Full Cabinet – 28 January 2015
PRESENT:- Councillor Mrs Redfern in the chair.
Councillors Briggs, Poole, N Sherwood and Waltham.
Councillors Ali, Allcock, Bunyan, Carlile, Clark, Eckhardt, England, L Foster, T Foster, Glover, Gosling, Ogg, O’Sullivan, Rowson, Wells, Whiteley and Wilson also attended the meeting.
Simon Driver, Will Bell, Nolan Bennett, Paul Cowling, Frances Cunning, Mick Gibbs, Denise Hyde, Helen Manderson, Becky McIntyre, Karen Pavey, Peter Thorpe, Mike Wedgewood, Jason Whaler, Peter Williams and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.
The meeting was held at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
1128 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of interest.
1129 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 11 November 2014, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.
1130 (24) 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.
1131 (25) RESIDUAL MUNICIPAL WASTE TREATMENT – CONTRACT AWARD – The Director of Places submitted a report confirming the outcomes of the procurement exercise to secure a solution for the future treatment of residual municipal waste and requesting approval of the award of the contract.
Cabinet had previously approved the progress of a procurement to secure a solution for the future treatment of our residual municipal waste. (minute 1106 refers). Currently the waste was sent to local landfill sites. A procurement exercise aimed to achieve the lowest cost, best value for money solution for the council consistent with meeting its ongoing obligations as a waste disposal authority pursuant to the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Cabinet had also approved a procurement and delivery strategy that included the following objectives –
• Deliver a quick, straightforward, low cost, reasonably achievable procurement.
• Ensure a technically appropriate, lowest cost short to medium solution to the council’s residual municipal waste treatment and disposable requirements and
• Ensure legal compliance.
The strategy further aspires that any solution advances the council up the “waste hierarchy”. This would make sure the council satisfied the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive in 2008 and the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011. It also identified an initial contract term of 5 years with options to extend for up to 10 years in total as a key factor.
The procurement was undertaken using the EU Restricted Procedure. Tender responses had been received on 5 December 2014 from two organisations as detailed in paragraph 2.4 of the report. Four other organisations were invited to submit a tender but had failed to do so. All tenders received were within 6% of the original cost estimate. As such they were considered as offering value for money. They were consistent with the council’s position as set out above.
The report contained further detailed information about the procurement process including a table providing a summary of tender scores and overall ranking. The report also set out two options for consideration. Option 1 was to approve the award of the contract to GNET and Option 2 was to decline to approve the award of the contract. The report also detailed the resource implications involved in this matter.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet agrees that the Director of Places takes the steps necessary to proceed with the award of the contract to GNET, in accordance with the council’s contract procedure rules, thereby achieving the lowest cost, best value for money solution available; (b) that cabinet authorises the Director of Policy and Resources to complete all necessary documents relating to the progression of the contract, and (c) that cabinet also authorises the Director of Places to make appropriate arrangements for the commencement of the contract.
1132 (26) TRANSFORMATION AND SHARED SERVICES – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report seeking approval to establish a shared back office service with North East Lincolnshire Council.
The report indicated that in the current economic climate it was essential that councils continued to seek and deliver efficiencies to maximise resources for the delivery of frontline services. The council’s central services had already implemented a significant programme of operational efficiencies and now needed to look elsewhere for sustainable, achievable and transformational efficiencies. A proposed solution was shared services which would provide the transformational platform for achieving necessary further efficiencies as well as enabling the sharing of skills and knowledge, facilitating the creation of centres of expertise, increasing resilience and enabling future expansion of commercial development.
It was proposed therefore to set up a shared service with North East Lincolnshire Council. Both councils had successfully jointly bid for Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) “Transformation Challenge Award” funding of £1.9m to support implementation of the proposed shared back office services. It was envisaged that the implementation of this shared services programme would achieve combined savings of £12.6m over a 10 year period, enabling both councils to protect essential frontline services. The savings would result from a joint investment of £2.5m including the £1.9m provided from the successful TCA bid. In July 2014 cabinet had endorsed the setting up of a “shared back office hub” by the two councils covering ICT, Finance, Human Resources and Legal with the possibility of expansion into other areas.
A joint working group of officers from both councils had been set up to lead the programme, with sub boards leading the developments in each workstream. Each of these had developed a “vision” for their service which outlined transformational efficiencies, operational outcomes of the shared service and how the needs of stakeholders would be met. It was considered important to create a shared service of two equal partners and it was not envisaged that either council would take the role of “lead” partner. Services would continue to be made available internally but would be provided more efficiently.
The report also set out the proposed governance model for the shared service which was detailed in paragraph 2.7. This followed models used in other councils and builds on the council’s experience with shared services with North East Lincolnshire Council in local taxation and benefits and procurement. A Memorandum of Understanding setting out the proposed governance arrangements is being agreed by the Monitoring Officers of both this council and North East Lincolnshire Council and this would form the legal basis for the shared service arrangement going forward and would be signed following a decision by cabinet at each council to proceed with the shared services as the report recommended.
Resolved – (a) That cabinet approves the shared service programme leading to the establishment of shared back office services with North East Lincolnshire Council; (b) that authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Policy and Resources in respect of future decisions relating to the implementation of the programme prior to the joint board being set up, and (c) that a further report be submitted to a future meeting of cabinet setting up the proposed joint committee and attendant governance arrangements.
1133 (27) JANUARY BUDGET REVIEW 2014/2015 – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted his January 2014/2015 Budget Review. This was one of a series of reports to cabinet produced during the year to update cabinet on the council’s financial position for the 2014/2015 financial year. It provided an opportunity to review how the council’s revenue plans and capital programme were progressing and consider opportunities and potential corrective action where necessary.
The report indicated that the revenue budget position remained positive and despite directorates being faced with significant challenges, a budget saving of £649k was presently forecast. Schools were forecast to use £750k of balances to meet expenditure challenges and positive progress was being made in the achievement of £8.65m of approved savings. The review of the 2014/2015 capital programme had, along with other proposed amendments, identified £11.3m of expenditure re-phasing to later financial years, with a potential capital financing saving of £0.26m in 2015/2016. Other proposals which included additional grant and externally funded schemes would increase the overall programme expenditure by £9.6m and the cost of capital financing by £0.54m across the programme.
The report considered in detail the revenue budget for 2014/2015 by directorate, central budgets, the savings monitor for 2014/2015 and the capital programme for 2014 to 2018. Where services required additional support or where additional savings had been identified cabinet could consider the reallocation of resources between directorates, earmarked reserves and the contingency fund.
Resolved – (a) That the revised revenue budget as set out in appendix 1 to the report be approved; (b) that the revised capital programme as set out in appendices 2 and 3 be approved, and (c) that progress made in the achievement of the budget savings as detailed in paragraphs 3.8 to 3.9 of the report be noted.
1134 (28) ANNUAL UPDATE OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE YOUTH JUSTICE PLAN 2013/2015 – The Director of People submitted a report informing cabinet of the annual update to the North Lincolnshire Youth Justice Plan for 2013/2015 and to seek continued support.
Section 40 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 sets out the responsibilities placed upon the Youth Offending Services Partnership in relation to the production of an annual youth justice plan. It stated that it was the duty of each local authority, after consultation with partner agencies, to formulate and implement an annual Youth Justice Plan setting out –
• How youth justice services in the area were provided and funded.
• How the youth offending service is composed and funded, how it operates and the functions it carries out.
The Youth Justice Plan had to be submitted to the Youth Justice Board and published in accordance with directions of the Secretary of State. The plan had to be approved by the Chairman of the Youth Offending Management Board.
The report set out some of the contents of the plan and indicated that the North Lincolnshire Youth Justice Plan was a two year plan (2013/2015) and an annual refresh of the plan had been submitted to the Youth Justice Board within the required timescale. The Regional Youth Justice Board Officer had confirmed that the plan had been approved and paragraph 3.1 of the report set out details of some of the updates to the North Lincolnshire Plan.
The report contained further information about the plan.
Resolved – That cabinet notes and supports the annual refresh of the North Lincolnshire Youth Justice Plan which is a key document in the delivery of youth justices services in the area.
1135 (29) ANNUAL EDUCATION REPORT 2014 – The Director of People submitted a report in connection with the Annual Education Report for 2014. Cabinet was asked to note the improved education outcomes within North Lincolnshire together with the further priorities for improvement.
The council had a statutory duty to ensure area wide standards and educational excellence. The council’s ambition for further improvement with school age education was set out in the North Lincolnshire Education Strategy for Schools entitled “All Our Children”. This document built upon the vision of the council and People Directorate, setting out three aims for the education sector of –
• Raising Achievement
• Championing Inclusion
• Supporting Regeneration
The realisation of these aims was in the context of the drive towards a self improving school system. The council had confidently taken its place in providing leadership, resources and expertise for increasing the pace of improvement in outcomes for school aged children and young people.
The report contained detailed information about the annual education report including details of how the council had invested in many areas of education as detailed in paragraph 2.5, and many of the performance highlights for 2014 which were detailed in paragraph 2.7. Compared to 1 September 2012 when the new, more challenging ofsted inspection framework had been introduced, 3,799 more North Lincolnshire children and young people attended schools that were judged by Ofsted to be good or better on 31 December 2014. 592 more children and young people attended outstanding schools during this time. The latest regional report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Schools highlights included a case study of effective practice within North Lincolnshire for improving the quality of early years provision.
The report also detailed the priorities for the future.
Resolved – That cabinet notes the improved education outcomes within North Lincolnshire and the priorities for further improvement.
1136 (30) SERVICES TO ADULTS – PEER CHALLENGE FEEDBACK – The Director of People presented a report informing cabinet of the outcomes of the peer challenge of services to adults which had recently been undertaken by the Local Government Association (LGA).
The council had requested the LGA to undertake a peer challenge of its services to adults and this provided an external view on the quality of services to adults including adult safeguarding practice. The specific scope of the work was –
• Is the direction of the service right for future success?
• Are arrangements in place to effectively address the challenges of the future such as the Care Act and the Better Care Fund?
• Does the newly defined direction and culture of safeguarding match practice?
A peer challenge was designed to help an authority and its partners assess current achievements, areas for development, and capacity to change. It was not an inspection but offered a supportive approach, undertaken by people from other areas who were experienced in this area of service. The process reviewed the service in the context of the strategic frameworks of the council and its partnership arrangements.
The framework was well established by the LGA in conjunction with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and sought assurance under a number of headings as detailed in paragraph 2.3. The LGA peer challenge team was made up of six experienced people with a range of backgrounds across adult social care, health, police and lead member. The peer challenge took place in October 2014 and over a five day period the team met with senior officers from across the council and its partners, local councillors, groups of staff, providers and representative of service users.
Overall the Peer Challenge Team concluded that the council’s services to adults was going in the right direction due to a focus on a more integrated approach with partners. Arrangements were in place to effectively address the challenges of the future such as the Care Act and Better Care Fund and there were examples of where practice reflected the newly defined direction and culture of safeguarding. Some areas for development had been identified including making safeguarding personal and better recording practice which would improve the evidence of the customer story. The highlights of the report presented by the LGA Peer Challenge Team were detailed within the report and they included vision, strategy and leadership, commissioning, outcomes for and the experience of people who use services, effective practice and service delivery, working together – safeguarding adults board and resource and workforce management.
Resolved – That cabinet notes the outcomes of the peer challenge of services to adults in North Lincolnshire.