across the South Bank of the Humber Estuary.  Secondly, given the current economic climate, there was a need to tie the potential inward investment to increasing the skills within the local workforce, ensuring meaningful opportunities were available in the future.

The panel had made a number of detailed recommendations which were set out in the report.

The chairman of the panel commented on the report.

Resolved – (a) That the report and recommendations be approved and adopted, and (b) that the relevant members and officers prepare an action plan in response to the recommendations of the report for submission to the next meeting of cabinet.

1024  (41)  LOCALISED SUPPORT FOR COUNCIL TAX – REPORT OF THE CORPORATE SCRUTINY PANEL – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report with the attached report of the Corporate Scrutiny Panel entitled Localised Support for Council Tax.  The report had been referred to cabinet for consideration of the recommendations with a view to the preparation of an action plan.

The panel in its report had focussed on a number of key issues.  These were –

  • To explore the implementation of the provisions of the legislation for the localisation of support for council tax, to replace council tax benefit.
  • To explore the impact on North Lincolnshire residents of the introduction of localised support for council tax.

The report contained a number of detailed recommendations.

The chairman of the Corporate Scrutiny Panel commented on the report.

Resolved – (a) That the report and recommendations be approved and adopted, and (b) that the relevant members and officers prepare an action plan in response to the recommendations of the report for submission to the next meeting of cabinet.

1025  (42)  CONSULTATION – The Chief Executive submitted a report on consultations the council had conducted in the last twelve months and outlining options for taking forward consultations.

The council had undertaken 34 consultations in the past 12 months through the u-engage online system.  These had resulted in 2,128 responses.  The council had also consulted in many areas through printed surveys, focus groups and one to one surveys.  It had also consulted service users, businesses, voluntary and community groups, town and parish councils and the general public.  Further details were contained in appendix 1 to the report.

These consultations had been successfully used to inform policy, shape and improve services and help the council deliver against its priorities.  Paragraph 2.4 of the report set out a number of examples of consultations carried out.  As well as using u-engage, the council had also carried out major consultations on the review of the youth service using optivote which had been carried out in secondary schools and youth centres across North Lincolnshire.  Over 2,220 young people had responded.  Consultation on sport, leisure and culture using a mixture of online and paper surveys had also received over 1,000 responses.  Other examples of consultations included in adult services, consultations on every planning application received by the council and in other areas.

Work was ongoing to improve consultation across the council by the development of a standard approach to be introduced in due course.

Resolved – That cabinet supports the development of a standard approach across the council to consultations and a further report on this matter be submitted to cabinet outlining a proposed consultation protocol along with a plan listing consultations to be held in the council year 2013/2014.

1026  (43)  CREATION OF A BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAMME TEAM – The Director of Places and the Director of Policy and Resources submitted a joint report seeking approval to the establishment of 7 new fixed term posts to deliver the North Lincolnshire Business Support Programme using external funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) when approved.

The cabinet members for Regeneration and Policy and Resources had recently approved the delivery of the business support element of the ERDF BDUK bid.  The intention was that the North Lincolnshire Broadband Programme would offer support to businesses across North Lincolnshire with this support programme focussing on small and medium enterprises (SME).  The programme would be delivered internally and would offer 12 hours of free support to over 330 businesses.  The aim was to ensure that the opportunities afforded by superfast broadband were maximised.

To fund the business support, the council had bid for £0.9m from the ERDF.  This formed part of a larger bid which was in total £5.9m.  If successful, the remaining £5m would help develop a new superfast broadband infrastructure across rural North Lincolnshire.  The report detailed a number of activities which would form the basis for delivery of the programme and it contained further detailed information about this issue.

Resolved – That cabinet approves the creation of a number of fixed term posts as detailed in paragraph 8.1 of the report following ERDF approval.

1027  (44)  BDUK – SME ENGAGEMENT EVENT – The Director of Places submitted a report updating cabinet on the SME Engagement Event in support of the BDUK Business Programme.

The North Lincolnshire Broadband Programme would offer support to businesses across North Lincolnshire.  The BDUK Project Team had undertaken a demand stimulation exercise with local SMEs and residents and to date 556 businesses had expressed an interest in signing up for superfast broadband.  The council had also launched a competition for SMEs to win the development of a 20 page web site.  The winner of the competition would be used as a case study to showcase the benefits of using technology.

The proposal was for the Baths Hall to stage an initial engagement event on 23 May 2013 where eligible SMEs would have the opportunity to network with businesses that had used technology to improve their businesses.  A number of key speakers would highlight the benefits of superfast broadband in improving their businesses. Businesses themselves would have the opportunity to book 1 : 1 sessions to discuss their business opportunities within the programme.

The report contained further information about this matter.

Resolved – That cabinet supports the staging of an initial engagement event for SMEs at the Baths Hall, Scunthorpe on 23 May 2013.

1028  (45)  APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval to the establishment of 12 new level 2 apprenticeship opportunities as part of the wider 2013 apprenticeship programme and seeking approval to the continuation of four existing level 2 apprenticeships to level 3.

The first phase of apprenticeships offered by the council had proven highly successful with the programme attracting over 370 applicants.  Of these 58 successfully secured an apprenticeship and a number of these apprentices had now progressed into full time employment.

The council was also changing its human resource policies in support of the apprenticeship programme which would provide apprentices with the opportunity of consideration of vacant jobs prior to advertising externally.  The council had reviewed the first year of the apprenticeship programme.

The report contained further information and attached as an appendix was a list of the proposed apprenticeships for 2013 which would allow the council to deliver additional apprenticeship opportunities at level 2.  It would also offer the opportunity to further develop some of the existing level 2 apprentices by offering level 3 opportunities.

Resolved – That cabinet approves the proposed apprenticeship programme as outlined in appendix 1 and that the staff involved be thanked for their work.

1029  (46)  LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME – A report was submitted by the Director of Places seeking specific approval to the establishment of two level 2 apprenticeship opportunities for looked after children and/or care leavers.

The council was committed to its role as a corporate parent which was the name for the collective responsibility that the council had to safeguard and promote the life chances of children who were looked after by the council.  The Places Directorate had supported looked after children and care leavers through a number of schemes in recent years and the council had recently put in place a detailed apprenticeship programme.  It was proposed to continue the programme during 2013 but also to create some specific opportunities for looked after children etc, which would provide a positive contribution towards the council’s corporate parenting commitments.

Two specific apprenticeship opportunities for looked after children/care leavers as part of the overall apprenticeship programme would be established.

The report contained further details in relation to this matter.

Resolved – That cabinet approves the establishment of two apprenticeship posts specifically for looked after children and/or care leavers and that the officers involved in this work be thanked for their efforts.

1030  (47)  JOBS AND CAREERS EVENT – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking support from cabinet into holding a second Jobs and Careers Event, following the success of the first event held in October 2012.

The council was committed to the priority of regenerating the area and increasing prosperity and to achieve this it aimed to attract business investment and create employment opportunities for all ages.  The council was working hard to deliver these priority aims and to this end it had arranged a jobs and careers event in October 2012.  Over 70 private sector and public sector exhibitors attended the event and a survey indicated that 98% of exhibitors would do so again at a further event.  In addition, around 1600 pupils attended the event from 11 secondary schools across North Lincolnshire with each pupil receiving an event pack.  The general public were allowed to access the event after 3.30 p.m. and over 900 members of the public attended.  Given the success of the event it was proposed to hold a further such event in October 2013.

The report contained further information about the proposal.

Resolved – That cabinet supports the delivery of a second North Lincolnshire Jobs and Careers

1031  (48)  JOBS FAIR – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval to the staging of a North Lincolnshire Jobs Fair in the summer of 2013.

The council recently delivered a jobs fair at Kimberley Clark in Barton upon Humber as part of the taskforce support.  This was well attended by 30 companies and particularly well received by employees.

The feedback received from companies indicated an appetite to attend a wider jobs fair for North Lincolnshire residents to promote jobs vacancies.  The North Lincolnshire Regional Growth Front Programme had now allocated over half of the £10m funds awarded in less than one year.  Over 400 new jobs were expected to be created as a result of the monies awarded so far and the companies that had been successful would be asked to attend the jobs fair to advertise these new job opportunities.

A “Jobs” event would build on the successful jobs and careers event the council organised in 2012 and the jobs fair would focus specifically on job vacancies and also self employment/new business start up support.

The jobs fair would have 3 distinct zones –

  • Job Vacancies
  • Self Employment/Business Start Up
  • Information Advice and Guidance and Job Search/CV Writing Workshops

The report contained further information about the proposal.

Resolved – That cabinet approves the staging of a Jobs Fair in the summer of 2013.